Ways To Alleviate Stress And Anxiety

Ways To Alleviate Stress And Anxiety

It's something we all deal with
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Something I think everyone deals with nowadays, to some degree, is stress and anxiety. Whether you're clinically diagnosed or just dealing with the general effects of life, it is a nasty thing to fall into. It has the ability to render us feeling helpless with little room to breathe. So what do we do? How can we deal with stress in a healthy manner that won't subside the stresses and anxiety, but start to help in the getting better process? For starters, I'll tell you whats not healthy pushing yourself and throwing yourself into your work. Ignoring the problem only hurts you more, and makes it only harder for you to deal with later. I know from experience, pushing myself through the anxiety by continuing to work and not giving myself time to rest and process only made the anxiety grow until I exploded. Stop taking the easy route of ignoring the problem, and allow yourself to rest and be still.

In this period of my life, finding healthy outlets for stress has been a big focus, and has deemed so refreshing. Everyone is created differently, and the way stress takes form in us and the ways in which we can alleviate it varies. The goal here is to give ideas and promote you to find your own healthy ways to relieve your anxiety. Some tactics will work for some time and then they may stop, but you must continue to choose to find new ways to manage stress and then carry them out.

To start, identify the things and hobbies which interest you, and go from there. For me, I am naturally the creative type. So a lot of ways in which I alleviate my stress has to do with art and expression. However, you are never limited. How knows you could find a lot of relief in something completely opposite of what you would originally be inclined to. Anyways, here a list of things to try when life seems to be getting the best of you.

1. Photography

Taking pictures and capturing moments can be more therapeutic and insightful than you might think. When you're focusing on taking pictures you're focusing on finding beauty in the world. When you can see the beauty in the world, you can enjoy being in it. You're no longer focusing what's causing anxiety.

2. Draw

From doodling to masterworks, there's just something about putting pencil/pen to paper and making lines that turn into little works of art.

3. Mind puzzles

For the more logical thinkers, mind puzzles are a great anxiety reliever. The sense of certainty in mind puzzles can be comforting, especially when anxiety is caused from a lack of control. Plus, there is a great feeling of accomplishment that comes from solving something that started out as incomplete.

4. Play an instrument

For the musically inclined and music lovers in general, playing an instrument when speaking anxiety is rampant can be incredibly calming. It's not just you listening to the music, but it's you investing in the making of it. So much emotion can be released when you're pressing the keys down hard or stunning the string softly.

5. Go for a walk/run

Exercise is always a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. You don't have to do it like you're training for the big leagues. You can move at whatever pace and intensity you'd like. Focused moving can bring clarity of mind.

6. Read

Escaping to another world or reading about something new and enjoyable can give us a break from thinking and dealing with stress and anxiety.

7. Listen to music

Music. Need I say more?

8. Cook/Bake

Creation that is edible. Again the sense of creating and going through the process can be highly enjoyable because you're focusing your energy on thoughts on creating something great and edible.

9. Write/Journal

For those of you who find it hard to speak and get your thoughts and feelings out on the spot, writing can be a great outlet. Journaling, writing poetry, or whatever other form of writing interests you helps alleviate the intangible weight and clutter that fills your brain when anxiety and stress is high.

10. Talk with someone

On the other hand, talking can be more beneficial to others than writing. Having someone take the time to listen to all the things on your mind can be comforting. A response doesn't always need to follow, though it can, its the act of someone caring enough that really helps relieve anxiety.

11. Paint

As with drawing and photography, it's that act of creating and letting the more fluid/freer parts or your mind work. Letting your thoughts move as fluidly as your hand does as each stroke of color is added.

12. Pray

For believers and non-believers alike, prayer is always an option. Talking to God and telling him everything that is on your heart: the good, bad, and ugly can relieve stress like non other because He cares. He wants us to come to him when we're lost, alone, and hurting. He is our father and creator who loves and cares for us. 1 Peter 5:7.

13. Clean/Organize

For those of you who crave structure and order, cleaning and organizing things can be extremely comforting. Being able to have some sense of control over a certain thing is key. Everything feels a lot better when it's organized the way you want it to be.

14. Go for a drive

Driving is either a hit or a miss, you either love driving or you hate it. So, for those of you who love to drive, try doing it with no destination in mind. Let the movement and change of scenery clear your mind. Roll down the windows and blast some music, and


have fun.

15. Breathe

Breathing exercises can be very beneficially to those who deal with anxious breathing such as myself. I'm either not breathing at all or I'm breathing to much and too fast both of which are bad. Breathing exercises can help regulate your breathing pattern and heart rate when your anxious. Focusing on your breathing can help focus your thoughts and calm yourself. It is okay to breathe, you will get through this.

Cover Image Credit: https://wallpapertag.com/peaceful-background

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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13 Songs That Help Me Through My Panic Attacks

It's easy to become paralyzed by panic attacks, but I've found music to be the best tool to help me cope.

