How Anxiety Can Inspire You to De-stress!
Anxiety can inspire you. How? Life can be so overwhelming that anxiety can inspire you to de-stress and want to rid it from your life. Anxiety, stress, and depression don’t magically disappear. Before I continue let me say that controlling stress and anxiety is still a learning process for me. And will likely stay this way for the rest of my life. But with love, patience and putting in the necessary work to get through those times it is possible. And yes I said "work" because it's a constant battle not to let them win.
This year has been a roller coaster ride for me, and I am currently on one this week with planning the funeral of someone near and dear to me, you can read about this in my previous blog post titled My Attempt To Deal With Grief. Because of this and other things I truly believe that anxiety can inspire you to de-stress. I am on a mission to not allow hurdles to slow down my progress to positivity and finding happiness. Am I in pain? Yes! Do I want to scream, yell and be mad at the world often? Absolutely! If I do these things constantly the person who will lose out on joyous moments is me.
Although I am on a journey every day to be less stressed, less depressed and anxiety free, I still have my moments which is 100% okay. Sometimes it is okay not to be okay. These moments do not make you nor I a failure in life. It means we are human and are on a path of discovery and recovery. The one thing I am truly proud of, and the most significant realization, is what I must continue to remind myself every day and that is...
"Remember how far you've come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you USED to be." - Rick Warren
My share of anxiety inspires me to de-stress. Anxiety can inspire you to de-stress as well and here are a few ways how:
1. Sunlight! I am not suggesting you go out and bake in the sun for hours but getting outside and maybe taking a walk has its health benefits. Sunlight is thought to increase the brain's release of a hormone called serotonin. Low levels of serotonin are associated with an increased risk of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a form of depression. With the right amount of sunlight, you can experience lots of mood lifting benefits.
2. Meditation! You can zone out and sit in absolute silence while quieting your mind to reach a higher level of relaxation. But if you are like me and getting your brain to slow down and be calm then listening to music or practicing yoga poses can be incorporated into your meditation. It is about your one on one time with yourself and leaving the outside world alone for a few minutes throughout the day. Don’t worry, whatever task you need to tackle will likely still be waiting for you but at least you will be calmer and able to focus and handle the situation.
3. Laughter! When I need a good laugh, I usually call my brother because he can be ridiculous at times and have me in tears from laughing. Laughter can help decrease stress making hormones and increase the level of hormones that make your immune system stronger. If you don’t have a silly relative or friend that is as funny as my brother then watch a good comedy or read a book. Just make sure that whatever you do leaves you grabbing your stomach and laughing hysterically. At least that is my goal. Oh and one more thing don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself every once and a while. I think I am quite hilarious if I do say so myself.
4. Journaling! At times it may not be easy to express ourselves out loud to others or we are not ready to talk about what is bothering us so in the meantime WRITE. Write down what you wish you could say to your co-worker, the person who cut you off on the highway, or anyone else for that matter. Just try not to keep your emotions bottled up inside and allow anxiety or stress to manifest in unhealthy ways. Journaling is not only an outlet for your thoughts, but it can be a relaxing experience. There are no rules with journaling so feel free to write about anything your heart desires in whatever format you would like. I enjoy writing poetry sometimes for my outlet.
5. Music! Listening to music is another option that has a calming effect. My grandmother would be fussing or upset about something while we were out driving and I would put on one of her “new to her” favorite songs and her entire mood would change. Whenever she and I were together, she would ask me to “put on that record I like.” That “record” was Happy by Pharell Williams. She would get to clapping her hands and tapping her feet. Within minutes her mood would change completely, and the tension in the car would die down. We listened to this song often on repeat.
6. Essential Oils! A few benefits of using essential oils include soothing sore muscles, balance hormones, increase mood and even help with digestive issues. You can add them to a bath, diffuser, a few drops to your pillow or burn incense that has essential oils in them. My favorite essential oils are lavender, lemon, rose, chamomile and frankincense. There are many more essential oils for you to choose.
7. Exercise! Yes, some days you will not want to move and much rather stay in bed with a pillow over your head but trust me when I say GET MOVING! Not only is my head clearer, my mood improves, but I also feel proud of myself and increase my self-esteem. You do not have to run a marathon. Any physcial activity for 20 minutes or longer is a step in the right direction.
Try out these remedies if anxiety can inspire you to de-stress.
So for the parent who stayed in the bathroom a few extra minutes to regain their composure, it is okay. To the college student who's fallen behind on an assignment in class and the person who forgot an anniversary or birthday, it is not the end of the world so take a few deep breaths and get your bearings together.
For the man or woman struggling with trying to conceive or the parent grieving over the loss of a child at any stage, I know it is hard and feels like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, but I am here to tell you it is okay! It 's okay to be in your feelings, be angry, hurt and cry. But it is also okay to want to heal and not feel pain and grief forever. And to anyone dealing with a daily struggle to maintain their sanity you are not alone. So to you, I say be gentle with yourself.
What you should do is let go! Let go of how you thought your life should be and what you think a perfect life is. Stop convincing yourself that what you’re doing is entirely wrong. Become fed up with life's stressors to the point that anxiety can inspire you to de-stress. Let go so you can embrace the life that is trying to help you through your difficult times. I am not saying accept mediocrity but bend and mold your life in a way that brings you happiness. You have a right to be happy and enjoy life during mild rain or a full blown storm. Often we compare ourselves to others and how we think their lives are so much better than our own. Raise your hand if you are guilty of this? I know I am.
My life was planned out before I graduated high school. And let me tell you it did not work out according to my timeframe. I would graduate college, be single, no kids, travel the world and live with a cat lol. All of this by the age of 25. Seriously, the cat was all the companionship I could need lol. Or I would marry and have 2 and a half children by the age of 30. With a high profile career and a nanny. Nope, life does not always follow your plans. It sure as hell is not following my plans exactly the way I would like.
I say all of this to say be kind to yourself. Take care of your mind and the way you speak to and about yourself. You can be either your own best friend or your own worst enemy. So choose wisely. It’s never too late to become your own best friend. Start by working on your mental health for yourself as well as those around you. And remember to grab life's stressors by the neck so anxiety can inspire you to de-stress.
From my healing heart to yours,