We all know that feeling. The tightening of the knot in the pit of your stomach. The shallow puffs you call breaths. The racing of the same thoughts over and over again at a mile per minute.
Your mind begins to panic. You feel overwhelmed. You can’t breathe.
This is what stress and anxiety can do to you. They both can drive you crazy.
Ever got the advice, “Oh, stop worrying so much,” or “Stay positive; everything will be okay?”
I know people are just trying to help, but we high-strung individuals know if it was that simple, we would have been stress-free a LONG time ago.
For us, it is a long, hard fought battle with both our minds and our bodies. There could be absolutely nothing wrong and yet we will STILL find something to worry about.
When I feel anxious or even slightly depressed, it’s usually because I either am too busy or not busy enough. I’ll have roller coaster swings of huge motivation followed by major anxiety, but that’s par for the course for a lot of entrepreneurs and high performers.
We’re always thinking one step ahead, and trying to cover our bases. It feeds right into that anxiety of ours.
What’s worse is we begin keeping our thoughts and feelings to ourselves, internalizing it and literally turning our mental patterns into physical ailments.
Here are the 10 things I do to relieve stress and anxiety:
1. Practice light meditation habits during the day. I recognize where I’m at as I start feeling overwhelmed, and try to focus solely on the task at hand. Anxiety comes about during that vicious cycle of repeating worrisome thoughts, so I break it by using the F.O.C.U.S. acronym.
2. Eating healthier. Food does affect mood (and acid reflux), so I’ve been making conscious efforts to eat less bread/pasta, less acidic foods and more fruits/veggies. Juicing has also become a favorite habit to get more nutrients in to relieve stress and anxiety.
3. Breathe. I know every single website tells you that breathing is good. But they’re absolutely right. Check out this 20-second breathing exercise I do to relax and gain control over myself.
4. Celebrate small wins. I’ve been really bad at this in the past. So I’m fixing that. Every time I have a busy week and have accomplished my major 3 goals for the week, I celebrate with something small. Naps, nights on the town, hanging with friends, and small purchases on Amazon are all fair game.
5. Exercise. I cannot go through life without exercise. My mood is so much worse when I am missing from the gym for a week or more. It’s really almost a requirement that I stay active and fit.
6. Drink tea. I’ve been getting in the habit of drinking more tea in the mornings and evenings, especially when it’s a rough day. I have a mint plant I use to make fresh mint.
7. Proper sleep. I know my body, and I know that if I get less than 7 hours of sleep per night, I’m essentially useless. So I make it a priority to get to bed before 11 (my goal is 10:30pm) so I can start my next day early.
8. My Miracle Morning. On most days, the battle is won in the morning. I wake up between 5:30-6am to boost creativity and provide myself with some much needed me-time, as per Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning. I usually take 30mins-1 hour to stretch, pray, meditate, read, and other calming activities.
9. The Freedom Journal. Setting a goal and writing down my daily to-do list in my Freedom Journal help me remain focused and calm. Also, journaling my anxiety and stress often helps me process it constructively.
10. Talk to someone. It is extremely helpful when you have someone you can be honest with. Tell them your fears and concerns, and you’ll be amazed at how opening yourself up and letting it all out mellows you.
What do you do to relieve stress and anxiety?