Managing Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are at an all-time high for just about everyone. If you are looking for basic ways to manage stress and anxiety you are likely to find the usual suspects on your quest; relax, meditate, self-care, exercise, eat healthily, think positive and reframe.
These all sound great in theory, but when stress hits, attempting any of these is often far from your reality.
So let’s break down why these may not be working and what might actually work a whole lot better for you when it comes to eliminating stress and anxiety from your life!
BASIC TIP #1: Relax – wait what? Can it be this simple?
No….. but let me go on.
This is the tip of all tips when it comes to managing stress and anxiety. So easy right – “just relax,” and “stay calm.”
Is it me, or is that like telling an addict not to use? It’s not as simple as that.
Obviously, the person who started this trendy tip did not ACTUALLY suffer from stress and anxiety. Relaxing is the GOAL and not the solution. Making ‘relaxing’ happen is an entirely different story. In our effort to follow the expert advice, and relax, and fail, we enter into an emotional spiral. We can’t relax, then we beat ourselves up for not being able to relax, thus creating more stress and anxiety (you get the gist here).
But, I am sure you know this. You’re looking for the REAL tips and I am telling you why they don’t work. The reason most of us can’t relax and continue to suffer from constant stress and anxiety is attributed to the mass amount of unidentified and unprocessed emotions living in our bodies. It’s kind of like trying to close the lid of a toy box that is overflowing. The goal is to close the lid, but it literally is impossible unless you remove some of the toys.
Your human body isn’t different. You are trying to close the lid to your stress and anxiety and just relax, but you are too full, which means we are going to have to remove some of those unprocessed emotions before we can even begin to think about truly relaxing.
But the real question is this: how do I relax, when I can’t turn my brain off?! Well friends, that’s a whole other piece of the puzzle (and yes, we have the answers).
BASIC TIP #2: Meditation
Although meditation is great for connecting to our spirituality and the divine part of us, it doesn’t actually do much for stress and anxiety other than put a big old bandaid on it.
Actually, it’s not a Band-Aid, it’s a distraction. It’s a way to disconnect from our reality for a brief moment. But once we float out of our meditative state, life continues on around us. Often when we are using meditation for stress and anxiety, we have to do it consistently and regularly to keep the stress at bay. If meditation isn’t done, it’s likely you might just completely unravel. Basically, we have created a dependency. We have created a coping mechanism that if not completed regularly, our mental health starts to unravel. We shouldn’t be this fragile.
This may work for a bit, but it is a way to manage your anxiety, not actually address it and eliminate it.
The real question here is not about what you are trying to disconnect from – buy why. Ok, you’re stressed. But WHYYYYYYY….. Let’s dig deep.
It’s not always easy to dig deep on your own. If you knew the answer, you wouldn’t be here. So the real question is how can YOU help yourself go deeper.
We’ve said it before, and we will say it again. Our o’ faithful technique – the Rapid Relief Technique™. Learning the Rapid Relief Technique™ will teach you how to become an investigator of your life. It will uncover exactly what you are running from so you can heal it. Then you can use meditation to anchor into your new calming energy as opposed to using it as a bomb defuser.
Meditation is a beautiful tool. We LOVE it at Hey U Human. It can be used to deepen your emotional intelligence and help you become more self-aware. It is immensely powerful (and a fantastic component of The Foundation membership). But we need to know WHAT it’s for and how to use it. We need to understand that this isn’t HOW we reduce our stress. This is how we become more self-aware so we can get to the core of healing our emotions. If you can never get into a meditative state (which most people can’t if they can’t turn their brains off) then the practice is just a waste of time.
BASIC TIP #3: Reframe + Think Positive
We hear this all the time. Had a bad day? Everything going wrong? Received terrible news? Heard a comment you didn’t like? Woke up on the wrong side of the bed?
No problem – simply reframe it and think positive. Be grateful for what you DO HAVE.
Although reframing and positive thinking aren’t bad in their own right, when there are actually emotions needing to be felt this suggestion actually ends up working against you.
All you are doing is putting lipstick on a pig. You are trying to make something hard – really good.
But guess what, the reality is the reality. You can try to reframe it all you want but sometimes there are things we need to address head-on. But the trick here is addressing things head-on in a way that feels safe to you.
Before you start reframing and thinking positive, you need to process your emotions, feel them, heal them, and then reframe! Jumping right to reframing before clearing the slate is a useless endeavor. Processing, feeling and healing emotions requires you to feel safe in your emotions. This is a life skill that most of us haven’t developed yet (and if you think you have – I want to challenge you on that point).
