I’m not sure the exact day my life switched from being full of stress and anxiety to being easy breezy in comparison to my old ways, but I do know the steps I took that have led me to a much more peaceful life.
I used to worry about everything. I used to overwork for silly reasons, always thinking my work needed to be better, never feeling like I did enough. I used to feel what I thought was an insurmountable anxiety towards living my “best life.”
I knew I had to change something and I knew that medicating away anxiety wasn’t something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
While at one point in my life, medication was exactly what I needed, I got to a point where I knew I could live more freely.
So I committed to a new practice.
As sure as I had been to take my medications at their regimented doses and times, I began a new practice to replace them that has been the cornerstone of my emotional well-being.
While this article doesn’t dive into detail about all of the rituals I use, I do share 4 things I do regularly that helped me arrive at a place where stress no longer controls me that you can start implementing TODAY. Now I can use stress solely for its advantages (growth, opportunities, personal development) vs the seemingly debilitating emotion it once was.
Use this reminder: Whenever you feel like you are “wasting time” or “not doing enough” or “not as far along” as you’d like to be with something, this is a prime time to get carried away with stressful thoughts that can make us feel like giving up. Anytime I’m having these thoughts, I remind myself: “I am exactly where I need to be, doing exactly what I need to do.” This self-soothing phrase is more than lip service. While the thought may put your mind at ease instantly, you need to understand that this is completely true. Additionally, you could add more on to it like this: “I am exactly where I need to be, doing exactly what it is I need to do, experiencing exactly what it is I need to experience at this time.” Knowing this lets you off the hook for feeling anything related to the stress-inducing thought of “wasting time” or not having “done enough.”
Journal every day...this way: No, not like “dear diary, today I ate an orange for breakfast and went to ballet class.” (lol, not a day my diary would probably ever see anyway) What I use my journal for is very intentional and healing. I recommend doing the following in your journal daily:
Intention-Setting -- Every morning I co-create with the Universe by getting clear about my intentions for the day. For example, I may write something like “Universe, thank you for using me to be of the highest service today. I am grateful to use my gifts to be of service to others.
Outing Fears -- when you out a fear from the day, it holds less power over you. For example, “I was afraid to speak up in a meeting today because I was scared I’d be judged.” When you reflect on that and take time to look at the reality, which is that there are a MILLION reasons for that fear NOT to be true (who knows who else needed to hear what you had to say and would have been grateful for your words), and even if it is true that you’d be judged, remembering that that has NOTHING to do with you. If someone is going to judge you, that reflects their insecurity, no yours. You are a beacon of light. Love is your reality. You can more easily see that a fear is ISN’T REAL when you separate it from yourself in this way. After each fear you out, tell the Universe “I know this isn’t real, I welcome in love instead”
Gratitude List -- Before bed, list EVERYTHING in your life for which you are grateful. Soak in this feeling. You will discover more and more things every day. A lot of things may even be something that usually gives you stress. For example “I am grateful to have had the money to make my bill payment.” Now, instead of focusing on the stress of paying off a bill, you’re focusing on how good it feels to pay it. This simple shift adds up big time.
Meditation: Meditation isn’t as stuffy or “woo woo” as many people think it is. It can be SO easily incorporated into your day and makes HUGE difference. Becuase there’s so many examples of ways to incorporate this, I recommend watching my video on 5 simple techniques to get started. Additionally, I recorded a free guided meditation for INSTANT anxiety reduction. The guided meditation “Silver Heart” on this page (access granted upon entering email) was a vision/healing that came to me during a panic attack. It instantly stopped the attack and gave me a wave of calm that carried over throughout 3 very stressful days that could have been a lot harder on me than they were because of my commitment to this work. It is no exaggeration for me to say that meditation has completely changed my life for the better.
Don’t give up: This is a commitment. Deciding to implement new techniques in your life isn’t going to do anything for you if you choose to be flaky about it. Either you care about making a change or you don’t. If you do, commit to trying these steps for 40 days (a perfect amount of time to change a habit) and see if you begin to feel less stress. The more you practice this, the more it works.
Now give these techniques a try and don’t forget to share if you know someone who needs it!