9 Simple Ways to Beat Stress Without Medication
Stress is often a natural reaction to situations that life throws at us when we’re not expecting it. However, just because the situation is stressful does not mean we have to actually get stressed.
We know that stress can cause physical as well as psychological problems and can sometimes escalate to severe anxiety attacks if the challenges are not dealt with in a calm way, so having tools already in place alleviates the need to go into full blown stress when challenging situations occur.
The medical profession often recommends medication for people with severe stress to help alleviate the symptoms they’re experiencing. However, there are other ways to handle stressful situations, and medications don’t work for everyone. And, there are many people who don’t want the side effects medications can cause.
So what can you do?
Everything is a state of mind so it’s necessary to decide in advance how you might be able to handle any kind of stressful situation that occurs. If you know what you need to do should something stressful come up, you will be ready to take that action instead of immediately feeling stressed out and overwhelmed.
- One of the best ways to alleviate stress is to take a walk to clear your head. And, walking is an excellent form of exercise for your body as well as your mind. You can walk out frustration so that you’ll be able to come back refreshed and ready to deal with challenges calmly.
- Give your mind a break with soft, relaxing music. Our brain takes in lots of information from the things that we read, hear and see every second of every day. Your brain is an amazing organ but it’s not immune to overloads.
- If stress is really bad it can also cause depression, and, if you don’t want to take medication, a great way to decrease depression is to dance. Dancing gives you more energy and it becomes challenging to feel depressed if you are hearing a great fast beat. You can’t have two opposite thoughts or feelings at the same time so if music makes you feel happier, you won’t feel depressed, tired or overwhelmed.
- Overload can cause stress to escalate, which brings its own challenges. Allow yourself to walk away from a situation that makes your shoulders get. Step away and sit quietly for 10-15 minutes. Allow yourself to think clearly about how you can deal effectively with the situation.
- Find a hobby, something you really enjoy, and be sure to make time for it at least once a week. Everyone needs to get out of the mindset of having to deal with challenges and decisions within our lives. Giving yourself something else to focus on gives you a sense of accomplishment in an area of your life where your professional and/or financial situation may not be up to par.
- Massage and/or Yoga are other options. Stressful situations can cause your muscles to tighten and ache, which not only affects your physical body, but your mind as well. A massage or 15 minutes of yoga can loosen up those muscles, which will loosen up your mind allowing you to feel refreshed and renewed.
- If you’re so stressed that you want to cry, then let the tears flow. Don’t be afraid of your emotions; it’s really healthy to let them surface rather than keep them inside of you. Built up stress has to come out somehow, so it’s a lot safer to let it out through tears than to wait until it explodes into uncontrollable anger. You can also use journaling as a tool or talk to a friend or your coach if you have one. As long as it doesn’t stay inside of you, it won’t affect your body or your mind to any great degree.
- If finances are the challenge, create a budget. Look at your expenses and see what you can comfortably cut out or down so you give yourself room to save a little money. If you have the ability, every time you spend $1 put another $1 in an envelope and make this your mad money – money that at the end of 3 months, 6 months or a year you can use to treat yourself to something you really want. Another way to save small amounts of money that was recently shared with me by a financial adviser is to open up an account where each time you earn or bring in money, have a certain amount automatically transferred from your bank to the account. Even if it’s $5, every little bit accumulates if you don’t take it out. Knowing you have the ability to save money, whatever the amount, really gives your self-esteem a boost. I also take all my loose change and keep it in a big jar and just let it accumulate. Makes my purse lighter to carry too!
- Have a daily schedule! This really alleviates overwhelm. No overwhelm decreases stress. Write down everything you need to do each day, prioritize, and then finish one thing at a time until the list is complete. Don’t make the list so long that the list in itself creates stress, just 3-4 actions a day will help you to complete all you need to do by week’s end.
You can control your stress before it starts to take control of you. Although medications are one answer, they’re not necessarily the best answer. It’s much more effective long term if you can find a natural way that helps you to alleviate stress. Find out what works best for you so you have a tool to use if any challenges do come up.