Coping with Anxiety and Stress

Panic attacks, insomnia, tears, screaming…
We’ve all been there. No really. Every single one of us has experienced pain based on anxiety or stress at some level, some more than others. Trust me, I am one of the latter. Learning to cope with anxiety and stress has been one of the greater challenges in my life, but also a major success. As one learns to manage their troublesome emotions, life can improve immeasurably.
Personally, I manage my emotions with clear coping methods and paradigms.
As soon as my body starts to tense up, I start to get that nervous migraine, or look at my to-do list and come to tears, I take a break. I don’t stress-eat, cry, or get right into my work. Instead, I take just a minute to step back and say is this worth worrying over?
I say; is this worth my time, attention and care? Most of the time the answer is no. And to further calm myself down, I do a relaxing activity.

Weather and energy permitting, when I start to get anxious, I go for a run. Releasing endorphins into your body in a way you actually enjoy is probably the most effective way to calm down.
If I’m more cooped up, I try meditation. The Breathe app (logo included) has free meditation programs that help you to take a breath, take a step back, assess your values, and come out of a 1-20 minute meditation with more equanimity and love.
I also enjoy playing the piano. This mind distraction betters a skill, allows me to relax, and refocuses my mind so I am better able to focus and calm down later.
Another mind-refocusing method is writing. My writing source is my blog, but it could vary in style and location person to person. Turning on music, breathing, and typing my emotions refocuses me enough that I can face a situation with more bravery and relaxation when I return.
Or, maybe I decide not to return to a situation that is making me angry, anxious or upset. Again, anxiety and stress vary so much person to person, and it is just important to find your coping methods. These are just a few of mine.
Lastly, there are some situations where anxiety just doesn’t allow you to take a step back and try a new activity. I have experienced anxiety in meetings, conversations, dates, on planes, cars, busses. I could go on for hours. I wish I were joking 🙂
But, when I face an experience like this, I try a physical calming technique that probably works 95% of the time. I find pressure points in my hands and wrist, and ground myself through the sensory experience of rubbing and touching my hands. This practice could vary so much from person to person, the main moral is just that each person needs a grounding technique that can be used in all situations.
With these methods, I have calmed my anxiety and now lead a more optimistic, compassionate, and enlightened life. I hope all my readers can take that step in their lives as well.
love always,
–the enlightened student.

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