Anxiety,  Migraines

5 Ways to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

I have always had anxiety and negative thinking ever since I can remember.

I worry about what happened in the past, what will happen, and what I just did. I blame myself when a migraine strikes. What did I do? It’s my fault!

For those of you who suffer from migraines or chronic pain, I’m sure you have similar stories. It’s hard not to worry about when the next migraine will strike or you chastise yourself for feeling worse than you did yesterday. If you already have anxiety, then being a chronic pain sufferer is debilitating!

The summer of 2018 I was desperate. I had more migraine days than not. I was tired of taking so many meds and I was suffering from depression. I knew something had to change.

So I took a Reiki class which I will discuss in another post. It helped me learn how to regain the joy in my life. It’s not as difficult as you think!

Even if you don’t have migraines, I think you will benefit from these 5 small ways on how to find joy in your life and live more mindfully:

  1. Change your negative thoughts to positive. Write little notes to yourself and post them around the house. “Smile!” “You are enough.” It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes to see these life-affirming messages! They say if you make yourself smile, your body will believe it and follow suit by relaxing.
  2. Do a breath exercise. A good one to start with is the three-count belly breath. Lie down or sit with hands on your belly. Inhale and feel your belly fill up with air for three counts. Hold your breath for three more counts. Then exhale slowly to three counts. Deep belly breaths help us take in more oxygen, lowers blood pressure, and reduces cortisol levels.
  3. Spend time in nature. It’s amazing how many parks, hiking trails, and gardens are near me that I hadn’t ever been to before. Walking around a garden or the beach for even just 15-30 minutes does wonders for calming the mind.
  4. Try something new. It can be the smallest thing too, like wearing a color you normally don’t wear or cooking a dish you’ve never made before. Try a dance class or drive a different route to work. Learning or doing new things stimulates the brain which leads to a more joyful approach to living. You’ll be surprised how much a slight change in your routine or wardrobe will invigorate or inspire you!
  5. Write in a gratitude journal every day. I write in a gratitude journal before I go to sleep. I mull over my day and write down three things/people I’m grateful for. It always leaves me feeling blessed and calm.

Try at least one of the five and I’m sure you’ll start to feel a little better! Let me know if it works for you or if you have other tips for relieving chronic anxiety / migraines!

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