The other day, I stopped by a Convenience Clinic to get Tayler’s (my oldest daughter) blood tested. (She has been diagnosed with hyperinsulinemia, so I try to keep a watch on her numbers.) Although Tayler has an awesome primary care doctor, I absolutely love the idea of being able to stop by a clinic without an appointment, receive a diagnosis, and obtain the appropriate treatment. I also appreciate the fact that the wait time is typically short.
In my “perfect” world, mental health services would be similar to visiting a Convenience Clinic. In my faux mental health world, one could simply drop by, answer a few questions, receive a diagnosis, obtain a dab of therapy with medication if necessary, and be about his or her day.
I’m not sure if this could ever be reality though. The brain is highly complex. Although there are many physical exams and psychological tests available, there is no “finger stick” test that can automatically tell if you are depressed or have anxiety. Much of mental health relies on self-report.
I guess my faux mental health Convenient Clinic may never happen.
But that’s where therapists come in. Every day, therapists arm clients with tools to utilize. These tools may not be permanent fixes, but they do help with treatment.
In my previous post 6 Anxiety Myths Debunked, I discussed anxiety & panic attacks, and certain false ideas about both. While coping with anxiety/panic attacks is an entity within itself, I wanted to take time to address everyday stress and anxiety.
Every day stress can stem from many places such as the following:
- work-related stress (meeting deadlines, co-worker conflict, etc.)
- having children (making decisions, school-related issues, etc.)
- financial stress (not having enough money to pay bills)
- caretaker stress (caring for elderly or those with complicated medical issues)
- spouse-related stress (frequent arguing, difficulty with communication, etc.)
- environmental stress (long commute to work or living in an area with frequent crime)
Having one or more of these stressors can increase the likelihood of you feeling “stressed out” or even developing generalized anxiety.
So if you find that you have been stressed out lately, let me share 5 ways to relieve your stress and anxiety now!
1. Count Backwards by 3’s.
This one is the easiest (kind of). You may have heard of “counting to 10”. For me, I usually get to 10, and then have to start over again at 1. And then repeat.
Counting backwards by 3’s works well when you want to stop your stress, and particularly your anger. Try it now.
Did you notice how you had to concentrate?
Ok. Do it for real this time.
Nifty trick huh?
Try this one the next time you are in traffic and feel the urge to share your middle finger OR when you feel the impulse to “let someone have it”.
2. Identify the source of your anxiety.
Have you ever felt nervous and you really were unsure why?
One key component to learning to relieve your stress and anxiety is identifying why you are feeling stressed in the first place.
Try using “I statements” and filling in the blanks. “I statements” are helpful because they assist you with owning your feelings and help to pinpoint your emotions.
Ex: (I am ______ about ________ because __________)
So you may have a sentence like “I am sad about the argument with my daughter because she misunderstood my statement.”
Once you have created a genuine “I statement” try number 3…
3. Determine if it’s fixable.
Some things in life are outside of your control. To relieve your stress and anxiety, ask yourself,
“Do I have any control over this situation?”
If the answer is “NO”– Tell yourself that the circumstance is outside of your control and speak positive messages. If you need help, check out my post Learn to Talk.
If the answer is “YES”– try number 4.
4. Develop a plan to address the fixable situation.
Passive Aggressive behavior is so 80’s.
Being an introvert, I find it terribly hard to verbally express my feelings sometimes. In the past, I would display passive aggressive behavior by being agreeable, yet resentful. In other words, I would ignore my feelings, and might give an angry look, or even sulk. As I’ve grown, I’ve learned better ways to express myself. Don’t be like me.
Your stress may never decrease if you don’t learn to share your feelings in a healthy way. Talk about what’s bothering you and if it’s fixable, make steps toward mending the situation.
5. Take a moment for YOU.
Now I know you are like, Keli… WHEN would you suggest I take this moment? My life is crazy busy and I have a million things to do.
I suggest being sneaky. If you are at home, announce to your family that you have to “go to the bathroom”, and allow someone else to look out for little ones if you have them… Put babies in cribs, send hubbies to the store, send older kiddos outside or to a friend’s house, turn phones off, wake up early, drive to a dead-end street… whatever it takes for you to just have a moment to BREATHE!!!
Which one do you think would work for you?
Let me know if the comment section or on my FB page Keli Gooch, Writer!
The above information is provided for informational and educational purposes ONLY, and should NOT be used to replace individual therapy or treatment by a mental health professional. While self-help information is useful, it is not a substitute for personal professional advice. If you are currently receiving treatment, please consult with your own therapist or doctor before utilizing these suggestions. If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal or needs help, contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.