Writer Overwhelm: How To Cope With Stress And Anxiety

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Overwhelm. Anxiety. Stress.

We all struggle with these issues from time to time or on a daily basis. I know I absolutely crashed and burned this week even though I did my best to prioritize and organize like I usually do.

Sometimes life just happens, the day gets away from you…or the week in my case, and you find yourself wandering around your kitchen staring at the gunk on the pan you used to make your kids breakfast, knowing you need to get going but not having the mental clarity or strength to actually leave your kitchen.

Stress, anxiety, overwhelm, and even depression can cause some debilitating behaviors, limiting our ability to accomplish the tasks we know we need to accomplish or simply limiting us from experiencing some much needed happiness.

Is the answer to push through the day anyway and force yourself to focus?

Some might say yes, but I'm not so sure that's the best way to cope with stress and anxiety.

Maybe it's simply time to step back and do a different activity that will help you reset your emotions, relax a little, and distance yourself from the immediate problem so you can go back a few hours later and take a look at your day with a little more calm and a little more clarity.

In my video above, I talk about different things I do to cope with overwhelm, anxiety, and stress. I'm hoping we can spark a discussion on some great ways to handle stress and anxiety in a positive, healthy way.

If you're running short on time then here is the condensed version of this ten-minute video.

Laugh

Our brains are hardwired to respond positively to laughter, sending out some serious “feel-good” chemicals that boost our moods and alleviate stress and anxiety.  If you can change the quality of your thoughts you will feel a change in your body's behavior which is why all of those folks who say “You are who you think you are” or “You can achieve what you think you can achieve” are really on to something.

Jokes, funny situations, and witty dialogue change our thought patterns and cause us to laugh which causes us to relieve stress. Now there is a much better scientific explanation for this, I'm sure, but the basics are this: funny thoughts create laughter and laughter changes your body chemistry in a very beneficial way.

Which is why my go-to for letting go of stress and anxiety is always the TV series Psyche or a sketch comedy show called Studio C.

If you want some great fun that will boost your mood, I highly recommend these programs.

Exercise

I'm a big fan of yoga. Can't get enough of it. I always do yoga in the morning and enjoy the health benefits of more oxygen to the brain, more flexibility, and more peace of mind. There's a lot to be said for finding a little quiet, peace, and serenity, learning to still your thoughts if you simply can't make them happy ones by clearing your mind altogether and doing something good for the body.

Sleep

I can never manage my anxiety and stress if I don't sleep well. My coping skills go down the drain like last week's leftovers. Anything less than six to eight hours for me isn't great, but if I do that repeatedly then things get even worse. The problem with this option is that anxiety and stress can actually prevent you from sleeping well. So you have anxiety and stress which means you can't sleep, but if you don't sleep your anxiety and stress gets worse.

It's one vicious cycle I find myself rolling through at times. That's why laughter and yoga are my first go-to's. If you exercise enough you can actually make yourself feel a little worn out, so I like to do yoga every morning and then sometimes in the evening if my stress is bad.

Vegging out to something hilarious is also helpful for me before bedtime.

In any case, I hope these tips give you some ideas on how to positively cope with stress, anxiety, and overwhelm in your life. Please comment below on the things you use to work through these same issues. I'd love to learn new ideas and techniques for battling these problems.

And be sure to watch the video above or at the link here when you get the chance.