We can all succumb to worry from time to time. It’s natural to let the turmoil of the world get in our heads and stress us out. But what if I told you there were some practical ways to reduce your attachment to worry so you can return to joy. Would you be interested?
I’ve found some great ways to change worry habits into joy habits. And they work! Let’s dive in for a closer look.
First of all, let’s talk about the three different kinds of stress.
Winter blues: SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) – This can be a very debilitating disorder that typically starts in late fall or early winter and becomes less severe in the spring and summer when the days are sunnier. People who suffer from S.A.D. usually feel quite depressed most of the time, with low energy and trouble sleeping which can create other issues such as difficulty concentrating. In extreme cases, it can cause deep depression and even suicidal thoughts.
Worry: This is most often brought on by situations that cause a person to feel anxious. It’s natural for people to feel some anxiety in new situations or when concerned for a loved one, but when worry becomes a person’s typical behaviour pattern, it can lead to severe physical and emotional problems later.
Chronic stress and PTSD: These types of stresses are often the most challenging to live with, for the person afflicted and the people around them. That’s when working with a trained professional can make all the difference in helping someone return to a balanced state of wellbeing.
So now that we have a better understanding of the different types of stress and anxiety, here’s my baker’s dozen on how to release worry so you can remember your joy:
- Breathe: Sounds simple because it is. When you’re starting to freak out and go into a worry tizzy, hit the pause button and just breathe. It’s the most natural thing to do, but we tend to hold our breath when we are anxious instead of doing the exact opposite – the thing that will allow us to relax and develop some perspective. Try it. Breathe in. Breathe out. Again. Nice.
- Meditate: Similar to breathing, meditation calms the mind and helps to relieve stress in ways that are often the most effective. And if you are just starting out, just meditate for 5 minutes by focusing on your breath. Then extend the time. When I first started meditating, I set the timer for 20 mins. and did it just once a day. But you can stop at any time of the day to refocus your mind and relax. It really does work.
- Be Optimist: Practice a new way of looking at the world. Instead of seeing the glass half empty or half full, see the pitcher of water beside the glass and fill it up! (Thanks Steve Achor for that analogy)
- Smile: Get your grin on! Smile at others. Smile at yourself every time you look in the mirror. It will make you laugh and that’s a great way to release stress.Get some fresh air: Go out into nature when you start to feel stressed. Take a walk. Move those parts. Go to the forest if you can and be released by the energy of the trees.
- Be released with water: Water is nature’s purifier. When you shower or bathe, watch the water take away your worries as it swirls around the drain. Listen to the sound of water in a stream, or water fountain in your home. It purifies and soothes the senses.
- Music: Peaceful or inspirational music can elevate your joy frequency in profound ways. There has been much research into sound therapy – music, singing bowls, and other tools like tuning forks and bells can help to release anxiety and bring peace and wellbeing to mind, body and spirit.
- Rest: Having good bedtime habits can really help to release stress. Reduce stimulants before bed such as food, alcohol and screen-time (especially the news). Listen to uplifting music and set positive intentions for a peaceful sleep.
- Nutrition: Adopting healthy nutrition habits will not only help you look and feel better but can balance your overall sense of wellbeing. Since I started working with an holistic nutritionist, every part of my life has improved. It’s amazing what eating the right kind of food can do to amp up the joy vibration!
- Light Therapy: This can be really effective for helping someone with S.A.D. or anyone who needs a little light during the winter or rainy season.
- Journaling: A very effective method for getting the worry out of your head is to put it on paper. The act of describing what you are stressed about onto a piece of paper instead of complaining to someone else, is that you can take the time to articulate your thoughts without being influenced by someone else. Often by taking the time to express your feelings and concerns in this private way, you can stand back and then look at things a little bit more objectively. Usually the solutions will come more quickly, or at the very least, you’ve gotten something off your chest. Breathe now. Relax.
- Massage: Undoubtedly, one of my very favourite ways to release built-up tension. Go as often as you can. Good for the mind, body and spirit!
- Aromatherapy: I’ve been a strong advocate for the power of aromatherapy to shift moods and alleviate stress for many years. In fact, there are specific protocols using a series of therapeutic grade essential oils that Young Living has blended for this very purpose. They are powerful and they are effective.
I hope you’ll try to incorporate as many of these new stress releasing habits into your everyday and then watch what happens. Your attachment to worry and anxiety will decrease.
Your friends and family will notice the change in you. And they’ll feel more joyful just by being in your company. What could be more joyful than that?
Love from your Joy Mama,
P.S. If you want to learn more, tune in to my Facebook page at Noon today (Sept 18) to hear my interview with Dr. Alishia Alibhai who will share some further insight into emotional release methods.