Midnight Mindlessness: When Stress is Killing You

Today has been the worst day of the year 2015. Given, it’s only February but nonetheless today has been a dismal. I woke up to yet another day of unemployed woes, feeling useless, staying ashamedly in my room, and doing nothing but mindlessly watch another season of Friends (great show, but by season 9 you start asking what you’re doing with your life). 

After sitting in my chair with a butt that has grown two sizes from constantly sitting down, seeing yet another rejection in my inbox set me on a negativity downward spiral.The fact that I haven’t gotten a real-world job or even a part-time job yet has made me feel so pathetic. Like seriously, even the Gap doesn’t want to hire me? That’s supposed to be the easy part!

I love the idea of trying to stay positive but today everything just made me feel like a big fat failure. No job. No part-time job. Rejection after rejection. It’s making me rethink my dreams and whether they are even possible which makes everything worse. I feel so guilty for wanting to give up so easily. I’ve taken a break from writing my never ending beginning of a book and have no inspiration for a free fall of poetry. All I feel is the pizza making my butt bigger, and all I keep thinking about is the number in my bank account getting smaller each time I go outside.

Stress Kills

Anxiety and stress have been a huge problem for me for many years now. I think it’s been a problem ever since I was a teenager. One day I just held it all in and in huge amounts. Anxiety and stress became reactionary to all problems, little or small. I didn’t know how to release stress and it’s been having such a negative effect on my psyche and even physically after certain events.

Psychologically, stress and anxiety are so limiting. It prevents me from wanting to do even simple things and-don’t forget makes me a total beast to people. Physically, it wears down my body so much. I’ve had digestive problems because of stress, although I didn’t know it until I had a colonoscopy (I was expecting a clot, but nope just stress!) Another time it got so bad I nearly passed out. I’ve had full blown panic attacks. And don’t forget about the wonderful break-outs, which are an added bonus.

However, (thank God for the however) after the five slices of pizza for dinner tonight, instead of making today a total waste I tried a few things to stop myself from glaring at everything that moves. These are a few things that actually helped my temporary over the top melt down.

1. Work-Out

Don’t take the nap! Ok. I took the nap. But afterwards I decided to exercise. Because in the words of Elle Woods of Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t kill their husband.” But all jokes aside. It really does work! Running hard while listening to some Queen Bey helped me to physically release all of that negative energy in a positive way.

2. Listen to Music

Music can be a fantastic form of therapy. Not to mention it won’t cost you $100 an hour. If you want to dance your worries away Beyonce is a cure all. For something more laid back I love listening to Ed Sheeran. For something cute and upbeat the Kpop band AKMU is great. There’s something about music that’s so powerful it can change your mood in an instant. Just add a cup of tea, a bubble bath, some rain outside and you’ve got yourself a little stress relief set.

3. Say 3 Things You’re Grateful For

It sounds cheesy but it really does help. My Mom advised me to try this and it’s become a very effective tool. Whenever negative thoughts battle in your mind quickly say aloud three things you’re grateful for. It’s like a light switch leaving you with a much brighter point of view on life.

4. Breathe

This I learned from a counselor. Breathe in deeply for five counts, hold it for five, and exhale for five. Repeat this breathing exercise three to five times and it will help clear your mind and restart. I’ve found that it’s great to do when you feel like you’re about to panic. Simply focusing on only your breathing can help cast your worries away, lower your heart rate, and instantly feel more relaxed.

5. Read

After trying all of these things tonight, I still felt a little itching in my mind like my shoulders were still shrugged and my nose still had a sour crinkle. When all else fails I like to read the Bible. Psalms is full proof. Tonight I read a wonderful few verses in Psalm 56: 8-11.

You have kept count of my wanderings;

put my tears in your bottle.

Are they not in your book?

Then my enemies will turn back

in the day when I call.

This I know that God is for me.

In God, whose word I praise,

in the Lord, whose word I praise,

in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.

What can man do to me?

When everything fails the fact that God’s got my back gives me so much comfort. When stress and anxiety come I know that I can always find peace when I talk to God and read his words. Having someone to cast down your worries is an enormous relief and shedding of weight. Whatever it may be, reading can bring your mind to ease-just make sure it’s something hopeful and uplifting, reading Hunger Games or Hamlet will probably be a downer.

Laugh, Sing, Dance!

What is this a motivational poster? Yes! Yes it is, probably somewhere. But I don’t care because as the cliche goes: laughter is the best medicine. So laugh loud, sing loud, and dance terribly (unless you really are Beyonce), because acting a fool is better than yet another day stressed. 🙂

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