TIPS & INFORMATION
How to Cope with Stress and Anxiety
Write It Down
When things are worrying you write it down. Get some paper and a pen and just write everything that comes into your head for three to five minutes. It doesn’t make any difference if it makes sense or not—just write it down. If you are worried, it is difficult to relax your mind or body. When you have made your list of worries, see how much control you have over them. Is there any action you can take to solve the problem, or are you worrying about things out of your control? Sometimes just writing it down and getting it out of your head helps to put things into prospective.
Decaf and De-sugar Your Life
Caffeine and sugar can play havoc with the nervous system. Women especially do not metabolize caffeine and sugar the same as men. In place of coffee or soda, have a cup of decaf herbal tea or water. Spice up your water by adding some Essential Oils like lemon, orange or peppermint, or by adding some fruit or veggies like lemon, lime orange, cucumber or celery. If you are using essential oils, make sure they are pure and can be taken internally. Be sure to use essential oils only in glass containers and not plastic. Essential oils will pull chemicals out of plastic and you don’t want to ingest them. In place of sweets, eat nuts or protein. Your body will thank you for it.
Remove Yourself from the Stressful Situation
Give yourself some quality time alone. Take a walk and, with each step, notice where you are at each exact moment. Notice the wonders of nature: the green grass, the beautiful fall leaves, and the coolness of the winter air. Focus on the sounds, the sights or the smell as you walk. Or go to a room where you can be by yourself. Ask yourself, “How important is it?” or “Will this be important this time next year?” Just go within.
Take a Warm Bath
Tension is a normal result of stress. A warm bath will help rid your muscles of this tension. You can make a “spa bath.” Mix with ¼ cup Epsom salts with 10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes. As you soak, visualize the tension leaving your body. As you let the water out, visualize all of that tension going down the drain with the water.
Watch a funny movie or read a funny book. A report from the Mayo Clinic indicates that data are mounting about the positive things that laughter can do:
- Activate and relieve your stress response. Laughter fires up, then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The result: a good relaxed feeling.
- Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation. Both which help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
- Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural pain killers. Laughter may also break the pain spasm cycle common to some muscle disorders. As the saying goes, “Laughter is the best medicine.”
Reduce Social Media
Using social media obsessively causes more than just anxiety and stress. In fact, testing has found that using too much internet can cause depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), impulsive disorder, problems with mental functioning, paranoia, and loneliness. Social media use can also lead to poor quality of sleep. Try a social media “Fast” Intentionally shut down or remove all social media for a block of time (ex. 2 days, 24 hours, 1 week). Take note of how you feel during the time away from social media.
The soothing power of music has a unique link to our emotions; it can be extremely effective as a stress-management tool. Listening to music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies. Classical or nature music has been shown to lower heart rate, slow breathing, lower blood pressure, and decrease the levels of stress hormones. Music can absorb our attention; it acts as a distraction at the same time it helps explore our emotions. Music can be a great aid to meditation to help the mind from wandering.
Where the mind goes, energy flows. If you concentrate on the negative experiences of life, you will bring negativity to your life. If you focus on positive aspects, you will bring good into your life. Start by keeping a gratitude journal. Every night write 10 things you are grateful for—10 things that were good in your life that day. Soon you will find that you are focusing on good things rather than the negative. Notice how good you feel after you have having written 10 things to be grateful for. We all must have an attitude of gratitude.
Stress can be managed by proper breathing. Shallow breathing is a typical stress response. Abdominal breathing techniques soothe the nervous system and encourage health benefits. The primary role of breathing is gas exchange: our cells need oxygen and their waste product, carbon dioxide, needs to be expelled. Scientific studies have shown that correct breathing can help manage stress and stress-related conditions by soothing the autonomic nervous system.
Sit comfortably. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Take a slow deep breath in through your nose. As you inhale, the hand on your abdomen should rise first and then the hand on your chest. Hold the breath for two seconds. Slowly let it out through your mouth, letting the hand on your chest fall first and then the hand on your abdomen. Practice this for five to 10 minutes a day
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully aware of the present moment. Start by taking five minutes a day to practice. Go to a quiet place and sit “with” yourself. Go within and be aware of your body, your breathing, and the sounds around you. Be aware of the feelings you have in your mind and body. Just be here now. Don’t let your mind think of the past or future. Learning this skill helps reduce stress and depression.
You Can Only Control Yourself
I learned a long time ago that I could only control my “inner environment.” I cannot control anyone else. When we are in a stressful state of mind, we want to control everything and everyone, to help our lives be less stressful. When we learn to let go of control, it frees us to work on ourselves. There is a saying that “People do things that upset us not to upset us.” We have to give up control of “outer environment.”
*All of this takes practice. We don’t walk around daily being stress free. Practice and be patient with yourself. You are learning new techniques that, with time, will make your life so much better.
Tips for Relaxation
* Close your eyes, take a slow deep breath in, and slowly exhale. Do this 3 times.
* Inhale some Lavender Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil.
* Imagine yourself in a beautiful, peaceful, relaxing place.
* Imagine all the muscles of your body relaxing, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, releasing the tension.