When it comes to stress, say experts at the Cleveland Clinic, it’s the little things that matter.
A little mishap, such as misplaced keys, can trigger an emotional, physical and even cellular reaction with the sudden rise of stress hormones.
The good thing, say the experts, is that even small steps can be highly effective in soothing or altogether avoiding the stress response.
Below is a list of the 10 moments during the day when stress is most likely to erupt with recommended solutions to these anxious times.
- POOR COMMUNICATION WITH PARTNER OR SPOUSE. Try active listening. After your partner says something to you, repeat it and include a feeling word.
- FOCUSING ON YOUR WORK. If you’re struggling to be productive at work, stop looking at Facebook and instead look at flowers or a plant, these spark innovation.
- DIFFICULT COWORKERS. Everyone’s got an annoying colleague. But we all know we can’t change another person’s behavior, only our own. The solution is to be able to notice your internal experience and just be a witness to your emotions, instead of being caught up in them. Mindfulness meditation can give you that power.
- MAKING TIME TO EXERCISE. To be sure you give yourself the time to exercise, plan ahead and set a regular time each day. Commit but don’t fret over what you missed.
- STUCK IN TRAFFIC/RUNNING LATE. Try singing, breathing or playing relaxing music.
- ANXIETY ABOUT MONEY. Instead of repeatedly worrying about your money issue of the day, set aside a time each day, week or month when you will look objectively at your financial situation and plan strategies for handling them.
- DECIDING WHAT TO MAKE FOR DINNER. For many women, thinking about making dinner is the most stressful part of the day. To avoid having nothing in the house to eat, schedule grocery shopping like any other task and carry simple recipes to the grocery store.
- LEAVING THE HOUSE ON TIME WITH EVERYTHING YOU NEED. To make sure you leave your house on time with everything you need, make a list of everything you’ll need to take the night before.
- NO TIME FOR YOURSELF. According to psychologists at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Behavioral Health, “Whatever absorbs your attention and regenerates you deserves a regular portion of your time. It’s what keeps us happy and whole.” So take that time for yourself.
- SUFFERING THROUGH SLEEPLESS NIGHTS. If your mind is racing when you get in bed, it will become more stimulated as time goes by. Prepare for sleep. Do something calming. Listen to soft music, a meditation tape, or do light stretching and breathing.