Stress is like having 10 tabs open in your mind but not knowing where the video is playing from. As a Freelance Writer, this is happens to me more often that you think.
There are days when I am worried about “Will I be able to reach the deadline?” or “Is this pitch perfect for my prospective client?” or “How much would I score in the coming examination?” and god knows what not.
I also have days when worries of ages ago or future far ahead strike me out of the blues. And the sad part is that I sometimes end up wasting an entire day just because of these thoughts.
It’s funny how our mind is constantly attracted towards negative thoughts.
While I was googling ways to relieve my unnecessary (Sometimes necessary) stress, I came across this technique called Stress Break.
After a lot of thoughts, I finally clicked the link and started reading the post. To my surprise, I read it till the very end.
The Idea struck me so hard that I started using this technique and it has been working wonders for me. The Technique is called
But Honestly, I prefer using the term Stress Break. So,
What is Stress Break?
Stress break is when you schedule a small part of your day for focusing on things you are stressed about and finding the solutions to those problems.
If I have a situation that is worth stressing about, I would think about it during my stress break, and jot down the solutions to those problems.
And here’s the best part, If the problems don’t have any solutions I have to stop controlling the issues and go with the flow.
Importance of Scheduling time to Stress
Breaks are good and stress breaks for an overthinker are amazing because this technique reduces the drainage of energy and creates space for other important activities in life.
There are several benefits of taking a stress break such as,
Increase in the productivity time
Taking these breaks helps to reduce stress time, makes you efficient and creates more space for other productive activities.
The process is solution-centered
Stressing is bad, but stressing smartly is good.
The main purpose of the technique is to avoid pointless brooding and take practical and effective steps to solve issues.
While you settle down for your stress break, keep a paper and pen with you. Instead of asking, “What am I gonna do? My life is so miserable” and scratching your head in agony, Jot down all your problems and create an actionable plan to solve them.
Some problems can be out of your hand. When such a situation arises, let go of it and focus on what can be changed.
Reduces harmful effects of Stress
Mind and body are intertwined. This means that stress can causes several harmful effects on our body such as raised heart rate, increased breathing rate, raised blood sugar level and other chronic health conditions such as:
- Heart Disease
- Anxiety or Depression
- Irregular Menstrual Cycle and so on.
How to Schedule Stress Break Effectively?
I don’t take Stress Breaks every single day but once in every 2 days because, well…. It won’t work for me if I practice it everyday.
I know that’s contrary to what I just said above (about being consistent) but I know myself well because if I start practicing this every single day, the technique would lose its momentum for me.
Same goes for you, If you know yourself well and don’t think that you should use Stress Breaks every day – Don’t force it.
Anyways, Here’s how I do it.
Set a Time and Place for Stressful Thoughts
When you take stress break at a particular time and place, you train your brain to associate that time and place to be linked with stress.
This means that eventually stressful thoughts would come to your mind only in the set time and place.
Choose timings that fall at evening or night time (say 6 pm) because as soon as clock strikes 6, your mind would be at brim with thoughts and Ideas. This makes focusing on the thoughts easier.
Avoid choosing cozy spots
Cozy spots such as your bed, couch, or anywhere comfortable will encourage you to stay in the place longer than you intend.
You may lose track of time, and end up wasting hours stressing without finding the solution to the problems.
Try evening or night time
Night or Evening times are the best for taking a Stress Breaks. As the day comes to an end, you’ll have enough on your plate to stress about.
If you choose morning times, there can be days when you don’t have anything to think about at all because normally tension builds up when you get started with your day.
Divert worries somewhere else until the Stress time arrives
Whenever you feel chased by a stressful situation, avoid winding up in the emotions. Rather practice mindfulness and try to divert your worries until the stress time arrives
Depending on how you have been handling stress until now, the experience may feel like grasping the straws in the initially but just stick with the plan.
Instead of listening to your heart focus on the brain.
Keep the process Solution-Oriented
The point of using stress break technique is to relieve stress. Dwelling on stressful thoughts isn’t enough, you have to find solutions to your problems.
Keep a paper with you during this session and jot down the problems that come across your mind. Figure out practical solution for those problems.
If there isn’t a solution to the problem, stop controlling the situation and let go of the problem.
You shouldn’t focus on what you cannot control, rather focus on what you can control.
Move on when Stress Break is Over
When you begin practicing this technique, moving on from stress will be the hardest part. As our mind loves negativity and we are drawn to it.
To avoid such a situation, don’t choose a comfortable and cozy place like your bed or couch. Rather, choose a chair where you will feel uncomfortable to stay too long.
Drawbacks of using Stress Break Technique
As any other technique out there, the stress break technique is not fail-proof. Individuals have to be very careful about the process as the process can backfire anytime.
The limitations of this technique includes –
Not being solution-oriented
Sometimes, we can get so attached to our problems that leaving them behind is like separating oneself from the glue.
Finding solutions to a problem can perhaps make them dwell more on their thoughts and emotions, Eventually spiraling them down into depression.
In some cases, the individual may not be able to create an actionable plan to work towards relieving their stress.
Yet another limitation of this technique is that not every has a growth mindset. Not everyone hold themselves accountable for their actions.
Here’s what I think…
If you are someone who is constantly intruded by stressful thoughts and emotions, you should definitely try this technique.
Practicing the Stress Break consistently will reduce your overthinking and lower your overall stress.
However, If the problem still persists, I would advice you to visit a mental health professional who can Identify your patterns and help you overcome this issue.
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