Work It Out! Stress Busting Ideas

woman with headphones on her ears
(Joshua L. Leonard/DVIDS)

Stress can come from good or not-so-good news. Even great news can create it. A new baby? A new house? A long-awaited PCS to where you always wanted to go?

For many people, natural reactions can include freaking out, eating, drinking, anger or other non-productive behaviors but handling stress that way can lead to more problems in the long term.

I stress over the good, the bad and the ‘doesn’t even exist yet.' I blame my inner control freak. At some point, I realized that I had to find ways to sort through my thoughts. A work out session for my mind that distracts or allows for letting good (or bad news) sink in.

Music is huge for me. I basically meditate with my iPod since it’s impossible for me to be still and clear my head. It relaxes me like a warm blanket when I’m feeling anxious. When life and news are good, music gives me something to bounce to while I do the grateful dance.

Silence. I can’t silence my entire house or its inhabitants, but I can silence myself for a few hours. It helps to focus on my mind and not my mouth.

Organizing and purging. Clearing the clutter clears my head, gives me a sense of control and burns calories. I’ve been doing a ton of this lately. It’s exhausting physically, but mentally relaxing.

Cleaning like a housekeeper. Even the dog avoids me when I have a broom in hand, a spray bottle in the other and eyes narrowed while looking at the corners and countertops. I do not clean like this over good news. Strictly frustration or anger fuels this type of elbow grease, but it really works.

I’ve found that these activities are better than chewing my nails to nubs, or endless ranting.

What do you do to process the positive and negative stressors of life?

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