De-Stressing Exercises That Will Help You Refocus

Stop Fixating Yourself On Stress — Shrug It Off By Redirecting, Recovering and Re-Engaging

Shrug off the tension and practice some self-care.


Stress is everywhere and felt by everyone. It does not discriminate between man or woman, young or old and it certainly does not care you have already had a hard or tiring day. Stress doesn't think about your appetite or your wellbeing, it just is. But does it need to be? Stresses and feeling stressed may be a normal occurrence and while some people cope better than others, this doesn't mean they are any less stressed.

Stress doesn't need to overwhelm your life, take back control, shrug off the tension and practice some self-care, redirection and self-motivation.

You cannot control what happens, only how you react.

Life is an adventure, it may not always follow a merry path and it doesn't always take us through sunny pastures and wildflower-dotted meadows. Sometimes the journey of life takes a sharp incline and you almost feel like you are going against the flow. Emotional stress can be caused by an overwhelming amount of emotion or similarly, trying to prevent yourself from feeling certain emotions, like sadness or anger.

If you are in a situation that is causing you rising levels of emotional stress, take a step back, give yourself a minute or two to focus on taking some deep, calming breaths and approach the situation with a fresh state of mind. If you find you are struggling with the stress after taking a few breathes, where the circumstances allow, step back from the source of your stress entirely and revisit.

If you are someone that finds you get emotionally charged during stressful events, train yourself to have a subtle calming method, whether this is humming or singing along to a certain song, reliving an exercise in your mind, performing a short set of exercises on the spot or even redirecting your energy into a doodle or sketch.

Accept that not everything is in your control.

Should your stress be caused by school or work responsibilities, learn to accept that not everything is of your control and not every day will end with your to-do list ticked off. To reduce responsibility-induced stress, start the day with your most time-consuming and important tasks, working through your list of requirements until only the least important tasks are left.

If you don't complete these by the end of your schedule, don't let yourself feel unfilled, remind yourself of the work completed and have peace of mind that should anything urgent or important arise, you haven't left yourself overwhelmed.

Students often report high levels of stress, especially those studying to get into a prestigious university or college students who are also working long hours alongside their education. While it's not always possible to put off these sorts of responsibilities, it's important to remember you aren't alone and other students or past students are available to give you advice on reaching certain grades or making the most of your available time.

Fixation on anything is negative — redirect, recover and re-engage.

It's understandable that stress comes from immersing yourself in a situation that you can't always easily escape from, this can create a loop where you fixate on the source of your stress, rather than finding ways to calm yourself and revisit your responsibility. If you are stuck in a situation and you feel your stress levels rising, distract your mind with a menial task like finding something in the room of the color red, finding something that represents the number three or simply finding an item nearby that has something you can count.

Your only restriction is your imagination.

If you are worried that trying to set yourself a menial mental task at the moment will only add to your discomfort, keep a list to hand that you can reach for when you start to feel anxious.

Stress contributes to increased levels of illness, fatigue and worse, making us distracted and encouraging us to push others away from us. It's important for the good of your mental and emotional health that you learn to divert stress, finding ways to distract or calm yourself and revisiting the source of your stress in a fresher mental state.

Life is much more enjoyable when you are in a confident mental and emotional state, so don't forget to smile as even when you aren't happy. Smiling releases endorphins which are the body's happy chemicals!

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.

You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Anxiety Medications Aren't As Scary As You Might Think

It took me about 2 months to even find the right medication and dosage. It's truly a process.


Before my journey with anxiety, I was very anti-medication. I truly didn't understand the purpose or need for it. Boy, have I learned a lot since then. Upon visiting the doctor, I learned that there are two types of medication that do two different things to the neurotransmitters in your brain. These are categorized as SSRI or SNRI. According to, "SSRIs increase serotonin in the brain. Neural systems affected by increased serotonin regulate mood, sleep, appetite, and digestion."

The medication that I am currently taking falls under the category of SSRI. As a result of taking this medication, "your brain is more capable of making changes that will lead to a decrease in anxiety" ( I don't know if that sounds nice to you, but I loved the sound of it.

On the other hand, per, SNRIs "ease depression by impacting chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) used to communicate between brain cells. Like most antidepressants, SNRIs work by ultimately effecting changes in brain chemistry and communication in brain nerve cell circuitry known to regulate mood, to help relieve depression."

From my understanding, the different types of medication focus on different neurotransmitters in your brain. I don't think that one of these is "bad" and one of these is "good." This is simply because anxiety and depression are very personal and impact people differently. My anxiety is not the same as my friend's anxiety. I think it's more of a spectrum.

There are a lot of misconceptions upon starting medication. I think the first is that it works instantly. I have some bad news and it's that some medications take up to a month to get into your system. I mean, you're chemically altering your brain, so it makes sense. It took me about 2 months to even find the right medication and dosage. It's truly a process.

Another misconception is that the pills are addicting- making them completely unnecessary or dangerous. That wasn't true for me. One of my dear friends told me that if you don't feel guilty for taking cold medicine when you have a cold, then you shouldn't feel guilty for taking medication that helps your anxiety. I think this really does boil down to knowing yourself and if there's a history of addiction in your family. However, as someone who's taken the heavy pain killers (via surgery) and now takes anxiety medication, I can testify to say that there's a difference.

The pain killers made me a zombie. The anxiety medication allows me to be the best version of myself. I like who I am when I'm not constantly worried about EVERYTHING. I used to not leave the house without makeup on because I constantly worried what people thought of me. I used to be terrified that my friends didn't want me around. I used to overthink every single decision that I made. Now, none of that is happening. I enjoy my friends and their company, I hardly wear makeup, and I'm getting better at making decisions.

Do I want to be able to thrive without having to correct my neurotransmitters? Sure. However, this is the way that I am, and I wouldn't have gotten better without both therapy and medication. I'm forever grateful for both.

Editor's note: The views expressed in this article are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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