If you have read my first post, my eczema skincare routine, I briefly mentioned the link between my experience of eczema and stress. This is just one example of how stress can manifest itself into an actual physical thing, the power of our brain is completely amazing but if you are anything like me, it can be quite overwhelming too. So today we are going to look at ways to create some relief and calm through turbulent times, this is a long one so grab a cuppa and put your feet up.
I am, and always have been a thinker, my brain is always moving at 100mph and so at times it can be hard to get my brain to slow down or relax even. Growing up this, combined with my reluctance for change was just too much of a good opportunity for Anxiety to sit out on. To pin point exactly what is going on or the root of your anxiety can be difficult especially as anxiety doesn’t wait for an obvious problem to come knocking on your door. It can be scary experiencing a flush of anxiety or panic, particularly when you don’t feel well equipped to identify and deal with it. More often than not, your body is letting you know your mind isn’t having a great time and so it comes down to understanding your mind and thoughts.
Although difficult, the first stage in gaining a better understanding, is identifying what is throwing your frequency off. You might already know and be avoiding it, you might have oppressed it or you may just be oblivious to it. There’s a few things you can do to aid this which are as follow :
Just bare with me, you’re probably rolling your eyes already. I am sure if you suffer from anxiety you have definitely heard, if not tried meditating. Most probably tried, thought you failed and gave up – don’t worry you’re not the first. Although testing, meditating can be the start of creating some clarity and also some peace to the constant background hum of your brain. Practising mindfulness will hopefully create calm as well as addressing your feelings and giving them validity.
If you struggle with mediating you can easily find some easy guided mediations for beginners on youtube, the important thing is to be somewhere comforting to your soul, somewhere you feel safe and somewhere that you can have 10 minutes without being interrupted. An app I have recently been using is ‘Calm’ it’s a free app that also offers a premium subscription, I have only been using the free services and yet there is a good deal to choose from; if you prefer to use a natural sound track you can choose from a number of sounds such as rain, thunder or water, alternatively you can choose a guided mediation ranging from a 1 to 21 days all for free! As long as you dedicate a bit of time each day and try and be disciplined with it you will come to reach a sense of freedom in your mind. Understanding your thoughts and feelings will become easier, I’m sure of it.
Another way you can better understand how you’re are feeling is to write down your unconscious thoughts, the people, situations or topics are causing you unease or trepidation. I know what you’re thinking, but you don’t need to write down every colour, road or person you come across in your dream. Just write down what you can remember; the gist of events, who you recognise, what role they played. From that you might be able to pick up a pattern or interpret a bigger picture.
Understanding your anxiety is one thing, however managing it is also just as important. Creating happiness and enjoyment are big factors and also some time for you to refuel and come back to yourself and the present.
Creating a routine for sleep doesn’t just set you up for the day ahead, it gives your brain and body uninterrupted rest. You might consider this common sense, however sitting on your phone before bed or browsing on your laptop makes it harder to fall asleep. I too am guilty of this, so heres a couple of apps that can help. My favourite is called ‘Windy’ which plays sounds that you can fall asleep to. I think you have to pay for this app now so a free alternative which is also good is called ‘Sleepo’ both can be put on a timer so you don’t have to worry about turning it off. If you phone doesn’t have the option to turn on night mode I would also recommend downloading a blue light filter app which should make it easier for your brain to turn off if you do use your phone before bed.
My favourite pastime, people you cannot ever do too much reading, this may even be my number one tip. Books evoke feeling, give advice, universally share life lessons and loves. They create support, for authors who need to tell there story and readers who thought they were alone. Fiction can set your imagination on fire and inspire you to start your next big thing, self help books can tune you in with yourself and travel books can help organise the best trip of your life. The outcomes and variety is literally endless. What better way to end the day then to come home and snuggle up to a book and glass of wine. If you are stuck on where to start your reading marathon, make a free profile on goodreads and explore all genres and categories read reviews and create your own wishlist of books.
If you are just simple not a reader, then you can always give audio books a chance although to listen to most well known or modern books you will have to pay some sort of subscription fee, there are plenty of apps that offer older classic books completely free of charge a couple to name are ‘Oodles books’ & ‘LibriVox’
Spend time outside! When you are feeling a little stressed or anxious there is nothing better then going out for a walk or maybe grabbing a cappuccino at your local coffee shop. Taking the time to spend some time in nature will give your mind a rest from the bustle of life and refresh the soul. Whether it’s during a warm summers evening or a crisp winter morning, if the latter put on your warmest hat and gloves, and just take some time to explore. Get to know your surroundings and yourself. Picking up a hobby can make this easier, this might be photography or something that doesn’t require you to be outside, but embrace it. Use the journey take a diversion and have a look around.
Music is so important for the soul. In a spiritual sense we exist through vibrations, which in turn effects our frequency, so, if we a are feeling ‘off’ we are putting that frequency out into the universe by default. Which means by the law of attraction you will attract that back to you. Even when you are feeling rubbish it’s important to show gratitude, be happy for the good in your life, send that out so you receive it back. Keeping positive mentally can unlock all sorts of greatness, listening to music can really tune you into positivity. The beats and vibrations of the song can completely alter your mood. Anything from hip hop to jazz whatever you like, listen to it – like really listen to it. Any chance you get while you’re cooking, on the train just take a minute to tap into those frequencies.
Come on guys, you knew this was coming. our body is our vessel, some people care more about their cars then their bodies. We have to pay attention to what we are refuelling with and what we are taking in. fresh food, home cooked dinners a balanced diet. Proportion is key – not too much sugar and salt. We can’t have a load of processed food with a ton of GMO’s and expect to feel our best. This is just another facet to the bigger picture but each facet is just as significant as the other. Staying fit and healthy can go along way for your mental state. So make sure you’re having your three meals a day, plenty of fluid and a good start to the day with a hearty breaky.
I hope these tips help if only a little, to act as a reminder to take a step back a deep breath and know in hard times this too shall pass.