How To Cope With Extreme Stress — Without Turning To Bad Habits

When you feel like reaching for the wine bottle, there's an alternative with more benefits.

How To Cope With Extreme Stress Getty

Have you had those days when you leave work and all you want to do is reach for a glass of wine... Or the whole bottle?

It feels like the world is against you and everything you tried didn’t work. The day started off not so good and turned into ever so bad.

We all want to know how to cope with stress — without needing the bottle of wine, along with the calories and hangover that comes with it.

RELATED: The Scary Truth About What Happens To Your Body When You're Stressed


"Is it breathing exercises?" you ask.

No, it’s not just breathing.

"Is it dancing? That’s supposed to help you let off steam."

No, it’s not just dancing.

"Is it meditation? I know that’s supposed to be great for stress, but I just can’t relax enough to try it."

No, It’s not just meditation.

Actually, it's all three!

Meditation used to be so difficult for me.

I was worked up after a long day. Taking a few breaths would help me settle down, but no matter how much I would bat away the thoughts that would pop into my head, I could never shut off completely.

I couldn’t get that instant release.


Going to the gym and doing an exercise class worked quite well. I would certainly let off steam, but the instructor would keep stopping at inappropriate times or make the workout too basic for me — I never felt like it was quite enough.

The minute I stopped, the stressful feeling in my chest would rush back in.

So, I started combining meditation with dancing.

It started by me blasting up my music and just dancing around my bedroom freely since no one could see me. Then, I added a dimension to it by not only dancing but also visualizing.

I would focus on images of my perfect work-life balance, of my wonderful healthy family, of my great physique, of my version of my best self, and even of my bank balance.


I would also focus on all the things that had stressed me out that day and see myself stamping on them and rising above them so they couldn’t touch me anymore.

Before I knew it, I had been going for ages, working up a sweat and feeling so incredibly empowered.

Everything that had been stressing me out that day simply fell away and seemed insignificant.

Everything I wanted to manifest into my reality seemed so much more possible and within my reach.

So, how does it work?

When we dance, we raise our vibration. Our energy lightens as we simultaneously release stress hormones (like cortisol) and produce "happy" hormones (like endorphins).

It's this same high energy frequency that we need to tap into when we want to manifest something into our lives.


RELATED: How To Deal With Stress & Turn It Into Your Own Superpower

One study looking at the effects of dancing on mood confirmed that dancing reduces tension, depression, and aggression while increasing energy levels at the same time.

Meditation is considered an applied positive psychology practice, which promotes positive health in more than just medical terms. It relieves stress and increases focus, empathy, intuition, and happiness.

When we combine both meditation and dance and add in layers such as visualization and gratitude, which enhance motivation and positive emotion significantly, then it creates the same feeling as being in a cocktail bar during happy hour.


I’m a very busy working mother of three with my own business.

This practice allowed me not only to multi-task meditating, exercising, relieving tress, avoiding alcohol, and binge eating, but it also helped me focus on my vision, goals, passion, purpose, and to express gratitude, with all the benefits that has, in itself.

My vision board was right there, in front of my mind, while I was dancing and sure enough, I started manifesting my desires into my life so much faster.

When I first started, I had three scientific papers that I had just submitted for publication — the process usually takes months for publication.

I was also desperate to move out of my rental into a new home and my staff was always bickering so I had no peace at work, either.


I was going through a divorce where I felt like I had no control over when it would finish. And, I also had health and family issues going on.

You get the picture — a lot of stress beyond just daily hassles and a sense of powerlessness.

Within a few short months, all of this resolved itself.


My staff was happier and more engaged and getting on, my papers were all accepted into reputable journals, my divorce came through without a hitch, and I found my dream house and the sale went through in no time at all.

My health, relationships, and productivity all improved.

Let’s face it, when else do we have time to spend a whole hour just visualizing and expressing gratitude and still finding the time to meditate, exercise, work, feed our families, and all the other things we try to cram into our days?

Combining it all worked for me and still does today!

I love it so much, that now I offer free classes online where we can all dance and meditate together to raise a collective vibration through the roof!


Do I still get days when I feel like reaching for the bottle of wine? Of course, I do!

But, now, I have a much better remedy that doesn’t increase my waistline or leave me with a hangover.

RELATED: 11 Ways To Reduce Stress & Anxiety Using Holistic Healing

Dr. Rana Al-Falaki specializes in helping busy professional women create balance and fun in their lives while being practical. She offers free meditate with dance classes that you can join from the comfort of your own home.