Monday, January 11, 2016

List: Ten effective strategies to help alleviate stress and anxiety.

I feel like my life is a line of perfectly stacked dominoes being knocked over one by one.  The moment one domino hits the ground; the next one is already tilted and ready to fall.  Let’s just say that I’m currently stressed to the point of uncontrollable acne and blurred vision!

 Another thing that many people can’t understand is that good things can trigger anxiety also.
The constant underlying chance that something could go wrong and the stress of change get me good.  I have been so motivated to succeed, that I pushed my mental health to the side.  It’s time to slow down and focus on getting my anxiety in check before it affects my physical health.

Fact:  Anxiety and stress can cause many serious medical issues in addition to physical and mental fatigue.

After going to a counselor weekly for years, I've developed a few effective strategies to use regularly.  These are the top ten that seem to work the best for me.  I hope they help you too!

how to lower stress and anxiety effectively without medication

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Ten tips to help alleviate stress and anxiety.

 1.  Take deep breathes.
When you start feeling like your brain is about to hit overdrive, just stop and breathe.  Your eyes should be closed and your thoughts should be focused on your breathing pattern.  When you're only focus is on the rhythm of your breath, it helps to temporarily alleviate the feelings of stress and anxiety.
2.  Live with background noise.
Some simple background noise ideas are soothing music, the TV, or even the sound of your toddler playing.  This will help your brain from wandering into unnecessary stressful thoughts and ideas.  Background noise helps me focus.  Without it, my brain starts thinking horrible things.

Idea:  When I'm feeling stressed or anxious, I like to utilize my Echo Show from Amazon Alexa.  Simply ask Alexa to play "babbling brooks" for some soothing sounds that help distract your mind, especially at night when trying to sleep.  Click here for more info on Echo.
3.  Avoid Googling medical symptoms.
Typing medical symptoms in Google is the same thing as diagnosing yourself with a death sentence.  This triggers all those horrible “what if” thoughts and brain clutter that leaves you unable to perform daily tasks.  When my vision went blurry, I self-diagnosed myself with eye herpes.  I said, EYE HERPES, people!!!!!
4.  Perfect the art of distraction.
When you're filled with stress and anxiety, try to alleviate it by finding a way to redirect your focus onto something productive.  Dive into work, a good book, a juicy movie, or even a cleaning fit.  Focus your thoughts on a task instead of worry.

Idea:  If you're looking for a good read to distract your mind, I highly recommend this book by Kristin Hannah.  It's one of my favorite and consistently works at helping me forget everything else going wrong in my life.
5.  Learn to rationalize.
Many times anxiety brings about irrational thoughts and fears.  Try to weed through the things that are impractical.  When a crazy thought enters your mind, ask yourself first if it’s possible, then ask yourself if it’s probable.
6.  Avoid high doses of caffeine.
As lovely as those big mugs of coffee are, they don’t mix too well with high levels of anxiety.  Swap your fancy espresso for a flavored decaffeinated tea.  This will help your brain from going into overdrive.  Sometimes caffeine prevents me from winding down when I should be.  It’s just not healthy all around!
Idea:  Check out this related post on Tazo Tea to see how it helped me alleviate some stress and anxiety with their caffeine gauge.

7.   Ask your doctor about melatonin.
Melatonin is a natural sleep aid found in the vitamin aisle.  Pop two of those bad boys and you safely snooze.  Anxiety can make it very difficult to fall asleep.  Melatonin is a great solution especially since it's nonaddictive.  The moment I lay in the dark ready to sleep, all the thoughts start pouring in.  Melatonin really helps!

Idea:  This is the brand that I've been using and have had great success with it.  See if you doctor agrees if it can help you too.
8.  Always stay organized.
Make your schedule, home, career, and every other aspect of your life as organized as possible.  Everything is just a tad less stressful and rushed when there is order to it.  Lists are another great tool to use to stay focused while trying to alleviate your stress and anxiety.

9.  Do not try to predict the future.
There's nothing worse than worrying and obsessing over what MIGHT happen.  Living in the present and avoiding stress over things that may never happen is key!
10.  Recognize your current state of mind.
When you can stop and tell yourself "hey, that's my anxiety speaking", you're halfway there!  When you can't prevent all of something it's vital to be able to recognize it and fix it.  Don't pull a Jax and over think this!  Sometimes I ignore valid thoughts because I mislabel them as anxiety.
How do you alleviate stress and anxiety?



  1. Trying to predict the future is a big one, screw that, as most times it is never going to be as bad as we make it out to be. Glad you don't have eye herpes lmao google can give us anything and everything.

    1. You should have seen the doctor's face when I asked him if I had eye herpes. He turned around, stared at Carlos in the eye, and said "She does NOT have eye herpes". Stupid hypochondria...

  2. #2 and #5 really speak to me here. Background noise helps me a ton and I find that a fan will usually do the trick. I can't sleep without one in fact, especially when I'm stressed. And when worry consumes you (so awful), taking a second to rationalize can do a lot of damage control. I hope things get better soon!

    1. Yes it can!! For some reason my brain automatically goes to these worse case scenarios that are so unlikely it's crazy. I have to stop and tell myself, stop worrying about that before you get another zit. lol

  3. I try to be alone, I found out it's usually other people that cause me problems.

  4. omg i need a google block on googling symptoms. i am the worst about that!!

    1. YEESS!! Can that be done? I'd totally do it!! lol

  5. All good points, especially the Google point. Background noise is often overwhelming for me. Silence calms me.

    1. Background noise definitely isn't for everyone! Silence makes my thoughts louder than they should be.

  6. Breathing slowly and/or meditating is one very big way for me to de-stress. Your list is really good and very practical. Eye Herpes made me laugh out loud!

  7. Best way I found to relieve stress and anxiety was to do the 'Stress To Vitality Training'.com I got amazing results. It teaches you simple lessons over a two month period. You will be glad you did.


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