Over the past several years I have invested a lot of time figuring out ways to combat and manage stress. I am a highly anxious person and the amount of worry my body has to process on a daily basis takes its toll. Of course I’m working hard on not responding to everything with so much anxiety, but those are wired habits that take a long time to break. In the mean time, I’ve figured out that the best way to manage my stress is to counteract it as much as possible.
I’m anxious about a lot of things right now. Like my upcoming Kickstarter campaign, the release of my first novel, the workload of self-publishing, struggling financially etc. But I’m doing pretty well with counteracting it all because I know what activities calm me down, and I do them as often as I can.
So here are a few of my secrets: 1) I cuddle my boyfriend half to death. And I cuddle him in a selfish cat-like way. I’m not concerned that he’s trying to work on his laptop, instead I’m selfishly soaking up as much oxytocin as I can. This important hormone serves multiple functions, but the one I’m most interested in is its calming effect. 2) I watch ASMR videos on YouTube. People can go ahead and judge all they want, but one twenty minute video can undo all the stress in a day. I think most people who watch these videos are in the closet about it because there is a weirdness stigma that’s been attached to them. I don’t care if people think they are weird. I love watching my favorite YouTubers pretend to take care of me. It relaxes the hell out of me. 3) I meditate. Every morning I wake up, make my smoothie, turn on the meditation station on Pandora, and spend five minutes loosening my mental grip on life.
Even though I’m pretty stressed and anxious, I am counteracting most of it, so I feel pretty good despite all my worries. This way I have more energy to keep at it and work hard toward my goals.