Anxiety can come out of nowhere and completely overwhelm you! Sometimes, you can acknowledge that your feelings are ridiculous but that doesn’t make the nerves go away. It can cover you in layers of self-doubt and self-loathing, impossible to wash off in the tub. Or, anxiety can be like a parrot on your shoulder, quietly whispering all your short-comings and dark secrets into your ear. When it gets too hard to continue, how do you snap out of your funk?
“Just relax!” my friends will tell me. They mean well, and all I want to do is relax and leave my troubles behind. Unfortunately, relaxing is not as easy as it sounds. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I know that this is the most common and most annoying answer. However, as annoying as it can be to hear this, relaxing is the correct answer. It just takes careful planning and a few easy steps. Here are the tricks I use to reduce my stress level!
1. Distract yourself.
When the world just seems to be closing in on you and there is nothing you can do to fix it, stop focusing on problems you cannot solve! Just block those negative thoughts out of your mind, even if just for an hour. The easiest way to do this is by distracting yourself with a hobby.
If you love to read, read! If you love to collect stamps, collect! If you can’t think of a hobby off the top of your head, I suggest landscaping! I love standing out in the sun planning how to arrange my yard. You can take your drab, typical lawn and turn it into a personal oasis. Throw in some garden gnomes to keep from feeling lonely, a gorgeous water fountain to create soothing sounds, and some garden lights to keep the ambiance calm and ethereal. In no time at all, not only will you have forgotten your problems, but you will have also created a place to escape to when things get too stressful.
Any hobby will do, just pick one that can keep your mind busy!
2. Take some time for yourself.
When I become anxious, the last thing I want to do is stop worrying and take a moment. However, taking even fifteen minutes out of your day to sit calmly and meditate can work wonders on your mental health! If you are having trouble getting in the mood for meditation you can do a few things to make it easier.
Try lighting some aromatherapy candles! There are many different scents on the market today that are designed specifically to calm your nerves. You can try popping in a relaxation CD or a natural sound machine to help clear your mind. These sounds will create a calming ambiance perfect for soothing your addled mind.
Do whatever you need to and take some time to breathe. You deserve it.
3. Get a good night’s sleep.
When I become more anxious, I sleep less. I become more irritable with each passing day, and get less sleep each night. It is a vicious cycle. If you suffer from anxiety, you struggle with this as well. End the cycle now! Make sure you get a full eight hours of sleep each night, especially when you are feeling anxious. Take steps to keep your stress at bay and make your bed a serene environment.
Try out using eye masks, both aromatherapy and otherwise. By darkening your surroundings, your body will find it more natural to fall asleep. Find a pillow to help make your space more comfortable. Buy something like a side sleeper to help you keep your body aligned in the most comfortable way. You can even try using a sleep sound machine! Generate soothing sounds to tune out any anxious thoughts that might be plaguing you.
Sleep helps you heal. Allow yourself to get the sleep you need to stop your anxious feelings.
Anxiety can be difficult to deal with. Stress follows you around all day. Take steps to fight your anxiety! When you have control over something, it can be easier to let other things go. Be strong. Take care of yourself. You are worth it.
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