Do you feel stuck–like you’ll never be able to break free from the overwhelming pressures of military life? Is your stress escalating–like it gets more intense daily, and you don’t know how to slow it down? Do you want to know how to feel less stressed out, but you’re starting to wonder if it’s even possible?
Whatever you’re feeling right now, I want you to pause and take a deep breath. You’re in the right place. I’m going to share how to reduce your stress quickly with a few simple yet highly effective tips that work wonders.
As a military wife, I know that military spouse stress is real. Not only do we have everyday life stressors, but there are added things to worry about, like deployments and moving and safety–the list goes on.
But no matter what you’re feeling right now, it is possible to reduce your stress levels and find a sense of calm. So, let’s dive into how to feel less stressed and anxious.
How to Set Yourself Up for Success in Reducing Stress
Before I get into the practical steps for how to feel less stressed out, it’s essential to set clear expectations of stress relief. The goal isn’t to rid our lives of all stress entirely, forever. First of all, I’m not sure that’s even possible. Secondly, a certain amount of stress can be welcome and even productive in our lives.
It’s when the stress becomes excessive, heavy, and taxing that it becomes an issue. The effects of long-term stress are serious. It can lead to depression, muscle tension and pain, digestive problems, anxiety, weight gain, sleep issues, heart attack, and memory loss.
But if we approach our stress with an all-or-nothing mindset, it can feel impossible to overcome. So, rather than focusing on getting rid of stress entirely, I want you to focus on feeling 10% less stressed than you do right now.
If you’re at 80%, the goal is to get to 70%. And once you’re at 70%, you’ll start to feel some relief. And that relief will boost your efforts and motivate you to tackle the next 10%. By decreasing your stress incrementally in a measurable, manageable, and reasonable way, you’ll experience much more success in feeling less stressed.
4 Tips for How to Feel Less Stressed Quickly
Now let’s get into the details of how to feel 10% less stressed quickly–because it’s possible. It just requires you to stop doing three things that are currently making your stress feel heavier and more miserable.
1. Stop Judging Your Stress
When I’m stressed, my lower brain tends to offer this thought: “You don’t get to be stressed about this because you chose this thing.” If I’m feeling stressed about my kids, my brain reminds me I chose to have kids. Or if I’m feeling stressed about my business, my brain reminds me I chose to start a business. Which is true–I do choose things that sometimes lead to feeling stressed, but judging your stress doesn’t make it any better. It only makes you feel worse about yourself and, likely, more stressed.
So, if you want to start reducing your stress right now, stop judging yourself for feeling stressed. You’re allowed to feel stressed, no matter the reason.
2. Stop Resisting Your Stress
Another thing we often do when we feel stressed is try to resist it. We say everything is fine. We try to ignore our stress, hoping it will magically go away. And we pretend it isn’t there and try to carry on as usual.
But the truth is that you are stressed. And an essential step in reducing stress is first accepting it. Interestingly enough, resisting stress makes it feel even heavier. Accepting it begins to lighten the load.
3. Stop Thinking Your Stress is Coming from an External Source
This is the last thing you need to stop doing if you want to learn how to feel less stressed. And it can be one of the more difficult things to grasp. Because sometimes it feels like external sources are causing your stress. Your kids aren’t listening to you. Your husband is preparing for a deployment. The house is a disaster. And you feel stressed.
But the truth is that you feel stressed because you’re thinking stressful thoughts about those things. You are making yourself stressed.
And while this might sound like a disempowering realization at first, it’s actually super empowering. Because your stressful thoughts are causing stress, you can stop feeling stressed by changing your thoughts. You are in control. You aren’t trapped, stuck, or overpowered by an external thing you can’t control.
4. Start Taking De-Stressing Actions
Once you stop judging your stress, stop resisting your stress, and stop blaming outside factors for your stress, you’ll instantly start to feel at least 10% less stressed. And once you manage your mind and adjust your thoughts, you can begin to start taking de-stressing actions.
The first step in how to feel less stressed out is always to accept and adjust your thoughts. Once you do that, your de-stressing actions will be much more enjoyable and effective.
What things are effective at decreasing stress? Getting outside, meditating, drinking water, venting to a friend–it’s different for everybody. You’re the expert on knowing what actions help you feel less stressed. Empower yourself, look for evidence of what’s worked in the past, and regularly incorporate those things into your life.
You Can Overcome Military Spouse Stress Today
You have everything you need to feel 10% less stressed today–right now! Stop judging your stress, accept it, and begin to manage your mind by choosing less stressful thoughts and actions. When you do, you’ll instantly feel some relief, which will help you continue to make adjustments to stress less.
I know how overwhelming military spouse stress can be at times. Some days, it feels impossible to overcome.
Interested in diving into more content on this topic? Listen to Summer How-to Series: How to Feel Less Stressed.