One of the biggest obstacles that prevents you from staying positive is finding ways to alleviate stress and anxiety.
Luckily, there are many ways to help reduce your stress levels and help you stay positive. Here are my top seven (in no particular order):
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, yoga always helps you get back in sync with your body and to recognize what hurts and work through it. Most local gyms have classes, but I recommend you check out some simple yoga videos on YouTube, such as Yoga with Adriene, or even download a yoga app so you can learn on your own time and not have to work around a gym’s schedule. This will allow you to get comfortable advancing your yoga practice and learning how to use it to relax.
Meditation is something that takes as little as two minutes per day, but it has such an amazing impact on your overall well-being and positivity. I use the app, Calm (which I discussed in greater detail in this post!) to unwind each day before bed and to help quiet my mind and reduce my stress levels.
Okay, I know I bring the aspect of writing into almost all of my blog posts on staying positive, but that’s because I cannot emphasize its benefits enough! Whether you are journaling, writing poetry, jotting down stories, or roleplaying… their are endless ways to use writing to help calm your mind and, as a result, get yourself into a more positive mindset.
I used to hate exercising in college, and while gymnastics and cheerleading kept me in shape, I never realized how much of a positive impact exercising had until I started getting into running and cycling. I started going to SoulCycle during my first job after college, and I’d come out of class covered in sweat and with a clear mind. It was as if I just got out of therapy while also burning calories and sweating out all the negativity. However, once I felt the negative impacts on my mood whenever I checked my bank statement (SoulCycle is not cheap, my friends), I turned to running in an attempt to get that same clear mindset from working out. I’m not a very strong runner, but running never fails to help me think more clearly and push aside any anxiety and stress, even if I only ran one mile… and walked whenever I had to go up a hill! 🙂
4. Visit Your Favorite Place
Whether you’ve just recently moved to a new location or you’ve lived in the same town your entire life, spend some time exploring what’s nearby. Check out the small coffee shops, the local parks, a new restaurant… and find somewhere you truly love. Then, whenever you’re stressed or anxious and need some time to yourself, stop into that place that makes you happy. Just being in that environment will help bring back the positive vibes you got when you first fell in love with it and that will help reduce the negative feelings crossing your mind and help give you some clear head space.
5. Read A Book
When the pressure of your own life is too much to handle, sometimes what you need to do is escape for a while and slip into someone else’s world. A book truly allows you to do just that. Books let you to visit a new realm, jump into a thrilling mystery, fall in love, experience magic, or even just get into someone else’s head, without you having to get up off your sofa. What more could you ask for?
Did you know that laughter reduces stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine? Getting your fix of laughter is such a simple way to reduce anxiety and immediately feel better. You know the times when you laugh so much that you feel a physical release inside your body? That’s exactly what you need when you’re anxious. Watch your favorite comedian, or turn on a sitcom, and you’ll know what I mean. So laugh at a show, laugh with your friends, watch some SNL skits, or watch my personal favorite video. Never gets old!
7. Go Outside
For me, this ties into a bunch of ideas I’ve already listed, such as running and visiting a favorite spot. When you’re anxious or stressed, take a walk in a local park and feel the sun on your skin or go for a bike ride and feel the wind in your hair. Bonus points if you can find a local park where there’s some body of water, if that’s what you enjoy!
Now here’s my greatest idea: combine a bunch of these into one until you feel better. Nothing calms me down more than going to a park, jogging for a little, then sitting on a bench near the water and reading a book or writing for a bit. Throw in some relaxing music and I couldn’t ask for much more!
What are your favorite ways to release negativity and stress? How do you find ways to stay positive?