How to relieve stress and anxiety has been a topic of interest for many people in today's fast-paced, competitive world.
Stress and anxiety are a part of life for many people.
They can be caused by everything from work to relationships, or even just the day-to-day tasks that we do in order to survive.
Stress and anxiety don't have to be negative thing; they can actually be good for us sometimes!
However, when they become overwhelming, it's important that you find ways on how to relieve stress and anxiety before they start impacting your quality of life too much.
One way is through gratitude - something that has been proven time and time again as an effective means of relieving stress and anxiety!
In this post, I'll share how to relieve stress and anxiety with a gratitude challenge that can help you manage stress levels better.
What is gratitude and how does it help with stress and anxiety
Gratitude is when you feel thankful for what you have in life.
When you appreciate the good things, it will make your stress and anxiety go away or lessen a little bit.
Gratitude is more than just feeling grateful to people or receiving something from them; gratitude can be felt towards anything that makes us happy like our pets, nature, friends etc.
Gratitude helps with stress and anxiety because it allows you to focus on the good instead of the bad.
When we feel grateful, our body releases more feel-good hormones such as dopamine, serotonin or oxytocin that make us happy; they are responsible for reducing depression and promoting a sense of well being.
How to relieve stress and anxiety by cultivating an attitude of gratitude
Cultivating the attitude of gratitude isn't as difficult as it may seem. There are many ways you can cultivate an attitude of gratitude; some include:
- keep a gratitude journal and write down three things you're grateful for every day
- take time each day to do something kind for someone else without expecting anything in return
- practice mindful meditation with the intention
Gratitude is just one of those habits you have to work at. You have to remember that gratitude is a skill, not just an attitude.
And don't underestimate what small changes can mean when cultivating gratitude as well; As much as possible try to refrain from complaining, gossiping and judging others.
5-day Gratitude Challenge Daily tasks:
Day 1: Write out gratitude prompts that you want to use this week
Gratitude prompts help you to focus on things in your life you’re thankful for.
They come in handy because you can’t always remember things you’re grateful for each day.
But a gratitude prompt is a topic that helps you express your gratitude.
And don’t forget to take a picture of this moment. Three examples of gratitude prompts are;
- Take a picture of your favourite place,
- describe the greatest gift you’ve received, and
- describe the best part of your day.
Day 2: Go on a Gratitude Walk:
Enjoy the air, smell the roses, visit a beach. The purpose of the gratitude walk is to spend time with nature and reflect on all the big break you’ve got.
Sometimes, the reason life seems unbearable is because you focus only on difficulties.
On these walks, allow your mind to drift and linger on the things that make like beautiful.
Soon, you’ll feel the soothing effect of this gratitude therapy all over your being.
Make sure to take a picture to remember this beautiful experience.
Day 3: Write a letter of gratitude to a loved one:
Tell them how much you value their impact in your life and praise their unique qualities.
Writing is a good way to express yourself and pay attention to meaningful things in your life.
While writing, you’ll see how much help this person has been.
You’ll know that no matter what happens, you have people who love you and are ready to go out on a limb for you.
Isn’t this something to be grateful for? It surely is! And while you’re at it, take a picture; it’ll be useful in the future.
Day 4: Enjoy a bowl of colourful salad slowly
If you've been thinking of how to relieve stress and anxiety , it's time to start eating a colourful salad!
Eating is a way to just relax and enjoy the good things of life.
But most people wolf down their meals and miss out on the best part. Eating slowly helps you to be a mindful eater and to enjoy every morsel.
So practice eating interesting and delicious foods like a colourful salad. Notice the colours in your bowl and reflect on fun things each colour reminds you of.
Just have fun while you eat, be grateful for the different flavours that explode in your mouth and take a picture to commemorate the experience.
Day 5: Make a Collage
This is why you have been taking pictures each day.
Put the pictures together in any format you love, and finally, write how the week has been.
Feel free to frame your artwork or make it your screen saver.
Put it anywhere that’s convenient to remind you of this week so that you can opt to be grateful regardless of whatever you are going through.
Next, I want you to always think about some of these reminders below when taking on your 5-day challenge, they give you more on how to relieve stress and anxiety.
DON' T POP, DEFLATE.
Stress is like a balloon that grows bigger and threatens to explode as you come across stress triggers.
You don’t want to pop it, instead, you want to deflate the balloon so it doesn’t leave nasty emotions all over the place.
Emotions that come with stress include frustration, anger, depression, anxiety, fear, sadness, and more.
Certainly, being grateful is the last thing that comes to mind when you’re feeling overwhelmed and worn out.
When stressed you are mainly drawn into the problem or situation and how you are feeling.
But what if you can interrupt your stress explosion with something that not only makes you feel happier but also helps reduce the stress and anxiety so you can think clearly - GRATITUDe
Employing gratitude as a stress relief will take your mind off what’s not working to focus on what is.
It’ll help you shift from what’s going out of control to what’s going according to plan.
You’ll go from feeling scared, defeated and alone, to feeling confident, victorious and comforted. Why?
Because, by being grateful, you focus on all the people who love you and are rooting for you.
THE BIG WHY
Why do you need to practice gratitude? Because it doesn’t come naturally to you.
Choosing to be grateful in high-stress situations that make you want to complain and give up is like rewiring your reflexes.
You’re deliberately revolting against the negative emotions that threaten to overwhelm you.
Practising gratitude means making it a point of duty to be thankful each day for all the good things in your life.
It has to do with making a firm decision to stop yourself whenever you’re slipping into the cunning arms of stress.
Such practice opens you up to a world of fun, relaxation, fulfilment, productivity and success.
The benefits of how to relieve stress and anxiety with gratitude for you as a female entrepreneurs
Some people may assume that practising gratitude might be an unproductive distraction from the to-do list or a tough day at work - but research has proven otherwise!
Research on gratitude revealed that gratitude can make people more optimistic and less likely to become depressed.
In his TED talk on the power of gratitude, Dr Emmons said "Our mood improves; we're kinder to our loved ones and easier with strangers."
He also emphasised that practising gratitude daily - even for just a few moments - is powerful in increasing one's optimism.
Here are some goodies that come with practising gratitude:
1. Expressing gratitude has been shown to improve health and well-being
2. Gratitude increases happiness, reduces negative emotions, and enhances personal growth
3. Being grateful improves relationships by making people more compassionate and less judgmental
4. A study found that gratitude can increase productivity in the workplace by boosting morale
5. The benefits of being grateful are endless - it's a simple way to make yourself feel better!
6. Make sure you're not just saying "thanks" but actually feeling thankful for what you have in your life!
7) Learn about all the different ways to be grateful so you can find one that works best for you!
8) Start small with something like donating clothes or volunteering at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving Day (or any time of year!)
In addition to these benefits for all adults, there are also specific benefits that practising gratitude may have on female entrepreneurs:
- Increased confidence in decision-making abilities ;
- Greater sense of inner peace;
- Lower stress and anxiety levels;
- Increased sense of well-being
To wrap up on how to relieve stress and anxiety:
With this challenge, we are focusing on gratitude. It might seem like a small thing but it can have big impacts on your life and business if you are mindful and present to what is around you.
We all need some happiness in our lives so why not take this time to focus on the little things that make us feel loved?
I hope that by now, you have seen how to relieve stress and anxiety with gratitude and how much being grateful could improve your personal life and business!
Let me know what has been one of your best moments or memories from today because it just may help someone else who needs a smile too!
After you are done with this Gratitude Challenge, you just might be interested in this one and also this one. Both will give you daily activities to look forward to and motivate you to live a stress-less life.