Stress Less: Anxiety and Stress Management Tips
Whether you suffer from a diagnosed anxiety disorder or not, we’ve all felt overwhelmed, inundated with unwanted thoughts, and trapped in our own minds. While stress and anxiety are absolutely not the same thing, there are a number of symptomatic similarities. For me, anxiety and stress both manifest in the form of GI issues, sleeplessness, racing thoughts (“what if” thinking), and general uneasiness. However, since I have dealt with an anxiety disorder since I was a child, I have mastered a few techniques to calm both my stress and anxiety during those difficult times. I hope you are able to take one tip away from this post that can help you. If they all help, that’s amazing! But I hope that you can utilize at least one tip to ease your mind during those anxious moments.
1. Walk it Out
I’ve mentioned this time and time again, but I truly think walking is some of the best medicine around. For me, it is about distracting myself from the issue, and walking usually lets me reflect on whatever is stressing me out. I find that my mood is immensely better after a 20-30 minute walk. Also, walking is wonderful because unlike running, you really can do it anywhere. My anxiety likes to creep up on me in public places (meetings, workshops, airports, etc.). Something I know I can always fall back on is taking a little walk to distract myself. If I am in a meeting or a place that I can’t whip out some diaphragmatic breathing, I excuse myself, and take a brief walk either around the office or wherever you can. This “trick” has saved me too many times to count.
I have used lavender essential oil for years, but my aunt Julia hooked me and got me into using my Young Living essential oil diffuser everyday. Not familiar with how essential oil diffusers work? Imagine the smell of a spa. Now imagine that smell, in your bedroom or home, every single day. That’s how they work for me! I also learned that lavender essential oil can be absorbed into the bloodstream in under 19 minutes (use organic). HELLO RELAXATION! Whenever I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed, or simply just want to transform my space, I crank up my essential oil diffuser with one (or three) of my favorite oils.
3. Yoga Nidra & Diaphragmatic Breathing
As a child, I suffered from a great deal of anxiety. My anxiety got to the point that it disabled me from acting like a normal kid on most days. I was in and out of the guidance counselors’ office 1-2x per day, and seeking regular therapy. However, when I was in 4th grade, my therapist taught me how to practice diaphragmatic breathing. This is a breathing practice where you use the muscles in your belly or diaphragm to expand your stomach and take deep, full breaths. It is less chest breathing, and more “belly breathing”, as it is called. This technique truly changed me. I learned this concept at 8 or 9, and it has stuck with me into my 20’s.
For those looking for the next step after diaphragmatic breathing, I like to practice yoga nidra when I am anxious. I was probably one of few kids in school who knew who Deepak Chopra was, and who practiced his meditations. Yoga Nidra is typically a guided meditation practice that enables you to relieve yourself from anxious thoughts by way of distraction. For example, the guide will tell you to lay flat, with your hands on your chest, take deep belly breaths, and to focus all of your energy into your feet (or any other part of your body). Do all you can to solely think of your feet. Try contracting and relaxing your muscles, and notice how relaxed they feel after they have been so tightly contracted. The guide then gradually moves to other parts of the body, or guides you though other visualizations. It’s a wonderful practice. Here is an option for you to try.
Deepak Chopra Guided Meditation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRMOxN_qcec
4. Use an Acupressure Mat
I have been using an acupressure mat for about a year now, and it has TRANSFORMED my sleep routine. I bought it because I heard how it could help aid in sleep, and since I have always been a terrible sleeper, this sounded awesome. I also purchased my ProSource Fit acupressure mat, because I heard it had similar healing benefits to acupuncture…but you could do it in your own home! Awesome! However, what I didn’t know was the list of health benefits associated with daily acupressure mat use. Some of the benefits you may experience after laying on the “bed of nails” are improved circulation, increased energy, reduced blood pressure, reduced stress and anxiety, headache relief, stimulate endorphins, improves muscle aches, can relieve insomnia and improve sleep, and SO MUCH MORE! AND! Lucky for you, I’ll be giving away a ProSource Fit acupressure mat for FREE on my Instagram page (GIVEAWAY CLOSED). The ProSource Fit acupressure mat is made up of over 6,200 tiny acupressure points, to help get you to those amazing benefits. Trust me, this thing has been huge in helping me quiet my mind and get to sleep!
GIVEAWAY CLOSED! Want to enter my giveaway? Head over to my Instagram page and enter! All you have to do is follow me, and tag a friend in the post (the same picture used for this post!) Good luck!!
Outfit Details: T-Shirt: Sunbum