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.