As someone who suffers from anxiety, I know first-hand how difficult it is to just turn off and unwind. Some people have perfected the art of relaxation and have no trouble forgetting the day’s worries and just doing things they enjoy. Jealous! However, for some, it isn’t that easy. I especially realise the trouble I have with letting my mind be still when I am trying to get to sleep. It takes me so long to drift off. I seem to just have reams and reams of relentless ruminations rattling in my head. I therefore need little ways to make it easier for me to be able to relax in my own company.
Listening to Calm Music
After a challenging day, I can actually feel the tension circulating through my whole body. My neck and back feel so stiff and my chest feels tight and uncomfortable. So, I always find that playing mellow music makes me instantly more in tune with my body and I therefore find it easier to allow myself to let go of the strain I am unintentionally holding on to. I love to play artists such as Norah Jones or Enya but sometimes I enjoy just finding a random playlist on Spotify of calm songs. I have recently been loving the Spotify playlist ‘Stress Buster‘. It really helps create a soothing atmosphere.
Focus on your Breath
As I mentioned earlier, my chest can feel a little tight when I get stressed and irritable. When this happens, I find it so helpful to put all of my attention onto my breathing. Take long deep breaths and place all of your focus on it. This stops your mind wandering into a worrying way of thinking. When I went to meditation class, we learnt a very helpful technique to stop yourself from trailing into random thoughts when trying to be mindful. He said to count each breath through every exhale and when you stop doing this, you start from 1 again. This helps you to actively acknowledge when you are not being present and how often you keep on track.
I find that running really helps my body release any built-up tension. It gives my mind something to really strive for and work towards. I try to run further each time which gives me a sense of great achievement when I have accomplished it. It helps increase the endorphins in your body which can create a sense of well being and I think it definitely reduces stress. It also increases my self-esteem as I know I am keeping fit and doing all I can for my body to thrive. It is just brilliant for your mental and physical well being.
Find a Hobby
I was talking to my brother who does jujitsu and he absolutely loves it. It is like an obsession for him. He told me while he is fighting during his classes, you literally have to immerse yourself into it and other external thoughts cannot even enter your mind. It is such a strategic sport, you really have to be in the moment. So, having a hobby you are passionate about can really help you have something to focus your attention on. Find a sport or activity you enjoy and submerge every part of yourself in it. It is good to obsess over something which will better yourself. You can then remove all the negative thoughts you have which you think are stagnant in your brain, and replace them with positive thoughts on something you love and look forward to.
Don’t take life too seriously
I think we sometimes get too wrapped up in our own lives and it’s ‘worries’. However, when you really think about it, we create these worries in our own head. It is important to take a step back from it all and see it for what it really is. We have one life to live and we definitely don’t want to dread each day with crippling worry. We all need to remind ourselves that we shouldn’t take things too seriously and to take everything with a pinch of salt. Life is way too short.
I truly hope you can take something away from this which will help you in your every day life.