Stress is a major factor for those either currently going through an abusive situation, or who are trying to heal from one. It can manifest in all sorts of ways, from prolonged physical illness to inability to focus on work to trouble with personal relationships. Stress will hinder our development and spin us into a whirlwind of problems, often with a snowball effect. When someone is trying to sort through the abuse they have encountered, it is normal for the body to respond by releasing extra stress chemicals. What might have been easy to handle previously is unfortunately heightened, creating anxiety instead. Finding ways to cope with the stress you are experiencing is crucial in moving forward. Each person will find something different to work for them. Here are some ideas of what you can try if you are at a loss:
- You can take a look at some of the techniques we have outlined previously, or do a quick google search and see what you find. Here are some ideas.
- As surprising as it may sound, how you think about stress can determine whether you are hurt by it. This TED Talk explains, and also tells why helping others and reaching out can save your life.
- Keep a journal that you write in every time you feel yourself tensing up inside. This can be done for as long as you like. Keep writing until your thoughts and feelings have been fully described; you may be surprised what you find out about yourself. At the end, you should find yourself feeling a bit calmer than before.
- Being around water is known to soothe the spirit. Lock yourself in the bathroom with some scented candles and take a warm bath. Adding essential oils into the water, particularly lavender, ylang ylang, or chamomile oil, may be of added benefit. Or try taking a walk by the lake. Grab a book with you and a blanket, and spend an hour just reading near the water. Perhaps go for a swim at a local pool. Even something as basic as listening to rain can help.
- Are there certain sounds that you find relaxing? Maybe something from your childhood that gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling? A Soft Murmur is a great place to fine tune your own little background noise. Lay down on the bed, close your eyes, clear your mind, and simply BE for a moment. Another is the Sound Matrix where you can create sounds by clicking and unclicking the boxes. Find the right one that works for you and zone out.
- Exercise can be very helpful in managing stress as when we exercise our body releases endorphins that reduce our perception of pain as well as create a morphine-like response that can make whatever is bothering you at the time seem a lot less overwhelming. The exercise does not need to be anything extreme, simply do something to get your heart pumping for at least 15 minutes a day.
Stress is a major factor for anyone who has dealt with or is dealing with abuse. Check out these 11 ways to better cope with stress. you will be amazed by #2 #endingtheabuse #stress #stressfreehttps://t.co/qilSemnClE— EndingTheAbuse (@endingtheabuse1) July 13, 2018
- Watching a movie can help to tune out the world for a while and give your mind (and heart) a rest. While this can fall under the form of escaping, it is mostly harmless in the long run in moderation. Find another world to dive into for a couple of hours. Let yourself forget about what you are experiencing in the real world, just long enough to reboot.
- Speaking of rebooting our system, getting a full night’s sleep every evening can dramatically reduce our stress levels. It is also recommended to take power naps once a day. A quick 20 minute nap can keep the tension at bay and will also improve your overall health and energy.
- Find something creative that you can start on. Whether this is something you gave up doing years ago, or something new to learn, creating taps into a different part of our brains and can have a relaxing effect on our bodies. And plus, at the end, you have something cool to show for it. There is a reason that a large number of artists have had difficult lives; emotional troubles breed creativity. Give it a shot, you might surprise yourself.
- Darkness will usually make stress (and depression) worse. Get outside every day for at least a half hour. If you see that sun coming out, take a few quiet moments to sit and sunbathe. Or if you live in an area with little sun light, acquire a Light Box. Here is some information on purchasing one of these devices (often used for Seasonal Affective Disorder).
- Stay away from substances that can increase anxiety and have a bad effect on stress levels such as caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, and foods high in sugar. Be mindful of medications with stimulants as well. Anxiety levels and stress are often linked together. Usually keeping one low can help the other stay down as well.
This list is a good place to start for anyone feeling the effects of stress. Hopefully these ideas will get your mind going to come up with your own personal set of techniques that you can use when you feel yourself needing a bit of extra help managing the day. Combining various techniques can also be highly beneficial. However, if you are unable to find something that will work for you, please consider seeing a therapist as they are trained in ways to help with stress, particularly the stress that happens when someone has gone through an abuse situation.
When in the midst of an abusive situation, it may be difficult to think clearly and come up with a solution to remedy the abuse, while trying to implement it may feel almost impossible. However, given the right tools and the will power to create change, it most certainly is possible, even more so– it is probable. Many may feel overwhelmed and may not know where to start, but it is important to start somewhere.
Please continue to check in with us each week for a new post about abusive behavior and how it can affect your life and the lives of those around you. There is always that first action to helping someone you care about. Let this be it!
Author Bio - Anna Czarska is a writer and actor who has 15+ years of experience dealing with various situations of abuse. She has pursued business ventures and creative pursuits as well as spending time to study psychology in both formal and personal education. For more information, you may find her Linkedin profile here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kasiakraut/