My Simple Go-to Strategies for Positivity
Cleansing stress out of our system doesn’t have to be rocket science
Christian Dianne Oro
Do you feel like you are always burdened by many stressors in life? An annoying coworker, a micromanaging boss, bills needed to get paid, unhealthy relationships, the list just goes on.
Or are you dealing with rejection, grief, or loss? Ever had a panic attack?
Don’t worry, I’m not selling any products here. I just asked because there were times in my life where I was in that position. Perhaps in some way, you did too.
But even if what your going through was not mentioned above, we are always confronted with something. Human as we are, we cannot close ourselves off from our emotions. To be completely indifferent from it or to overly indulge with it is both not beneficial. If only we can dismiss our emotions, right? We can’t deny it nor get drowned by it. Balance is the key.
And many, many times, staying positive is difficult. It is easier to be consumed by our troubles and despair but at some point, don’t you think its enough?
When anxiety hits…
In the past, I am such a nocturnal creature. I can’t help but my brain just functions faster and better at night. But I can’t continually sleep late or wake up early with less sleep than I should. That cycle must stop so one time, I was at my hotel room, eager and resolved to sleep early after reading an article about how our circadian rhythm must be followed. So I have closed the lights, switched off the television, and put my phone way.
I did sleep. Problem was, I have woken up in the middle of the night as my thoughts run in full steam.
I’m having a panic attack! My activities the following day has crept up on me and my heart is beating faster than it should. I thought, “Ohhh, this is not good. Let me read something about this. Shit. I’m having anxiety about the fact that I’m having an episode of anxiety.” Sounds familiar?
Or sometimes, I am just in an off mood due to hormones, some annoying event like someone cuts me in traffic, or you know, just a “bad” day in general.
So what do I do?
I am no expert but let me share with you how I try to be more positive at times of depression, fear, or anxiety. I will not claim to have perfected these things, but the following are REALLY EASY strategies that have helped me cope through my stressful days.
Remember, it’s okay not to be okay. Self-love is not a sin, and relieving ourselves from stress doesn’t have to be rocket science.
Try Guided meditation
Meditation can help in clearing your thoughts with breathing techniques. I personally do a guided meditation with the help of meditation apps like Tide or some meditation podcasts on Spotify. If you are a beginner, I recommend trying on searching for meditation sounds to help yourself calm down.
Practising meditation helps me to become more positive as I filter my thoughts and collect myself. In a few minutes, I am allowing myself to take time, for me. Because sometimes, even if we are physically alone and isolated, it does not guarantee that we are spending time with ourselves. We think about stuff constantly. We are still occupied. Meditation frees me for a few minutes to spend time with myself, as a form of self-love. I come out more positive than before when I do this, so I beckon you to try it too if you haven’t done so.
Play music with positive lyrics or instrumentals with an optimistic beat
When I feel down, I always turn to music. I crank that volume up! Especially in the car, I sing along loud with my upbeat playlist. When I feel tired, I feed myself music for productivity. I search for genres under Focus or Concentration. It really helps me to calm down and concentrate.
Whenever I needed to write but don’t have the motivation to do so, I play instrumentals and it works like magic. My focus is laser sharp and I have a newfound optimism in writing. I feel inspired. Music has that influence in me, and I know it doesn’t work with everyone, but you can try to do it and see for yourself if it works.
Write it down
When I feel confused, sad, fearful, uncertain, any negative emotion, or even gratitude, I write in my journal. I keep many notebooks, a digital notebook in Evernote, and some hard, old school journals. I have a personal journal, a to-do list notebook for work, and a notebook when I write bullets from the books I read.
Writing helps me a lot to clear my mind. It feels like offloading the data that occupies my brain and transferring it to a thumb drive, in the form of my notebook. The anxiety, when put to paper, has a calming effect and brings such positivity in me. I feel like a chapter of my life is written, and answers will come in time. It helps me so much to recover from stress and worries and fears.
Listen to educational and entertaining podcasts
I think by now, we have established how much of an auditory learner I am. Podcasts for me is such an effective platform as it allows you to learn and be productive at the same time. Unlike watching videos, you will not end up sitting or lying in bed, occupied. You can be driving, washing dishes, fixing stuff, running, or doing any other mechanical tasks and still learn.
I listen to content that varies from comedy to educational. There is a lot of good content available. You can search and try some of the topics you enjoy and look for a podcast that you will find valuable. When I learn from this platform, either from interviews or conversations, I feel like time is not wasted and this leaves me happy and positive.
Be intentional in spending time with friends and family
Sometimes, when we are down, nothing beats an intentional conversation with our closest friends or family. If you are like me that is hesitant to unload troubles with other people, a simple conversation will do. Just being around a supportive community helps a lot. And if the conversations go deeper, then well and good.
I know, we are busy. But one thing I learned is to be more intentional in setting-up dates and schedules for a time to get together. It doesn’t have to be fancy, or elaborate like a getaway. A simple coffee date, sleepovers, or dinner will do.
Sometimes we just need to breathe and laugh. We don’t have to sulk in each other’s troubles. A good laugh reminds us of who we are, what we used to be, and what we can be. We can choose to be happy. We can choose to be positive around our peers and family. And once we start smiling, it helps to ease the pain. We can gain a new perspective on life. Sometimes, I am just surprised. Maybe you will too.
This article was originally published on medium.
Christian Dianne Oro
I’m a mechanical engineer turned writer. Connect with me at engineerpositivity.com or let’s chat at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!