Little things could irritate us when we’re not in a good mood. And before we know it, these little things have piled up into a heavy burden we carry around all day.
When this happens almost every day, we might start to experience what is called chronic stress. Because you don’t get to relax from the strains that you feel daily, your mind is always stimulated. Although you might not feel it immediately, after some time, you would feel it manifesting not only to your mental wellness but also to your physical health. Symptoms include insomnia, headache, and stomach problems.
It helps to practice a few things to ease your mind during your daily hustles. You can’t avoid stimulants that could irritate you, but you can cushion their effects. If you feel good at the start of the day and you do little things to prolong or refresh that feeling, then your tolerance for stressors could be improved.
Listen to music.
Make it a part of your day. Create a playlist of songs that improve your mood. Play it while you’re getting ready for work, crank up your car audio to drown out the angry sounds of rush hour, or put on your headphones when commuting. It will take your mind off other people who might otherwise be annoying you. You’ll be surprised you didn’t even notice the rude person who bumped past you on the sidewalk. You could even smile at the grumpy person handing out train tickets.
Look good, feel good.
Psyche yourself before going out. And the easiest way to condition your mind is by working on your physical appearance. Looking good will help give you the confidence to face people. When people say fake it until you make it, it includes your appearance. If you’re apprehensive about a meeting or a presentation, dress like you’re already a winner. Look like you’re confident in what you’re saying. If you look like it, people will be convinced that you know what you’re talking about.
Eat on time and eat nutritious food.
Hunger could make a person irritable. A term had been coined for that feeling of your temper just below the boiling point whenever you missed a meal, ‘hangry.’ The scientific explanation for that is your brain needs fuel to regulate emotions, and anger is the most difficult emotion to control. So without the fuel, you have a harder time suppressing your anger.
People usually resort to eating a candy bar to immediately appease their hunger. Although it is a good emergency solution, you should not be dependent on this sugar rush. Instead, eat well-balanced meals on time so that your body gets the energy it needs throughout the day.
Take occasional breaks.
Take a breather every hour or so. Napping is recommended maybe once throughout the day, but if you can’t do it at your workplace, then use your break time to get rid of the accumulated stress. To energize your body, instead of sitting in the break room or at the pantry, take a brisk walk around your office.
Nothing beats meditation.
Not many people know how to do deep meditation. After all, we are so used to having so many thoughts running around our heads every second. But the level of meditation you need is just to briefly cleanse your mind of worries that have been chasing you throughout the day. It’s easy to do, but you need to make time for it.
Find a comfortable spot in your home, preferably free of noise and distractions. The best time to do this would be early in the morning when no one else is up yet, or late at night when most of the bustle of the day would have toned down. Once you’re comfortable, you focus on your breathing, taking deep breaths. Do this until you feel your shoulders relax, and the rest of your limbs have let go of tension you hadn’t even noticed throughout the day.
Wind up your day with tea. It doesn’t matter if you insist you’re a coffee person. This is not about the caffeinated teas. Instead, to calm you down at the end of the day, have a warm cup of chamomile or passionflower, or lavender tea. These floral teas are known to help ease stress.
These little things are not hard to do. But they do need your conscious effort. If you allow negative feelings to get the better of you, it might be hard to bounce back once it overwhelms you. It’s better still if you arrest your negative reaction before it blows out of proportion.