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Yoga | | Jul 8, 2021

Things that I do to relieve stress and anxiety

Anxiety disorders are a big problem in our society these days. A 2017 WHO Report estimated that about 284 million people worldwide suffer from some kind of anxiety disorder, such as anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Their prevalence across the world varies from 2.5 to 7 % by country, being the most prevalent mental health or neurodevelopmental disorder. Another interesting (but really not shocking) estimation was the gender distribution. Around 63 percent (179 million) were female and 37 percent (105 million) were male.

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For many people that suffer from anxiety disorders, their lives and their ability to function in everyday life are affected by them.

Some symptoms might be feeling restless or on-edge, often feeling fatigued, they have difficulty focusing, irritability, excessive feelings of worry that are difficult to control, and difficulty in sleeping. However, some disorders can cause people to experience panic attacks.

I suffer from anxiety and these are some things that I do to relieve stress and anxiety:

  1. I snuggle or pet my cat (IF she allows it. Ahah). Whoever has a pet in their life knows how just interacting with them can improve our mood.

  2. I practice pranayama. Taking a moment for a few deep breaths, doing some specific techniques. That always calms me down in just a couple of moments.

  3. I listen to music. Depending on the moment I will need a different type of music.

  4. I go on a walk. Preferably in nature. Lately I've been going at least once a week on long walks in the woods and fields. These last weeks I've been walking about 18 km once a week and shorter walks a few times . I feel at peace, reconnected, calm whenever I am surrounded by nature. My mind is in the moment and not wondering about with other things. Also, it has been improving my sleep.

  5. I practice yoga. A sun salutation, some restorative asanas, sirsasana. (head stand). Studies say that it can enhance the mood and may be as effective as antidepressant drugs at treating depression and anxiety.

  6. I cook. I love to cook (unless on those days that I feel lazy or I am exhausted, and it ends up being more of an obligation than a leisurely task). Specially for other people. And to me, cooking can be a meditative task. I zone out, or rather just think of what I am doing., I am in the present moment.

  7. I lay down, cover my head with a pillow and try to take a nap. Not everyone likes to have a nap during the day. They might wake up groggy or indisposed. I wake up fresh and recharged! I try to nap during my period too, it always helps (whenever the pain and nausea allow me to fall asleep). If I could, I would even hibernate during my period! Ahah! I read. Fiction is a good escape from reality and the present moment. Series and films don't work as well with me, it has to be a book.

  8. I talk with someone. I have three or four people with whom I can rely on whenever I need to talk about my inner thoughts and worries.

  9. I take care of my plants. Watering, replanting, pruning. All tasks that make me loose awareness of thoughts and mindful of what I am doing at that moment.

  10. I drink a cup of coffee. Coffee can increase anxiety, but it's usually when in high doses. I probably drink one or two cups per day, and well diluted, so I'm good. Coffee taste and smell gives me the sense of comfort and security. It's cosy, it's homey.

  11. Drawing mandalas. It's recent, but it is an activity that makes me forget about everything else and focus on the moment, on what I'm doing. It's meditative for me. For some people is painting mandalas, for others is drawing them. I'm team drawing!

  12. I spend time with my nephews. Kids (at least our kids) will always make us smile.

So, these are some things that I resort to to relieve stress and anxiety. What about you? Do you suffer from anxiety? What do you do to relieve it?

With love and positive energies,

Things that I do to relieve stress and anxiety written by Joana Vieira

If you like my content feel free to buy me a coffee ☕️

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