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Anyone who struggles with panic attacks knows just how draining and overwhelming they are. It's easy to become paralyzed by them, and once I noticed this, I made a playlist of songs that calm me down. I find that music keeps me grounded, no matter how bad the panic attack may be. Maybe the songs I have listed aren't for you. but I hope that in sharing my main songs that help me, it can spark your brain into finding songs that fit your needs during panic attacks.

In case you don't know some of the songs I have listed, I put a link to each song from YouTube. I hope you enjoy my interesting variety of music!

1. "Weightless" by Marconi Union

Go here to listen.

This song is my go-to song for panic attacks, especially if it's a bad one. For me personally, my heart rate spikes during panic attacks (I'll go from a resting heart rate of around 70bpm to anywhere between 180-200bpm). Evidence suggests this song can slow your heart rate and reduce anxiety and let me tell you... it works 100% for me and I highly recommend it.

2. "Somebody to Love" by Queen

Go here to listen.

I've just always loved this song. There's something about Freddie Mercury's voice that just calms me down and makes me feel like I'm not alone at that moment.

3. "Let it Be" by The Beatles

Go here to listen.

I grew up listening to The Beatles since my mom is from Liverpool, and "Let it Be" is a song that I always associate peace and good memories with. Also, I love the lyric, "When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary calls to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be." It reminds me that there are things about me and this world that I simply cannot change, but I can find peace by letting it be.

4. "Lost in a Sea of Pillows and Blankets" by .anxious.

Go here to listen.

Go here for the full album.

I find this song, and really the whole album, to be extremely soothing. It literally feels like the comfort of pillows and blankets but in the form of music.

5. "1-800-273-8255" by Logic ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid

Go here to listen.

I love this song for many reasons during a panic attack. One, it reminds me that there are other people that have felt or are feeling what I am currently. Two, it reminds me that I have a purpose on this earth, and I am not a waste of space. Three, I just love the awareness it brings to mental illnesses.

6. "Up and Up" cover by Lennon & Maisy (originally by Coldplay)

Go here to listen to the cover.

Go here to listen to the original.

"We're gonna get it, get it together somehow." This main lyric reminds me that I can conquer this moment, and the only direction from this moment is up. Also, Lennon and Maisy's voices are mesmerizing. The Coldplay original is amazing too, I put both for you to check out!

7. "In My Blood" by Shawn Mendes

Go here to listen.

I remember the first time I listened to this; I was actually on the brink of a panic attack. I heard the first lyric, "Help me, it feels like the walls are caving in. Sometimes I feel like giving up, but I just can't. It isn't in my blood." Every lyric in here, which was beautifully written by the way, describes how it feels having a panic attack and having anxiety in general. It reminds me that no matter what, I can make my way out of it. I can win the fight.

8. "Free Spirit" by Khalid

Go here to listen.

Khalid's new album "Free Spirit" came out on April 5, 2019, and I am actually obsessed with it. I find myself immediately playing this album when I open my Spotify. When it comes to the song "Free Spirit," the music is enchanting to me; something about it just immediately calms me down. Not to mention that Khalid's voice is absolutely beautiful. Also, I just love the concept of being a free spirit. Not being tied down by mental illnesses or fear, and having this sort of euphoric peace.

9. "Intro" by Khalid

Go here to listen.

Once again, absolutely mesmerizing. I honestly feel like I'm taken to another world with this song. Something about the music just makes my brain feel so happy, peaceful, and calm. As for the lyrics, they remind me that I need to find my worth and put me first. Sometimes, I put so much of my emotional energy into other people that I have none left for me. I need to keep some of it for me though, because I know that I have worth, but I can never see it, so I need this emotional energy to be able to put myself first and love myself.

10. "Spiegel im Spiegel" by Arvo Part, Angele Dubeau, La Pieta

Go here to listen.

Not gonna lie, I'm a sucker for classical music. There's something about this song in particular that I feel like really captures the feelings of depression and detachment that I experience during a panic attack. It's just another reminder that I'm not alone in this.

11. "Raindrop Prelude: Op. 28 No. 15" by Frederic Chopin

Go here to listen.

Sorry, another classical piece... I just really love it. I feel like it shows the feelings before, during, and after a panic attack. Once again, it's a reminder that I'm not alone.

12. "Cello Suite No.1 in G-Major, Prelude" cover by Yo-Yo Ma (originally by Bach)

Go here to listen.

Last one, I swear! There's just something about this piece that makes me feel so calm and at peace... I don't know how to describe it. It's beautiful, and it makes me feel like there's hope of conquering my panic attack.

13. "Rescue" by Lauren Daigle

Go here to listen.

First, Lauren Daigle is simply amazing. This song in particular, though, reminds me that Jesus is always by my side, and he will never give up on me. He sees me in my trials, and he's fighting this fight with me. It gives me a lot of hope that someday I might not have to deal with these struggles.

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

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