We all have trouble sometimes. Whether it’s drowning in work or struggling to get through the day, there are plenty of things that get us stressed.
Stress is a very natural part of life. The real question is: how do you react to it?
For me (and I believe for most people), my immediate reaction is to want to slam my head into a wall. Of course, that’s not a very efficient response.
A better idea? Drink a glass of water.
It sounds so simple. Almost too simple. Obviously, you should drink water. If you don’t drink enough water, you’ll get dehydrated and most likely pass out. Let’s avoid that.
But when we’re stressed, “drink a glass of water” is not usually our first thought. We’re often so caught up in our thoughts and in our heads that we don’t pay attention to a simple something that can make life easier.
Water is essential to our bodies and well-being. We drink water because it keeps us functioning. It allows us to think, breathe, and live. When we look for life in places, we gauge it by whether or not liquid water is present.
Because of all this, its obvious water is probably one of the most coveted substances in the universe.
You have it in you, around you, and hopefully available to you.
Water has many health benefits. It can keep your skin healthy, regulate calorie intake, and helps with muscle building. We drink it when we exercise to keep energized. Even so, I don’t think people give it enough credit.
I never did. To me, water was just something to accompany a meal, not something to drink for enjoyment. But, in reality, drinking a solid amount of water a day can improve your health.
But how does all that relate to stress?
In reality, stress and dehydration are highly connected. According to experts, when you’re dehydrated, your levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, go up. On the opposite hand, when you’re stressed, your heart rate shoots up and you face other bodily symptoms that can make you dehydrated. Either way, it’s clear that the two go hand in hand.
Maybe it’s hard to want to eat or drink anything when you’re anxious, but it’s a good idea to push through those feelings by starting with a glass of water. Even if your problems don’t go away, at least taking a sip can make you feel more refreshed and clear your head.
Plus, it’s been shown that drinking more water can help combat depression and sleep disorders. It may not be a cure-all, but trying to add more water to your daily diet may improve your mood.
A lot of the time, that’s exactly what you need. When things become too stressful, it’s hard to take a step back and actually think about the problem without falling into a never-ending pit of anxiety. If your first thought is to grab some water, it gives you a moment to think things through and realize that not everything is terrible.
When it comes to self-care, we all have trouble taking that first step. That’s something else that’s great about this plan. This isn’t anything long-term. It isn’t anything too complicated. All you have to do is get some water.
If you’re still having problems that you don’t think you can solve, the next step is to do some research into other ways to approach whatever it is that’s causing your stress. Whether that means going to a therapist or simply talking things out with a friend, water is the first step to figuring out your plan of action.
So, next time you’re stressed, try not to panic. It can be really hard. You may want to just sink down into your thoughts and never come out. I’ve felt that way before, too. It’s easy to get lost in the doom-and-gloom of things, especially if you’re alone and don’t really have anything else there to distract you.
Instead, get up, go to the sink, and turn on the tap. Maybe add some ice. Or don’t if that’s not your jam. Fill up a glass and sit down with it. Take a moment and drink it. You got this. You’re strong and can get through this just as you’ve gotten through things before. Seriously, you can do it.
Water is the first step.
Also published on Medium.