Stress and anxiety are soul-sucking vampires. They’re silent day-ruiners that slowly creep into your life.
Actually, when this is happening, you’re body is trying to protect you. It is as if you have a meter inside your body measuring your daily activities. When you’re feeling stress and anxiety, your meter is reading, “SYSTEM OVERLOAD!!!”
You’re either doing too much and/or you are not dealing with some emotional aspect of your life. Either way, stress and anxiety is a bummer. It is something that requires tools, tips, and lots of trial and error.
Everyone has different ways of coping with stress and anxiety. As someone who experiences stress and anxiety on the reg, I want to share some of my own tips. I use each of these monthly and at various times, depending on where I am and what I am going through.
Take a look at 7 easy ways to help you deal with stress and anxiety:
Stop The Caffeine Overload
If you are a coffee-lover like myself, raise your hand! Even if you don’t drink coffee, I am sure there is another way you’re seeping caffeine into your veins to attack the daily grind. Tea, power drinks, soda, etc. Whatever your choice is, an easy way to lessen your stress and anxiety is to do a system check.
Although caffeine helps us get goin’, too much of it can cause an adverse affect. It can make us jittery, high strung, and nervous. When you’re dealing with stress and anxiety, this just adds fuel to the fire. So, if you are a caffeine freak like me, cut it in half. It can’t do anything but help!
What I have started to do is drink half caffeinated coffee. Therefore, I can still have my 3-4 cups a day. When I do this on days I know I will be stressed an anxious, I feel the difference. If you are already three cups in and are jittery as heck, just grab some water and begin to chug! It will help because you are probably dehydrated.
Have A Go-To Playlist
Music can be a real asset on days you’re feeling the pressure. I feel that tunes can combat stress and anxiety because it alters your mindset. For me, music reminds me about who I am at the core. Not what life makes me feel like because of due dates, social expectations, and to-do lists.
People always say music is a universal language. I wholeheartedly believe this. Ever listen to a song and EVERY TIME you get chills down your arms? I have a handful of songs that can do that to me. It is magical. Especially when I belt out the lyrics as if the song was written for me. Privately, of course, in my car… while sometimes stopped at a red light getting looks from others (ehh…whatevs). So, I highly recommend saving a playlist of songs that help you get out of a funk when stress and anxiety trickles on in.
Sometimes it is the beat. Most times, it is the lyrics for me. When you get a combination of both, it is pure heaven on earth. Find your tunes (country… gangsta rap… boy band music from middle school… old school rock, whatever works for you!). For me? It’s upbeat music with inspirational lyrics and love songs. Anything positive. I have it titled “My Happy Playlist” in my Spotify app.
All I need is a pair of headphones and I can escape into that playlist any time I am feeling stress and anxiety.
Get on Your Feet
A great way to alleviate stress and anxiety is to do a little bit of movement. Exercising can help lower stress. This is because when you work out your body produces endorphins. They are, in a way, natural painkillers.
Exercising can help your mind have a mental break from whatever events, people, or thoughts that have been causing stress and anxiety. Especially if you pop on your awesome “Go-To Playlist” I was just talking about! It might even help if you work out with a friend or take an exercise class. Personally, I like to be alone when working out. But, I know many people exercise better with someone to keep them focused and motivated.
Now, I am not saying you NEED to go to the gym. I am not even saying you have to go for a run. Walking if a form of exercise. I like to take my dog on a long, long, longgggg walk when my mind is going a million miles an hour. Usually, I pop on an inspirational podcast to help me focus on something other than my nagging thoughts. It works! Key is… find what type of exercise works for you!
Talk to Designated People
This one is key. Many people with stress and anxiety tend to bottle their thoughts up. Heck no, do they want others to know what they’re feeling! Especially if you’re a people pleaser and worry about what others think of you. But, if you find the right people to talk to, it can be a remedy and help you center yourself.
DO NOT talk to just anyone. Why? There are always people that will not have your best interest at heart. They want to know “what’s wrong!?” because they’re nosey. They want to know the dirt. Drama seekers. Also, some people are just “fix it” people and want to dish out advice when you don’t even want it!
