Based on the data it is pretty clear that stress and anxiety issues are on the rise across America and other parts of the world. While both stress and anxiety are creations of our mind, we must find and share solutions to deal with this growing mental health epidemic. As someone who has personally dealt with anxiety most of my life, I have tried many things to help me find my own internal peace. Below are my favorite hacks to deal with our sometimes unfriendly mind.
Don’t always be productive. While this literally sounds “counterproductive”, the treadmill of being productive can get tiresome and stressful. Try to sit back and enjoy life a bit. Watch a movie, go for a walk, grab a drink with friends, or just know that “not being productive” is likely the best way of being your best later.
Watch a funny show or movie. Nothing like a good laugh to take the edge off and help you forget about whatever is bothering you. I think I’ve watched The Office TV series almost three times now!
Sleep well. While many of us busy and ambitious humans hate to sleep, there are a few things that can cause our minds to go crazier than a lack of sleep or poor sleep. While proper sleep might feel “lazy” to you, proper sleep is important for a calm, healthy mind.
Do something hard. While this might seem contradictory to the objective of reducing stress and anxiety, the incredible feeling you get after accomplishing something challenging like learning a new skill or tackling a big goal/project can be powerful.
Do something you love. For many it can be hard to pursue what we love as a career, but making time to pursue hobbies that we care about can be a rewarding, relaxing way to utilize our free time and nourishing to our soul.
Helping someone else or volunteering. Helping others is not only a great way to help you relieve stress, but also makes the world a little better. The gratitude you get from helping a friend or stranger can make even the toughest day better. And helping those in need often can help us realize our problems aren’t as big as we imagine.
Travel. Travel broadens our perspective and helps us see beyond our sometimes crazy daily life. So while you may not be able to travel weekly, the planning, prepping and general lead up can be an exciting experience as well. And with Airbnb, shorter weekend getaways can also be a less expensive, relaxing option.
Nature. Various studies have shown that humans are more calm and relaxed in nature. While sometimes it can be hard to leave work or our friends, getting out in nature is great to quickly find some peace. Even walking or jogging in a park can help.
Exercise. Speaking of jogging, exercise is an amazing way to release some built-up energy. Plus, with a sufficiently strenuous routine, your body will release endorphins giving you a natural “high” which can turn almost any frown upside down.
See a professional. Having someone you can speak to for advice and input is a helpful tool for many. Having someone whose job is to listen to us and is trained psychology, is a pretty amazing thing.
Friends. While stress and anxiety can feel like a lonely issue, friends are always a great source of support and a helpful way to get out of our noisy heads. Humans are social creatures, having a close crew is powerful!
Meditate. Nothing has honestly helped me with my stress and anxiety more than meditation. While others may have told you the same, now science is also supporting the benefits of meditation in maintaining a healthy mind. Trying to develop a regular meditation practice is likely the single best thing you can do to deal with anxiety.
For this New Year’s, my resolution is to share my meditation practice with as many people who were like me in hopes of helping others. I created MeditateYear. It can assist with anxiety, lack of focus and many other issues. Because in a crazy world, a calm mind is a superpower. It’s a completely free meditation journey that can bring the happiness you have been looking for.
If you’re reading this you may be going through a tough period or know someone who is. I know the feeling, so I’m sincerely wishing you much peace and joy in 2020. Feel free to reach out in the comments or directly.