It seems that no matter where you turn these days, there’s a lot of gloom and doom about the cost of living crisis, and it’s causing people a lot of stress. And, while we may not be able to fix the global financial stuff, what we can do is find some simple ways to manage our stress during the tough times.
Throughout our lifetime, there is always going to be a number of outside stressors like finance, career, family which can cause us major stress. Last week, the Reserve Bank once again raised interest rates which is going to cause people huge amounts of anxiety.
This kind of stress is going to happen throughout the course of our life, but the reality is, we can’t always control what goes on around us. What we can control is how we react, and how we manage our stress.
Getting stressed doesn’t really help anybody. In fact, it makes everything worse. And when you don’t manage your stress, it just becomes this cycle and downward spiral, where you feel down, or have low energy or heightened anxiety.
So, what can you do to help limit those feelings of stress, even when you can’t control the stressors around you?
One of the best things that we can start doing is having a ‘gratitude attitude’. So, thinking about things that we are super grateful for, and maybe writing them down, or saying them out loud.
I have a practice in my house where, at the end of every day, we talk about some of the things that we were grateful for. We might discuss the challenges that we had, whether it was a challenging person or challenging behaviour, or challenging situation. And then we’ll always talk about, and reflect on, what we learned from those experiences. It can be very, very easy to slip into that negative mindset, especially when the media does sensationalize and capitalize on that fear mongering about rising costs or rate rises.
If we start to focus on those moments of gratitude, it’s impossible to feel stressed because we’re focusing on the positives, and where focus goes, energy flows. The more practice you have at focusing on building a positive mentality, the easier it will become for you to then focus on the positive, and you’ll start to notice that you attract more positive things into your life.
So, rather than running from things that cause you stress or anxiety, instead focus on running towards something that you want. You’ll feel more in control and more fulfilled, and it will limit the stress.
The good thing is that physical activity doesn’t have to be hard; it can be as simple as just going outside and enjoying the sunshine while soaking up some Vitamin D.
Look at some fun movements you can do like dancing, yoga or Pilates, or just go for a walk. Getting moving can be a really easy way to start feeling better about yourself, plus, the more you do it, the more it becomes a healthy habit, the more those endorphins are released, and the easier it is to feel positive.
Benefits of movement to beat stress:
- I always like to use movement as a chance to practice mindfulness.
- While you’re out walking, try to focus on things that you haven’t seen before – cracks in the pavement, shades of green in the grass and trees, cloud formations – even if you walk the same route every day.
- Use all five senses – what can you smell? What can you feel? How do your feet feel each time they hit the ground? How does the breeze feel on your face? What can you hear? Take a sip of water – what can you taste?
- Try something that you haven’t tried before. For example, if you’ve always wanted to try yoga, give it a go on YouTube, and maybe try various styles of yoga – stretching and moving your body, finding flow. It’s all about aligning your body and your breath with movement, and that movement can become a form of meditation, or a chance to practice that gratitude attitude.
- Find something that works for you.
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. If you’ve woken up feeling tired and down, chances are you’ll feel like that during the day and then be more tempted to use stimulants like caffeine and sugar to give you energy.