So, make a list. Maybe 5-10 people that you feel comfortable talking to when you have stress and anxiety.
Now, go back and take people off the list that…
- Are 1-uppers
- Only want to dish out advice
- Are not great listeners
- Do not validate your feelings
You want people who will hold the space in your conversation. It might be a spouse, a family member, or friend. Don’t count out a counselor or therapist! I have been seeing one for years and it is a game changer. Everyone is different. Find what works for you!
Raise Your Vibrations
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I am obsessed with preaching about the law of attraction. My life has changed in so many ways due to immersing myself in this belief. The truth is, you have a choice when it comes to your perspective. Two people can look at the same situation and see different messages.
This is because of what each person is finding evidence for that day. For example, you begin your day and “everything goes wrong.” Your hair is unruly. The car is low on gas. You were cut off on your way to work…TWICE! Your key fell between the seat of your car. Ok, that is all lame. But, the difference is in the choice you make when it comes to perspective. You can choose to:
- Decide today is a “bad day” and crappy things will just keep getting thrown at you.
- Decide that you had a few annoying things happen, but the rest of your day is going to rock your socks off.
Really. It is that simple. You will find evidence for what you want. If you believe the day is horrible, you will notice every negative thing that happens. But, if you choose to focus on the good, you WILL find evidence of the positive.
Don’t believe me? Try it yourself for a day. On days when you feel stress and anxiety, this can be a game changer. The more you focus on the positive, the more positivity can trickle into your day, smashing to pieces the stress and anxiety you were feeling.
Spend Time With a Fur-Friend
On days you are feeling stress and anxiety, your fur-ball baby can really help you out. There is a reason why there are therapy dogs that go to retirement homes and help people out with PTSD. They are calming, relaxing, and bring instant peace to many people.
Many studies reveal that petting an animal can help lower a person’s stress level. It calms the heart and helps people adapt to situations that cause anxiety. You don’t have to get a dog to achieve this…any pet can bring calmness into your life. It is like having another human connection. Someone that is there for you when you need them most.
For real… I could be having the WORST day. But, I know when I walk in the door to my house that Benny, my dog, will be there for me. So freakin excited. As if it is Christmas and he has not seen me in 6 months. He runs to his toy bin, grabs a “baby,” and brings it to me. I don’t care how horrible my day felt. Moments like that make it better.
Also, if you don’t have a pet, there are so many shelters that need volunteers. So, on a day you are feeling stress and anxiety (and you have the time), offer to walk some homeless dogs. Pet the room of cats no one wants. Anything that helps bring your stress levels down and allows some happiness to shine into your life!
This one is strange. But, I swear it works! I started doing this about three months ago based on a podcast I was listening to (I don’t remember which!?!). When I am feeling stress and anxiety, I spend time driving and talking to myself. Honestly, it is relieving and talks me off of a ledge when my mind is spiraling out of control.
Do you know what I mean? Those “stories” you create in your head. What “so-and-so” thinks of you. Or going over how you “think” a conversation will go with your co-worker. We all do it and it drives us to a point where we start to think things that are not even happening! Anyone else with me? If you don’t, I highly envy you.
Also, you might be thinking, “Won’t other people think I am nuts if I am talking out loud to myself?” No. It will look like you are on a blue-tooth phone call with someone. Or, that you are singing to some awesome tunes.
So, next time you are feeling stress and anxiety and you are in your car, have a 1:1 sesh with yourself. Usually, you realize how ridiculous your thoughts are once they are out in the universe. You realize that many of your thoughts are “stories” and are not even real.
Do you connect with any of these tips?
What other strategies do you use when you feel stress and anxiety?
Disclaimer: I am NOT a licensed doctor of any kind. The information in this article is for general informational purposes only and is not considered a substitute for a trained professional that would give medical advice or any type of therapy. This document is an expression of my own thoughts and opinions and may not apply to your life. I am not liable for any losses or damages related to actions or failures to act related to the content in this article. If you need specific medical advice, please contact a licensed professional.