How to Keep Calm and Carry On
A Guide to Beat Stress and Anxiety
As someone who has suffered with Stress and Anxiety, I know all too well how horrible it can feel and how it can take over your life if you let it. I have come up with a number of ways you can help yourself and start feeling like you again. These have worked for me and they can work for you too. Keep these things as tools and use them when you need to.
1) Lavender Essential Oil
This is something I never knew could help me until one day I just breathed in the scent and it made me feel completely calm! I couldn't believe something so simple could help me in such a big way. I now carry a little bottle of essential oil around with me so, if I need to be calm, I know it's there.
2) Peppermint Tea
I got introduced to peppermint tea by a family member and it is something I always go to in times of need. It always makes me feel calm and settles my stomach if I'm feeling anxious! It has a subtle mint taste so it is not overpowering like you might think. It is a must for me to have at home :) You can try other teas too like green tea and chamomile tea. Give them a try and see what taste you prefer.
Yes this is always on the list for reducing stress but it really is effective! Just taking a short amount of time out of your day to clear your head is important. You are important and you must take some time just for you and to gain a better perspective. I started off with doing just ten minutes a day and with each day I was feeling calmer and calmer and now it is just a part of my lifestyle. I started with the Headspace app, which I love! It offers very good insights and makes you think about stress and anxiety in very different ways. Give it a try! :-)
4) Positive Visualisation
This is something I learnt a while ago and it is also sometimes called 'mental rehearsal'. When we are anxious we are imagining all the things that we don't want, so we have to practice visualising all the things we do want to happen instead. The brain cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined so if we are imagining what we don't want, your brain thinks you are actually in that situation. It's like when we feel excited for something. We feel excited because we are thinking of all the fun and good things that we are going to do. The best way to visualise, I find, is to get myself in a relaxed state by meditating and then start my visualisation after that. The next time you have an event coming up or anything that makes you anxious, try this technique and you will be amazed at how you feel on the day!
5) Take a Hot Bath
Taking a hot bath relaxes your muscles and puts your mind in a relaxed state. It takes away the stresses of the day and helps to calm the body and mind. I like to add bath bombs and essential oils to mine and I also find this a good time to practice positive visualisation, as I am at my most relaxed.
6) Write it Down
Simply writing down your worries gives your mind a bit of space. Seeing everything written down in front of you helps you to gain perspective and helps to organise the things in your life. If everything is just left swirling around your head then it can feel very overwhelming and you are not likely to get anything done. Write it down and get it all out of your system. I often find this makes me feel better and just gives me that bit of space
7) Go For A Walk
Simply going for a walk helps to clear your head and put things in a clearer perspective. I always feel better when I get out into nature and get fresh air in my lungs. Sitting indoors is not good for anyone, you have to get out and get some space. A good app I use is called Headpace and it includes a walking meditation which is great! I would also suggest looking on YouTube for other walking mindfulness meditations as they really help focus your mind on something different and give you that time away from everything. If I am feeling anxious, I like to slow my walk down, which I find to be very effective!
8) Talk to Someone
Talking to someone about your problems can provide a great relief and you will often find that they have most likely gone through the same thing as you. Don't be ashamed to talk to someone about how you are feeling. We are all human and we all go through hard times, it is life. If you can't talk to family and friends, don't be afraid of talking to a therapist. They are there to guide and help you get back on track.
These are the main things that help me and hopefully they can help you too! If you have any tips that help you, please feel free to share them! :)