Woman sitting at her computer feeling stress and anxiety and wondering "What is high-functioning anxiety?"

Turn Down Your Stress Level

By: Kristina Murr

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I’ll admit, I’m stressed!! I have a Type A, very driven, perfectionistic personality. Although I strive to be what Brene Brown calls a “good-enoughist” rather than a perfectionist, I have not mastered this yet. Recently, I’ve been more stressed than usual. My husband has been traveling with work, my son recently finished playing for two baseball teams (one travel team), we have spent several weekends meeting up with out-of-town family members, and we have been looking at new houses while considering selling our current home. With so much happening at once, I tend to feel overwhelmed and not as centered as I would like to feel. If you can relate, here are a few tips I’ve used to decrease stress when life, stress, and emotions have brought me off balance.

  • Stay in the moment. As a therapist, I try to help my clients remain in the moment or be “mindful” of the present moment. This means being fully present at the moment instead of constantly thinking about all of your current stressors, especially the ones you cannot control. I encourage you to experiment with this for one day and see what comes up for you! Practice kindness towards yourself, particularly when you encounter challenges in staying present. If you are trying to practice mindfulness but feel that you can’t stop thinking about something else, gently remind yourself that you have permitted yourself to stay in the moment today. Then, bring yourself back to the present. If you find this hard to do, you may want to talk to a professional to dig deeper into what is keeping you from being able to remain in the present.
  • Schedule a time to worry, stress, and resolve problems. Yes, I said schedule a time to worry! Although this sounds silly, it can be extremely beneficial. Intentionally setting aside 15-20 minutes a day to worry can help you contain the worry and give you time to sit down with your stressors and problem-solve. Should stressful thoughts arise beyond the period you allocated for your worry time, reassure yourself that you can address those concerns during your next scheduled worry session.
  • Practice self-care. Self-care is essential, especially when stressed. Spending time implementing self-care can help prevent you from exhaustion. Engaging in activities like exercise, stretching, going for a walk in the sunshine, and spending time with people you care about can contribute to effective self-care. Nevertheless, self-care is not limited to specific activities. Good self-care can be setting firm boundaries with others, speaking up for yourself when needed, or making sure to get enough rest.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and need to turn down your stress level, try these tips. If you feel like you need additional support and are looking to talk to someone to explore more ways to decrease stress in your life, contact us today.

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