We all admit we experience stress to a certain degree. It has become increasingly common for us to have discussions about the ways to manage stress. It is no longer a conversation reserved for family and friends but takes place in a variety of medical settings as well. New patient paperwork for medical appointments now asks the question, “what do you do to manage stress?” Each of us will answer this question differently, but hopefully, the suggestions listed below can generate new ideas for your individualized stress management.
Exercise is a tried and true way to manage stress. Taking a jog, going for a walk, and engaging in a yoga practice have all been touted as ways to relieve stress and tension. As our minds get stressed, we tend to tighten our bodies without even realizing it. Tightening the jaw, clinching the core, and contracting the back and shoulder muscles are all quite common during times of stress. This illustrates how our bodies carry stress in different places. This physical representation makes exercise one of the number one ways to manage stress.
Stress and worry bring a person down, but exercise helps make us happier! This is a true statement, but why? An article from Healthline describes how physical activity improves oxygen consumption and blood flow. Most notably, exercise increases the production of endorphins, which are feel-good neurotransmitters that make a person feel elated and exhilarated.
Managing stress should always be tailored to fit your individual needs; it will not look the same for everyone.Mrs. B.
Engaging in artistic activities runs a close second when it comes to managing stress. Drawing, coloring, writing, and many other forms of artistic creativity can alleviate stress from our minds and bodies. A 2020 article from Verywell Mind discusses How to Relieve Stress with Art Therapy. It mentions many traditional artistic suggestions but focuses quite a bit on journaling as a form of therapy and a form of self-care.
Mediation is viewed by many as one of the top ways to manage stress. Once you learn the best meditation practice that meets your individual needs it can be done almost anywhere. An article from Verywell Mind shares an overview of meditation practice and lists several ways it helps a person manage stress. The article even mentions how the ongoing practice of meditation can recreate your body’s stress response over time. Once you have altered your stress response the likelihood of slipping into overload lessens.
Playtime isn’t just for children. Activities that can be categorized as “play” have benefits for adults as well. This article, Why Adults Need Playtime too, shows a myriad of reasons why playing isn’t just for kids. Engaging in playtime with your pets or children gives your brain a break and allows you to focus on something enjoyable. Being part of a weekly card game, going to shoot billiards, or joining a community softball game are all outlets for positive interaction. Getting to an uplifting place mentally and emotionally aids us in becoming more resilient to stress.
My Favorite Stress Management
I have admittedly tried all the aforementioned ways to manage stress at one time or another, but my favorite ways are coloring, drawing, and focusing on things that are spiritually uplifting. What is extremely unique about my favorite ways to manage stress, is that I can do all three of these things simultaneously through Bible Journaling. For those of you who may not be familiar with Bible journaling, you can read more about it here.
In the fall of 2019, I received an Inspire Praise Bible Journaling Bible for my birthday. It was a wonderful present from my artistically talented mother. I am sharing some of my favorite ones below and hope it inspires each of you in some way.