BASIC TIP #4: Exercise
Once again, exercise is great for the body, but it doesn’t actually address our stress and anxiety long term. As the infamous Elle Woods said in her flagship law suit defending Brooke Windham:
Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t just shoot their husbands.
Exercise releases endorphins in the moment, which makes our body feel better. But adding endorphins does not eliminate stress. That’s like fixing the hole in the wall by hanging a picture. Sure, that covers up the hole but that doesn’t mean that it’s healed. And just like your human, moving your body puts a mask over the issue, but doesn’t heal the issue at the core.
The underlying anxiety and the emotions causing it are still there, just waiting to pop back up once those endorphins clear out.
Instead of exercise, we need to go back to our most primitive needs – human contact. We need to feel nurtured as humans. Remember yourself (or your children) as a toddler. When you were hurt (physically or emotionally), you wanted a hug. You wanted to be held. At some point, that request for human connection goes away. But there is power in human contact as it relates to stress reduction. And it’s something that ought to be explored.
BASIC TIP #5: Sweat without exercise
This one sounds odd — I know. But our bodies are often so very clogged with toxins that it contributes to our stress and anxiety. When we sweat via exercise, which is good for the body, it accesses a different mechanism and doesn’t detoxify as well as sweating without movement.
What does sweating without movement look like? The classic holistic remedies: sauna, steam room, hot bath or hot shower, or even a hot car on a hot day will do the trick (no pets or kids please! This is 100% a personal journey).
Give yourself about ten minutes, three times a day, and see if sweating it out helps lower the stress.
BASIC TIP #6: Self-Love
OOOO yes – a fan favorite when you google any form of personal development. Self-love is quite the buzzword these days.
Self-love is definitely a helper when it comes to our stress and anxiety. But #1 – many forms of traditional self-love are luxuries. Get a massage, go to the spa, get your nails done, get your hair done, etc….. Most are 100% privileged options. There are other options like reading, meditation, stretching, etc. but again (back to Basic Tip #1, 2 & 3 those are very external experiences).
And #2, self-love is not about the external journey.
At Hey U Human, our version of self-love probably looks a bit different than how the rest of the world talks about it.
Self-love on the surface can be taking time for yourself, relaxing, doing something you enjoy or pampering yourself. We suggest all those things, but also a deeper approach. Our favorite is mirror work. This is deep, raw, individual and powerful work towards self-acceptance. To see yourself fully and be loved deeply – flawed and all – is the most powerful form of stress reduction.
For some, simply reading this concept is enough to turn away and switch gears. But stick with me as I ask…….
Why would that be?
BASIC TIP #7: Self-Acceptance
Should we all just love ourselves for who we are? Our good and bad? Our highs and lows? Our accomplishments and quirks?
But do we? NOPE! We have very conditional love and acceptance of ourselves.
Trying to just ‘accept’ who you are feels like you are settling in your life. There is a deep polarity between self-acceptance and trying to better yourself. It’s a very confusing energy, which can easily create more stress and anxiety in your day-to-day life.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE realize this one thing….
There is nothing wrong with you.
These emotions are actually NORMAL and should not be repressed.
In a world that is so focused on perfection and desires everything to be and look a certain way, stress and anxiety can feel like such a failure.
Take a moment and realize there is nothing wrong with you.
You are a human, having a human experience, learning how to navigate and do this world without much explanation as to how it works.
Stress and anxiety are very normal emotions. The trick is using those emotions to understand your human better! The trick to get to this core is the Rapid Relief Technique™. This is a new life skill we need to develop so we can strengthen our emotional health and finally eliminate mental health issues.
Google can only get us so far right? So take a moment, give yourself a hug, and remind yourself that this is a moment in your human experience.
Don’t try to run and hide from stress and anxiety. Use your reactions to understand yourself better! Understanding that your core emotion is INSIDE the trigger, not the trigger itself. These feelings are a feedback mechanism letting you know that there may be some things you need to feel, heal, and shift in your life. And at Hey U Human, this is exactly what we teach humans how to do. Stop running and start walking to find your happy again 🙂
This is all well and good, right?
Join the Hey U Human CommUnity for free! Connect, learn and become a part of something truly different in the world.
Learn Rapid Relief Technique™ for free and start breaking this process down inside your own life.
Book a 1:1 session with a Certified Human Developer and see how quickly you can see results with this method.
Or the best possible step, join the Happy Human Membership (only $97/month) and start proactively healing yourself from the inside out. Get off the mental health hampster wheel and find emotional freedom for once and for all!
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