We all have some stress or tension in our lives, but sometimes it seems it takes over everything. Or a situation arises that throws off our equilibrium, engulfing us in tension whether personal or professional. How do we work through it and find our balance again?

  • Get moving. This doesn’t mean to run away from your problem. Instead, once you get moving, you interrupt the emotions that stress creates. You stop the flow of the stress hormone cortisol and begin to replace it with endorphins, making you feel less pain and more relaxed. So, whether it’s a 15-minute walk, a daily yoga routine or a regular kickboxing class, exercising regularly helps reduce tension. Too many of us throw exercise out the window when we feel stressed (“I don’t have time!”) but making that time will help you stabilize.
  • Take some quiet time. This can take various forms, whether it’s sitting quietly for five minutes in silence or using a guided meditation app (try Headspace or Insight Timer). You might try writing out your frustrations on a piece of paper, and then writing down everything you feel grateful for. Sit or lie down and take some slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Tension fills our minds with so much noise, we need to take time to find quiet, so we can create a little peace.
  • Let yourself be vulnerable. We so often feel we need to be strong that we refuse to admit our fears or frustrations. Yet doing so can develop trust, especially in a group situation. It can also lead to others letting their guard down, which is often the beginning of resolution. Sharing your emotions creates understanding and support — and so often conflict comes from misunderstandings.
  • Listen and acknowledge. Tension and conflict tend to mean waiting for the other person to stop talking so we can then make our own point (often to say how that person is wrong). Simply taking the time to listen even when we don’t agree makes the other person feel validated, and it leads them to do the same for you. Then take a minute later to thank that person for having a conversation rather than a “he-said, she-said” kind of argument.

We’ll always have some form of tension in our lives, but the way we deal with it can make it seem less extreme. For advice, talk with the experts at Medical Professionals.

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