Everyday life can get overwhelming and stressful at times. This is a common emotion that happens to people most of the time. But there are some, including myself, that suffers extreme bouts of extreme emotions of stress and panic attacks that can crumple them emotionally and physically. This is an anxiety disorder that I have been dealing with since I was young. Anxiety is not something that goes away but it is an emotion that can be maintained and controlled. When I get high anxiety, there are some useful methods that cal me down and I would like to share with you, especially for those book lovers who needs new ways to relax:dies
1. Reading – This an obvious activity. Studies have shown that reading relaxes the mind. So this a top activity to do relieve anxiety. But for the times when your anxiety reaches a high point, what I suggest is to read in a quiet place, like a nice isolated sport in a park or a quiet room in your house. Try not to read on the train or the bus (especially if you live in a big city like I do. Having peace and quiet on public transportation will be difficult). Keep your phone and computer away from you. Take that time to take a break from technology. If you like having music while reading, I advise classical music. The soothing, calming music will be relaxing.
2. Reread your favorite book – I find revisiting your favorite novel can be a soothing factor. When I get anxious or depressed, I pick up my copy of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and I just start reading. It is just something about the words and the story that calms me down. Also, rereading your favorite book is a great way to get you out of any book slump that you might be having.
3. Read some poetry – Whatever your feelings about the form, reading poetry can prove beneficial to the human mind. Poetry can conjure peaceful and calming images. Also, read it aloud! The rhythm of the poem can ease your anxiety and return you to relaxation. Don’t know any poems or need help looking for some? The Poetry Foundation has an app that you can discover hundreds of poems that fit your mood.
4. Visit your Favorite Bookstore – Take a breather and go to your favorite place where everything seems to be okay…a building surrounded by books! I was always relaxed when I went into any bookstore, anticipating what new books I would find there. Start browsing and find yourself comforted by the brand new stories and adventures you can be immersed in. And the bookstore can be your quiet place also! So you just knocked two birds with one stone.
5. Go Outside – Take a bike for a spin. Take a stroll in your favorite park. We might be scared at how the big the world truly is but we appreciate and admire our surroundings when we actually take the time to see nature for the beauty it truly is.See how refreshing it is to feel the sun on your face. When the weather starts getting pleasant, I always try to get in a walk at least once a day.
6. Visit a Museum or Any Other Cultural Institution – I love going to museums and I lover learning something new. It usually takes your mind off what is giving you anxiety. I suggest art museums. You can interpret the art however you like so you can free your mind and don’t have to worry about their being a right or wrong answer.
7. Explore New Hobbies & Revisit Old Ones – What better way than to take your mind off from the things that make you anxious but by doing something different. Take this time to explore something new for yourself. Do something new that you always wish you could do but didn’t believe you had a the time. Have a hobby but lately it has been collecting dust? Now is the time to pick it up again! When I get stressed, I start knitting or I paint with watercolor. When you are focused on that one thing, it seems that all your worries just melt away.
8. Keep a Journal – If you love to write, like myself, this method is very useful. Carry a journal around with you and when you start getting anxious, write how you feel.Putting down all your frustrations on paper may appear to not solve them right away but it does make you feel better. And if you are lucky, you can get a story
9. Meditation & Exercise – Another proven method that helps relieve anxiety and stress. Again, it is focusing on the exercising and not your problems just makes your frustrations minuscule. Types of exercise you can give a try: kickboxing, cardio (especially running or jogging), and yoga. I tried all of these and they were very helpful.
10. Herbal Tea – No list is complete without having tea on it. This one of the many reasons why I love drinking tea. Besides being an excellent companion with a good book, it is very soothing and calming. Although tea doesn’t have that much caffeine compared to coffee, try to steer clear from caffeinated ones. Your best bet is to drink the herbal teas, such as green tea and chamomile. Celestial Seasonings is a good brand for herbal teas. You can find a list of their offerings here.
Please note that these are suggestions and there really no quick fix for anxiety disorders. These are just helpful ways that can ease it for you. If it gets to be unbearable and affecting your daily life, I advise that you see a professional.