Katarina Gaborova

Psychologist In The Hague

Stress and how to deal with it.

Almost everyone knows that stress is “bad” for us. Although, biologically speaking it has a very important function to prepare us to perform, to stimulate, or even motivate us. No matter how much we try to fight it, it is way too often a general part of our every day life. We just may not be aware of it.

Did you for example know… that we may feel stressed even though we are involved in activities that are perceived to be “positive” ? Such as partying, our own wedding, having a new and exciting addition to our family etc. It is because stress is characterised as a mental or emotional state, related to strain and tension due to novel or highly demanding circumstances.

Here is the good news though, the recent research shows that stress as such is not as damaging as it once was thought to be. It’s mostly our own thoughts and believing that stress can eventually “kill us”.

So, next time when you feel the pressure, you may benefit from evaluating your thoughts. See the reasons behind your actions. Observe the fascinating way your body prepares you for your next big challenge. Note that whatever your body is doing, it is amazingly helping you to cope. And in case, that it gets too uncomfortable, there are many ways how you can support yourself. Just as an inspiration, I will list a few suggestions how to become a better friend of the stressful part of yourself:

1.) First of all, coming from the holistic point of view –we can not possibly function mentally if we are not taking the best possible care of our body physically. So, as a start you may want to eat healthy and nutritious meals. Here is an idea how to battle some of that stress with food.
2.) Drink enough water (to be on a safe side try to drink approximately 2 liters per day).
3.) Exercise regularly (minimum 3 times per week, for at least 30 minutes each time. I would suggest an aerobic exercises in order to increase your heart rate). It is also a great way to release some endorphines or so called “happy hormones). So you will end up being fit, happy and stress free. How great is that?
4.) Sit down, define and mark down stressors in your life and try to either alter them or avoid them.
5.) Schedule some fun activities and if you can, do it with people whom you love spending your valuable time with. You may end up laughing a lot. Laughing therapy is a great energiser, pain reliever and yes it does remove some stress levels.
6.) To increase a physical relaxation, get a full body massage at least once a month.
7.) It has also been repeatedly shown how important it is to be aware of positive psychology .The main focus is on positive emotions, thoughts, and our strengths instead of our weaknesses. One way how you can train your mind is to focus on what you already have. Be thankful for that (practice appreciation). Instead of searching and telling yourself what is wrong with you or what you are still missing.
8.) Accepting certain things may also release some accumulated pressure rather than feeling like not having a control. Of course you may want to use this as a last resort after you have tried to change them. This may also include letting go of anger and practicing some forgiveness. And for that we have meditation or mindfulness techniques.

Try it and please feel free to let us know if the above suggestions helped you to change something.