Posted on Aug 21, 2023, 3 p.m.
Life's roller coaster of ups and downs often leaves many of us grappling with bouts of stress and anxiety. Modern living seems to always be in overdrive, and sometimes we need a bit of a helping hand to navigate it all. So, let's take a step back, breathe deeply, and explore five genuine ways to find that much-needed inner calm.
Causes of Stress and Anxiety
There’s an age-old saying: “To be human is to suffer.” While this might sound bleak at first, it truly underscores a shared experience we all face: stress and anxiety. The modern world seems to have turned up the volume on these age-old struggles, leaving many of us searching for the "why" behind it all. So, let’s pull up a chair, grab a comforting beverage, and journey into the heart of the matter.
The Relentless Pace of Modern Life: Time seems to slip through our fingers, doesn’t it? From juggling work, family, and personal commitments, our schedules are packed, leaving little room for pause. The result? A feeling of constantly playing catch-up. Our ancestors may have faced threats in the form of predators; today, we battle against the clock, with a never-ending to-do list.
Digital Overdrive: Ah, the digital age. On the one hand, the world's knowledge is at our fingertips. On the other hand, we're bombarded with information and notifications around the clock. Social media adds another layer, often painting a picture of perfection and success, making it all too easy to fall into the comparison trap. It's exhausting trying to keep up with the Joneses, especially when the Joneses are filtered, photoshopped, and often far from reality.
Economic Strains: Money. It’s an inescapable reality. The pressure to pay bills, secure a job, and plan for the future can be overwhelming. Economic uncertainties, from personal financial struggles to global downturns, play a significant role in keeping our stress levels dialed up.
Invisible Expectations: Remember when you were a kid and dreamt of becoming an astronaut, a dancer, or a firefighter? Fast forward, and now, societal pressures dictate a narrow definition of success. It's like we're all actors in a play, but no one handed us the script. Meeting these invisible expectations – whether they're from our families, communities, or self-imposed – can stir up a cocktail of anxiety.
Existential Musings: Humans, by nature, are contemplative beings. We wonder about our purpose, the meaning of life, and our place in the grand scheme of things. These existential thoughts can sometimes spiral into anxiety, especially in moments of solitude or during significant life changes.
Ways to reduce stress and anxiety
1. Nature's Embrace
There's an undeniable magic in the rustling of leaves, the rhythmic crashing of waves, or the simple act of feeling the grass under your feet. Immersing oneself in nature is like hitting the reset button. It provides a fresh perspective, clears the mind, and often, the simple act of being outside boosts our mood. Whether it's a walk in a park, a hike, or simply sitting in your garden, give Mother Nature a chance to work her charm.
2. The Power of the Pause
Mindfulness and Meditation: In an age of constant notifications, it’s easy to lose oneself. Meditation and mindfulness are all about hitting pause. By centering ourselves in the present moment and embracing stillness, we can untangle the messy threads of our thoughts. Even if it's just five minutes a day, this pause can bring clarity and reduce anxiety.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, the primary psychoactive component in cannabis, is making waves in the wellness community. While it's not for everyone, others swear by its calming properties. THC, when taken responsibly, can induce feelings of relaxation and euphoria. However, it's a fine line to tread and always best approached with adequate research and guidance. Remember, what works for one person might not work for another. If you are concerned about potency, you can monitor that with a tester to check for cannabis potency levels while making your homemade infusions.
4. Lean on Your Tribe
A saying goes, "Shared joy is double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow." Human connections can be therapeutic, whether with friends, family, or a support group. Talking things out, laughing over shared memories, or just knowing someone has your back can work wonders in chasing away the blues.
5. Unplug to Recharge
This might sound clichéd, but it’s worth mentioning time and again. The world won’t fall apart if you don’t check your email or social media feed every hour. Create pockets of screen-free time in your day. Read a book, play with your pet or daydream. Let your mind wander; sometimes, that's all it takes to find your way back.
There's no one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with stress and anxiety. What's essential is recognizing when things get too much and knowing that it's okay to seek help. After all, as beautifully complex and unpredictable as life is, there are always means to navigate its mazes. Whether you turn to nature, meditation, THC, your tribe, or a simple digital detox, remember – every day is a new chance to find balance and happiness. Stay curious, stay grounded, and most importantly, stay human.
This article was written for WHN by Nancy R Fernandez, who is a content creator, freelance writer, blogger, and health advocate.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of WHN/A4M. Any content provided by guest authors is of their own opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.
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