I know, I know. You were expecting me to have a deep dark secret, but nope. Meditation reveals the good, the bad and the ugly because taping into your mind and being still for a few minutes of your day is the key to finding inner peace. I've had trouble meditating for years, but that's the point. You're not suppose to be good at it. When you feel yourself drifting off and arguing with your psyche, take a step back and grab your mind (as if it were a balloon slipping away) and bring it back to center focus. Another great thing you can do when you feel like your meditation session is a disaster, is to right down an intention and focus on that intention only. Once you begin to form a habit for meditating, you will see how great you actually are at it...The trick is to not over think it ;)
Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogen that provides a quick natural way to help fight stress and negativity. Ashwagandha has also been shown to help with forgetfulness and alertness. I take 3 every morning and have noticed a significant difference in my mood and stress levels. GAME CHANGER!
It's not just for kids! I've gotten my hands on some pretty cool coloring books, kids can't fathom! Trust me these adult color books not only keep you entertained, but they also keep your mind stimulated. I find it so therapeutic and the beautiful art work you create is the best part!
Here are a couple fun suggestions:
Stretch & Breathe Deeply
When you’re experiencing stress, there’s a good chance your muscles are tense. That’s because your muscles tend to tighten up in response to physical and emotional stress. Focus on areas of your body where you tend to hold your stress, such as your neck, shoulders and upper back. I like to get deep tissue massages every three weeks. It's actually recommended to get a massage weekly, especially if you exercise a lot. But the way my bank account is set up....you know the deal! Three weeks is what I can afford. Next, the goal of deep breathing is to focus your awareness on your breath, making it slower and deeper. When you breathe in deeply through your nose, your lungs fully expand and your belly rises. This helps slow your heart rate, allowing you to feel more at peace.
Play Jazz or Worship Music
I don't know why it's taken me so long to realize how much I enjoy Jazz music but this new found love has truly opened up new possibilities for me to find serenity in times of distress. Jazz enlightens my soul so when I listen to it, I feel carried away by the strings and beats. Slow-paced instrumental music can induce the relaxation response by helping lower blood pressure and heart rate as well as stress hormones. My mind becomes at ease and my focus is no longer on things I can not control. Worship music is also a great alternative to bring yourself closer to God and his word.
Journal/Call a friend
While recording what you’re stressed about is one approach, another is writing down what you’re grateful for. Gratitude helps relieve stress and anxiety by focusing your thoughts on what’s positive in your life. I'm a firm believer that you must release your pain in order to heal from it, so I've always been open to communication. It's difficult to be vulnerable and share your pain but it's also very liberating to speak your pain out loud and give it back to the universe. Let go and let God, am I right? Don't feel like writing? Call a friend. Venting to someone you can relate to or even a stranger helps us lift the extra weight off our shoulders. Asking for help does not make you weak. Besides, vulnerability is a superpower not a weakness.
I hope you try these different methods to relieve your stress & anxiety, and remember self care is an everyday practice. You don't have to do everything perfectly. Find what works for you and stick to it.