How I Manage and Cope with Stress and Anxiety

Why am I feeling this way?

Understanding My Triggers

My anxiety is triggered when I begin thinking about goals related to school or career. Whether I am overthinking about what family may think, or comparing myself to my peers, or wondering if I am as good or will ever be as good as other bloggers. The list goes on.

In order to understand your triggers you have to reflect. Remember the last time you weren’t feeling anxious or stressed out. What changed?

Understanding My Reactions

What are your side effects? How can you tell when you are feeling stressed or anxious?

I personally become increasingly tense. I hold all my tension in my shoulders and upper back. I especially know when I am not feeling as confident in myself when my shoulders begin to slouch and I develop horrible posture. Sometimes my anxiety gets so heightened that I sometimes feel like I can’t breathe or I find myself telling myself “you need to breathe more”. It sucks. Another one of my reactions to stress is self-isolation. I draw away from interactions and I also become very irritable. The smallest things will set me off.

In my case, stress and anxiety stem from unexpressed feelings and emotions that end up manifesting themselves in my body and life.

Talking to Myself

My initial response to stress or anxiety is ignoring it and hoping or assuming it will go away on its own. In reality, it would resolve itself much faster if I faced what I was feeling.

I love talking to myself (come on we all do it). Something I have been practicing recently is being my own best friend. Having full conversations with myself, call me crazy but this also helps me clarify and organize a lot of the clutter in my mind. Try it sometime.

I’ve found that talking to myself is more fulfilling and effective than “venting” to someone else. Understanding your emotions and taking steps to solve them requires being vulnerable. By learning to be vulnerable with yourself you learn how to be vulnerable with others. 

Me: “What are you truly feeling? Why?”

Keep asking yourself “Why? Why? Why?”  Sometimes the honest answer isn’t pretty but you have to be honest! Do it even if it’s uncomfortable. No comfort zones over here.

Journaling helps many people, including me, to get to the bottom of their emotions. Practice free writing, no editing, filtering, and switch topics when your mind switches topics. We surprise ourselves and all of a sudden we utter a huge “OOhhh!” That’s what’s been going on.

How To Cope

Imagine the Worst Case Scenario

Is it really that bad? If it is, is there a way you can work to accept it if it were to happen? Most times we find that we can handle the worst case scenario because the worst case scenario is often not that bad.

Breathe

It’s supposed to be second nature but DANNG sometimes times it gets hard to breathe! Wooosahhh.

Practicing Mindfulness

Stop right here! Do not pass go. The present is right now. I know, it’s really hard hearing the same ideas repetitively and thinking “This won’t work for me.” but they can and they will, if you just don’t pass go.

When your mind wants to wander off into the abyss of future plans and everything you have to do etc. just stop. I promise you the world won’t end.

I used to think if I didn’t think about the future something, anything, everything would crumble and the truth is nothing does. The only thing that remains is my peace of mind. Be more mindful.

3 Reasons Why I Meditate and Why You Should Too!

INDULGE in Peace of Mind

I think this is my favorite thing to say. Indulge in peace of mind. Step away from all the things that cause you stress or make you anxious and indulge in the things that make you feel at peace, comfortable, and calm.

I always recreate the moments where I’ve felt the most at peace. I remember how I felt, what I was doing, and try to recreate this feeling when I am feeling anxious.

For me, the times I’ve really felt at peace were during meditation. For me breathing is big as I’ve mentioned before so I try to recreate that feeling of easily flowing breathe and energy and it makes me feel calm and happy again. I remind myself “I deserve this. This feels good and I deserve this.” I indulge and wallow in my peace of mind instead of my anxiety.

Do Something, Anything!

For me, anxiety can feel like a lot of pinned up energy weighing down on my chest. Instead of letting it sit there I like to remind myself to get up and do something. Energy is energy whether good or bad, I choose to transmute my negative anxiety feelings into positive productive actions.

Anxiety is just fear, our fight or flight stimulus gets ignited and we’re stuck in the middle when we don’t pick one!

This helps me because most of my anxiety as a 20 something comes from worries about my future. If I put that anxious energy into productive tasks, that I view as helping my future self, I relieve some of that anxiety and I begin to feel better.

Need some inspiration, my Productive Morning Routine.

Have Fun!

Now that you’re all relaxed or working to get closer to it compound this with having some fun! Do more of the things that you know make you happy.

Do not mistake this for numbing activities like binging Netflix. Although sometimes like these are good for the soul. If you feel an undercurrent of tension and you can’t even keep up with the show or you feel like the entire story fell out of your brain you’re not relaxing and most importantly you’re not having fun.

Things I like to do:
Planning my next trip, cooking, baking, trying new Pinterest recipes,
traveling, staycations, mediation/yoga, trying new workout classes, other things I can not think of at the moment.

If you don’t know how to have fun or what makes you smile, experiment! Even if something turns out to not be your hobby the experience of trying was more than likely fun anyway. Keep trying new things until you find your thing or 2.

Comment below if you can relate or if any of this has helped you!

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"Keep asking yourself "Why? Why? Why?"  Sometimes the honest answer isn't pretty but you have to be honest! Do it even if it's uncomfortable. No comfort zones over here." How I manage my stress and cope with anxiety. #selfcare  #mindfulness #relievestress
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