Managing stress in a stressful world

Tiffany

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A Simple Exercise to Help You Stay Calm​

A practice that SEAL teams use in times of trouble is one you can borrow at your desk.

It's called box breathing or four-square breathing.

Here's how it works:

  1. Breathe in for four seconds.
  2. Hold air in your lungs for four seconds.
  3. Exhale for four seconds.
  4. Hold your breath, lungs emptied, for four seconds
I expected a little more from this article when it's titled "how Navy Seals beat stress". I thought I'd post this anyway because the main point of this article was about "box breathing". Maybe we all need a little nugget of information here and there on how to handle stress. Sure, I'll try box breathing. If the Seals can do it, I can.

How do you manage your stress? For me, it's my family, chocolate, exercise, my dogs, writing and chatting with my online peeps. If that doesn't work, I'll online window shop, play online games or really get seriously deep into a subject until I've learned all of it, resolved the challenge or finally get to the point of reaching an epiphany of resolve on whatever was stressing me out.

My stress level since the onset of the pandemic has morphed into a new level of stress because there seems to be so many changes in our world, that's it's changing faster then ever, and I'm not adapting as fast, if that makes sense?

So, box-breathing, sure, I'll give it a shot. I'm sure the Royal Air Force and Navy have a lot of tips too! What do you all do to manage your stress and stay sane?
 

Crims

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Stress management is a huge thing for me. I generally look at books, and the first one I'm reading is a book named the Hot Spice boss (I can't find the actual title anywhere), which is superficially about how to be a successful manager if the baseline is high pressure, and more in depth about modern work.

Alternatively, I've found my little spaces, environments which are built for sharing ideas and experimenting with fun concepts or are receptive to my strange ideas.

When I'm at a lower stress level I do a lot of self study & theory writing/fiction.
I'm not a huge gamer at the moment, and it's like juggling tbh.
 

Tiffany

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Stress management is a huge thing for me. I generally look at books, and the first one I'm reading is a book named the Hot Spice boss (I can't find the actual title anywhere), which is superficially about how to be a successful manager if the baseline is high pressure, and more in depth about modern work.

Alternatively, I've found my little spaces, environments which are built for sharing ideas and experimenting with fun concepts or are receptive to my strange ideas.

When I'm at a lower stress level I do a lot of self study & theory writing/fiction.
I'm not a huge gamer at the moment, and it's like juggling tbh.

You really have an excellent view of your personal stress threshold and how to handle it. I get the difference between writing to lower stress versus gaming, both polar opposites, but yet can serve a function to lower stress depending on where you are at.

I do tend to also gravitate to some areas more during stress then others. If I'm under a lot of stress I can get hyper-focused on a task and usually won't let it go until I've completed it. Not always a good practice, because I'll have high expectations and then get frustrated because I can't finish it, but then I try to work on that aspect too and remember that it's "not a race", just pace myself and I'll get there.

Writing is very helpful for stress for me, listening to heavy metal rock music on serious bad days works and always physical exercise works.
 

Tiffany

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It's no secret that the holidays bring on stress. Some of it is normal stress, some is self-imposed expectation stress, the other is stress when you've taken on too much.

Stress can do all sorts of harm and is my kryptonite. For me, I'm just reducing my expectations, living day by day and having the thankful heart for all the good in my life. If I can't get something done, I'll just keep chipping away at it until I can.
 

Arizona

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Listening to music also helps me. But even the news is better for me than nothing at all in the background :)
 
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Arantor

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The holiday silly season is... complicated for me personally.

So this year is a little different, I'm actually off from work the entire week before through to the day after New Year. This is... a rarity. I'm used to working all the 'normal office hours' which frequently means up to mid afternoon on Christmas Eve, treating the days between Christmas and New Year as basically regular days with NYE being maybe up to mid afternoon and then back to normal 2nd Jan.

I find this quite good - I don't have kids, so those who do can take the time to be with their kids, so there's fewer folk around which means I could still get my fix of socialising with people I liked without having to front all the energy normally required for full office interaction (because this is exhausting), and use the reduced interruption time to get things squared away, admin I'd been putting off, you know the sorts of things, there's always things.

I mostly keep myself to myself during the silly season as you can probably tell, but I inevitably have to interact with other people to do the food shopping. This... this is not so good. Like, JFC you people, I am a big enough target that you don't have to walk into me with your trolley. Maybe you need to take those headphones off and put down the call you're in the middle of so you can see me better.

When it's not silly season, I find the best way is to be doing something. It doesn't have to be much, it can be something as simple as playing a fairly mindless game like Vampire Survivors (with question marks about how mindless it *really* is, because it isn't), or writing some code or whatever. Keeping busy is good, keeps the mind distracted.
 

Retro

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Running this forum and taking part in discussions like I'm doing now is a good stress buster for me.

Setting up my own forum sat on the back burner for years, so it was a big achievement to finally get it done 18 months ago which I feel a great sense of pride about.

Finally, It's really great having online friends who choose to come on here and be part of our friendly community. Thankyou so much! 🙂
 

Tiffany

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@Arizona I hope you have the most stress free holiday with some music to make it better when you need it.

I so get the "interacting with people can be draining" @Arantor.....my problem with gatherings are people talk so much that the "listening" part gets draining to me, especially if I'm not interested. I'm unfortunately a good listener, and the only way to maintain sanity while a person is talking a lot, is to recall the topics in my head while they are talking and then when I get a chance to have the floor, I rattle off a response.

@Retro Thank you for NZ! It's nice to chill and chat with others in a comfortable setting!
 

Crims

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I'm also looking for the right outlet for creative ideas, like dialogue/poetry. On one hand, if I have an article, game or piece, I might meet new people (I use Meetup) or share with friends though to be honest unless I write for this website I'd probably not share them much.

I'm playing Phantasy Star Online at the moment too.
 
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