Deanna Pledge, Ph.D.

Bloom Where You're Planted!










Blooming Blog

Managing Stress

September 16, 2016

Tags: stress, relaxation, moving meditation, positive mood, expectations

Now that fall schedules are well under way, it’s time to reclaim a little control by taking a look at self-care and coping strategies. Just getting out on the road during rush hour can have a negative impact on your mood and elevate your stress levels, but what choice do you have? Most of us have to get to work or get children to school and after-school activities. The challenge is to discover ways that work for you to maintain a positive mental state. Finding simple ways to prevent a negative mood from taking over the rest of your day or your evening will improve your relationships and your quality of life.

I always suggest starting with the simplest approach because those are the types of coping skills that you are more likely to use. You don’t need to create more stress for yourself by setting yourself up for failure with unrealistic expectations. Change is hard – whether the change is something you want or something unexpected. The key is to have several different approaches because even though you’re trying to develop new habits, the same thing won’t work every day. Try the list below for starters and be sure to “practice.” That’s how you develop a new habit – slow and steady creates lasting change.

Shift your Mood by:
Listening to a favorite song.
Taking a walk and paying more attention to the wind on your face, the sounds you hear, and the smells in the air than the chatter in your own mind.
Make something.
Read or listen to a book.
Get up from your chair or desk and walk around.
Look at a favorite photo on your phone.

The key to these strategies is that you are interrupting your train of thought. With practice, you can shift your mood, simply by choosing to do so.