Look at your stress cup
Many of you may have heard the teachings about stress being represented by a glass of water.
In the first scenario, you hold up a glass of water. At first, the glass is comfortable to hold, but over time the glass increases in weight. It is not the weight that is the problem; it’s how long you hold the glass.
In the second scenario, you fill a glass with water. Gradually, you add stones to represent stress in your life. It is not long before the water runs over.
We all have a stress cup, and whether it is filled to the brim or partially filled, we can only hold onto the glass for so long, and we can only add so much before it overflows. When this happens, you will see signs of stress which include:
- acting out of character
- being irritable
- becoming short-tempered
- feeling hopeless or depressed
- having trouble sleeping
- begin susceptible to illness
- appetite changes or digestive issues
- questioning your faith
- memory loss
- aches and pains
- low energy
- rapid heart rate
So, what can you do? Keeping in line with the glass scenario, you need to reduce the stress being added to your cup and the duration you are holding onto it. One of the best ways to do this is to become active. Physical activity reduces stress levels and releases endorphins, which make you feel good.
Another good fix is to find your calm. Some people find this through meditation, which has shown to relax the mind and body. Other people find walking in nature is a great way to release tension and connect with life. Similarly, gardening can help. The act of gardening can be quite therapeutic in taking the mind off the stresses of your daily life.
Socialising with positive people may also be beneficial. If you are one of those people who feel energised after speaking with people, you should make time for this activity. Socialising has been known to boost your feelings of well-being, improve your mood, and increase your mental health.
Are you a creative person? Splash some paint on a canvas, compose music, write a story. Being creative gives you an outlet to express yourself, allows you to zone out from the world, and gives you a sense of accomplishment and pride.
Spirituality has been shown to support good mental health and wellbeing. Spiritual health is about having a purpose in life, for example, volunteering, mentoring, or expressing gratitude. It also includes your values and beliefs. What adds meaning to your life? What or who do you feel connected to?
My last recommendation is to look at your childhood. What made you happy? Dancing, singing, being on a team, completing jigsaws, colouring, drawing, baking, or talking with friends, the list is endless. Reward your inner child and doing something fun. Don’t forget, it doesn’t matter if you are good at it or not, do what makes you happy!
Find a solution that works for you or speak to someone who can assist you. Don’t let your cup run over. Contact the office if you would like a PDF of online support for mental health.
The Money Edge | Bundaberg