Have you ever wondered how some people just come across as confident and calm while you feel like you spend your life in a constant state of stress and anxiety?
Well, we are starting to see a shift in consciousness and a light shone on the elements of the human psyche that are actually more common than the general population likes to admit.
Western society focuses primarily on economic factors to assess our general sense of well being. However, in many cases, failed relationships, physical or mental illness has a much larger impact on someone’s overall well being.
There has been much research on the link between depression and poverty, and reducing depression and anxiety may actually have a bigger impact than just focusing on eliminating poverty.
There are, however, arguments for and against this idea. When it comes to the argument that you can create one’s own reality, we find ourselves in a chicken and egg situation. Trying to eliminate poverty without addressing the huge impacts of mental illness is like trying to treat the symptom of an illness without trying to find and treat the cause.
Here are 5 simple step by step practices you can implement into your life without feeling like you have to make drastic changes:
1. Remember: This Too Shall Pass
The first step to overcoming negative feelings is to recognize that you are experiencing a very common emotional state most commonly identified as anxiety. Although it’s uncomfortable, the negative feelings WILL PASS.
Remember, nothing lasts forever and everything will end eventually, and so will your negative feelings.
2. Learn How to Self-Soothe (Positive Self-talk / Muscle Relaxation / Diaphragmatic Breathing)
Whether you believe you can speak things into existence or not, it doesn’t hurt to be telling yourself positive things. For example, instead of an internal monologue of “why is this so hard”, switch it to “why is this so easy”. Even if it feels silly in the beginning, you may get yourself to a point where you believe and things actually will become easy.
A really simple way to relax your muscles is to tense a muscle group for 10-20 seconds, as hard as you can, and then release. You start from your feet and make your way up your legs until you are at your head. Repeat as many times as you like until you feel a wave of relaxation hit you.
There is nothing better than the feeling of taking deep breaths into your belly. A lot of us exist in our daily lives taking really shallow, chest breathes. This actually keeps us in a state of high blood pressure and stress. You will notice you can regulate your pulse very easily after about 20 seconds of slow deep breathing. Many eastern modalities recognize the importance of the breath, or as they call it, our life force energy. Bringing awareness and taking 10 mins of your day to do simple deep breathing will definitely make a difference to your stress levels.
3. Check Your Diet
What we eat and drink has a large impact on our emotional state. A good rule of thumb is that for every acidic thing we do to our body, we must offset it with something alkalizing to create a balance. So, you can have your coffee, meat and alcohol in moderation, but make sure you maintain a high intake of greens. Juices, smoothies, salad and also lemon water or apple cider vinegar is a great alkalizing routine to start the day.
Something else you can test is how you feel when you cut certain food groups out of your diet, keeping track of your energy levels. Eating a lot of carbohydrates or dairy or even too much protein can put a strain on your digestive system making you feel lethargic. This is not great for our moods and energy levels. Bringing awareness to this part of your life is a great place to start and could unlock a lot of answers for you.
4. Get Moving
It’s no secret that exercise is great for general well being. While it may be unattractive to begin, once you do, you will feel amazing for it. During exercise, the body releases chemicals called endorphins which interact with receptors in the brain to cause euphoric feelings and a reduction in physical pain.
5. Get More Sleep
It’s actually been scientifically proven that loosing a few hours sleep can increase stress, anger, anxiety & sadness. Taking the time to get the rest you need can make immeasurable difference to your daily experience.