I started this list some time ago after I began to think about things that affected my headspace more than I wanted them to. Mental health is the root to so much of our overall well-being, and certain of our daily habits can be triggers of stress and anxiety without us realizing it.
It doesn’t take a trip to a therapist or a big vacation to Iceland to check in with yourself and find easy, natural remedies for anxiety relief. I try to do at least one of these things per day and can attest to their power to transform myself into a gentler place.
1. Take 60 seconds to breathe.
My favorite way to meditate is conscious breathing. Each conscious breath is a meditation.
2. Say hello to fear.
Get out a sheet of paper and make two columns. In the left column, write down the things you’re most worried about in that moment. In the right column, beside each worry/fear, write down the worst possible thing that could happen. For example, I’m worried about whether or not I got an exciting job. The worst thing that could happen would be that the employer did not offer the job. This helps to put worries that are weighing on you in perspective.
3. Check in with your thoughts.
Just like writing out fears, check in with your thoughts and write some of them down. Are they valid and truthful?
4. Book a ticket.
Have something to look forward to—whether it be a concert, movie, or plane ticket.
Choose a space—car, desk, bedside table—and clear it out.
6. Three good things.
This was once given to me as an exercise in a psychology class. Write down three good things that have happened to you today—it will change your perspective and get you in the right mindset immediately.
7. Five things you’re grateful for.
Similarly to the three good thing exercise, write down five things you’re grateful for. It'll make you appreciative and more mindful of the little things.
8. Write a note to yourself.
One of my absolute favorite things to do—I have them on napkins, Starbucks receipts, and random notebooks. Talk to yourself the way you would someone you love.