“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained”- Arthur Somers Roche
Here are some quick tips to deal with stress and anxiety-
- Deep breathing- Practice deep breathing few times a day. Stop for a few minutes and take 5-10 deep breaths. It will work wonders on you and help you calm down immediately. I believe the quality of our life is in our breath. “Smile, breathe and go slowly”- Thich Nhat Hanh
- Meditation-This is the best stress buster I can think of. Meditation is not trying to stop thoughts but getting to the point where you experience a still mind. For example, there is a small gap between one thought and the next where quiet and peace exists. Meditation helps you increase that gap.Allow a thought to come and pass through your mind like a bubble. Don’t get involved with the thoughts. If you get involved it will create more thoughts. Then you are just day dreaming. Once a thought passes by focus on the quiet before the next thought rolls in. Let the thought pass and then focus again on the stillness between the thoughts. You will slowly learn to stay in that quiet moment for an extended period of time and any thoughts that come will pass by quietly with your awareness focused steadily on the stillness of your mind.
- Set your intent- Have a morning routine to set your intent for the day. I start my day by expressing gratitude, taking deep breaths, just being in the moment and saying a small prayer. All this even before my feet hit the ground. I start my day knowing all is well and will be well even when it doesn’t feel that way.
- You are in control- Few years ago I attended a class where the speaker talked about who we really are. He said we are not our body, our mind or our intellect. We are a combination of all of these. We are Souls. It got me thinking and I realized I give my mind too much control over me. From that day on I try to remember I am the boss and not the fear, anxiety or depression created by my mind. Take your power back by saying “You are not the boss of me. I am in control here and I got this”. “You cannot control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside”- Wayne Dyer. “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself”- Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Practice mindfulness- be aware of what goes on in your mind. Watch your thoughts. The moment you notice your mind thinking about the future or the past bring your awareness back to the present moment. A lot of times the fears about future are just our imaginations and most of it may not even materialize. So understand that and bring your mind back to the now.
- Stay active-It’s important to be physically active. A walk, run or any other physical activity will help you release the energy built up by a stressful day and help you calm down
- Positive affirmations- This works wonders on me. I affirm positive things even when I am in a dark place. Always speak blessings over yourself and your life.
- Don’t give up-The only thing constant is change. No situation is permanent. Change is the law of life. So try to remember whatever it is you are going through is temporary. It will soon be replaced by something else. So don’t give up and go with the flow.
- Get creative- Creativity is a great stress buster. It heals our soul. Even if you think you are not at all a creative person try it once. I had a student in our life skills class who said she had never painted in her life. I gave her a piece of canvas and drawing paper with some colors anyways and asked her to pour out whatever came to her mind onto the canvas. She created two beautiful pieces of art in under half an hour. My point is you don’t know the hidden talents you have, unless you dig deep inside and explore what’s within. Trust me you will find the process incredibly rewarding.
- Take it easy and try to have some fun- Don’t overthink and overanalyze. For example, when you are driving, the headlights light up the road far enough for you to see where you are going. Do they shine the light all the way up to your destination? Of course not. Life is like that too. You know just enough information to help you deal with whatever you are facing right now. You don’t need to know all the answers. Have faith that things will get better. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Get the pain out of your system. Cry, talk to someone. Get it out. Then let the healing begin. Smile. Help others. Find something that inspires you and embrace life. The good, the bad and the ugly all of it. No one said life was easy. You are not the only one going through hard times. Ask anyone that has been through hardships and they will tell you nothing or no one can break your spirit. So smile because you really can beat anxiety:)
- Volunteering- I try to get out and help someone in need. In my experience it helps me stay grounded and approach others from a place of compassion and love. Try it. You will feel good, inspired and it is an extremely rewarding experience to bring hope and joy to someone else. It will light up your world 🙂
“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength”- Charles Spurgeon.
Don’t let anxiety get the better of you. Remember YOU ARE THE BOSS!!
©2015, Vani Murthy. All rights reserved