Stress Busters in Challenging Times

When things seem completely overwhelming, we often feel powerless, fearful, and stuck. Yet research shows that 20 percent of stress is what happens to us; 80 percent is how we deal with it. So how can we go about transforming stress?

Through mindfulness practices, which include yoga and meditation, we can step back and examine the bigger picture, and then come up with action plans to help us deal with our stress in skillful ways.

Here are five steps to help you work with stress:

Express what’s going on. Expressing what you’re feeling releases tension. Find creative outlets, such as writing or drawing, to move that stressful energy.

Be in the present. Worrying about the future causes stress. Notice what’s going on right now, at this very moment, not what your mind is telling you.

Make a list. Examine your specific stressors and write them down. Look at them through new perspectives once you’re done listing them.

Notice. Pause, breathe, and notice your thoughts and sensations. Allow your feelings to be present.

Let go of self-judgment. Feel what you feel with self-compassion and lack of judgment.