We all have anxiety and stress in our lives. We wouldn’t be human without these things. A little stress can be good for us, as many times it works as a motivator. However, stress and anxiety can take a major toll on your life if you don’t have the resources or means to take control of it.
We live in a world of “bigger is better” and we are constantly looking to compare ourselves to others. A main source of our anxiety comes from this notion that we need to be better or we need to be more successful. There is that constant little voice in our head telling us, you need to be skinnier, you need to be stronger, you need to be smarter, you need to make more money, and the list goes on and on. You have the power to take control of these thoughts and to change your outlook on what you believe truly makes you happy.
“We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday’s burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.”
– John Newton
Finding Your Values
What is most important to you?
Take a moment to think, what is truly important to me in my own personal life? Everyone will have a different answer, but it is important to figure what it is that you are working so hard for. What is your driving purpose in life? Once you have found that, let the other little things go. If they don’t pertain to what makes you a better, happier person then in the grand scheme of things, they do not matter.
The next time you are faced with a stressful situation, and you feel yourself getting worked up, take a moment to practice some deep breathing exercises. Practice taking slow, deep breaths in and out. When we get stressed, we start to breath quickly and our minds starts racing. It is telling our body to go into a fight or flight state. Deep breathing exercises calm these systems down and trick our brain into thinking we are calm and relaxed. As a result, you actually do become more relaxed, and magically your anxiety starts to disappear. I know it sounds crazy, but it really does work. Give it a try next time you start to feel anxious.
Changing Your Mindset
This one goes back to the idea of comparison and the notion that bigger is better. Stop comparing yourself to other people. You should not base your success on the idea of being better than someone else, but rather being a better you. The next time you find yourself feeling jealous or resentful, ask yourself why? Most likely it is because you see something in that person that you want for yourself. Change your mindset so that instead of feeling jealousy, you start to think of those people as inspiration. This simple mindset shift will do great things for your stress levels and feelings of happiness.
Self-Care is so important when it comes to stress relief and decreasing your anxiety. We live very busy lives, and it is so easy to become burnt out after a while. Dedicate time each day, or maybe even each week, to practice self-care. Self-care is something that makes you feel happy and relaxed. This may be yoga, meditation, a massage, a hot bath, running, or maybe just laying in the sun. The possibilities are endless. Just don’t forget to take that time for yourself, because you truly do deserve it.
Exercise is hands down, one of the best ways to decrease your stress levels. Exercise can be anything that gets you moving and gets your heart pumping. First of all, it is important to find something that you enjoy doing, so it will keep you coming back for more. When we exercise, it triggers our brain to release our feel-good endorphins. As a result, this decreases our stress and uplifts our moods. Once you start to experience this sensation, you will be hooked. It will improve your life not only physically, but mentally as well.
“Its not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.”
– Hans Selye