Calm anxiety and find joy: two things we could all use! These days, finding joy isn’t always easy. It seems social media has joined the news headlines in being stressful and building angst amongst everyone. In my world, I’m doing all I can to offset that anxiety and thought it prudent to share. I hope it helps you and would love to hear how you calm your anxiety!
We’ve written about anxiety and depression a lot in the past for good reason. It comes on hard and strong, pretty much whenever it wants. Fortunately, there are ways to combat both of those, we even have free printables to help you find your joy and happiness. It’s definite;y a subject worth delving into.
10 Ways to Calm Anxiety and Find Joy Daily
- Pray. If you are already a religious or spiritual person, you may not need this reminder but I find it quite pertinent so I’m listing it. If you are not, or don’t believe in God or whatever, there is no way that the belief or even the prayer is going to hurt you. My experience is that faith and prayer help. There are studies to back that up if you care to seek them out. Either way, try it.
- Serenity Prayer. Look it up, memorize, repeat it like a mantra. Eventually, it begins to sink in. This tidbit came from my Grandmother-in-love, when I asked her how she dealt with the loss of her baby so long ago. Given the joy she has, I find her to be a very wise person and trust her judgement. So now, we have a plaque in our living room that has the prayer on it. It doesn’t match anything in the room, but that doesn’t matter in the least.
- Get off social media. I get that these days it is how we keep up with family and friends, but you don’t have to scroll through facebook to see how a certain person is. If you are wondering about someone specifically, just type their name in the search bar and go directly to check on them. Or, better yet, give them a call! At this point, I’ve removed facebook from my phone so that I couldn’t use up down time scrolling through that stress filled mess. While it’s not as convenient, I can pull it up on my phone’s internet browser when I want to check up on something or someone.
- Cute or Amusing Image Searches. Get on google or your favorite search engine and do a a search specifically for something that makes you smile. Bonus, if you use Swagbacks, Inbox dollars, or MyPoints ya might even get a little money out of your search! Lately, I’ve been searching for sock monkeys because the way people pose them and such seriously amuses me. Whatever you search for, make it non-political and something that really does make you smile.
- Play Games Online. You don’t have to pay for them or even download them but playing a game or two every now and then will help relieve some of your tension by giving your brain an escape for a little while. Plays.org offers free games that don’t need to be downloaded and even has some that are quite similar to the arcade games you may have played as a kid. Personally, I’m a Tetris addict! If you are a math hobbyist (I just don’t understand you people haha), check out our post of free math games as well.
- Music. If you have a specific type of music that brings you joy, especially those guilty pleasure songs, play them! We’ve written about music therapy and there is a reason music is used! Studies show that playing music (the right kind) increases serotonin and reduces stress. At the time of this post, you can get a free trial of Amazon Prime Music for three months free. Of course, there is always YouTube as well. The studies back up that it really does calm anxiety and find joy in our lives.
- Journal. Journaling is another topic we’ve talked about many times before and I still highly recommend it. The best part about using your computer for journaling is you can either immediately delete your venting or you can put a password on your document by locking it so that no one else can view it. Either way, you can express yourself with no concerns of hurting anyone or causing any sort of additional negativity. I also find that it helps me sort out my feelings by getting to the base of the problem so that I can work past it.
- Seek Out Something Everywhere. In every room you enter and everywhere you go, seek out one good thing that makes you smile. The reason it makes you smile is irrelevant, don’t dwell on those things. Focus on finding a piece of beauty and joy. In example, we had a random purple Lilly pop up in our yard the Spring after we lost our baby, deep in mourning as I was, it made me smile and for a brief moment I imagined that she asked God to put that there just for Mommy. Find those types of things, things that bring you a brief joy, everywhere you go. Eventually, it becomes a habit that your brain just does on it’s own, which enables you to get random pieces of joy all of the time.
- Silliness. Seek out silly videos. They are everywhere. A quick search for funny kid or pet videos will pull up plenty of humorous short videos. Even if you find them useless at first, keep watching for a little while. If it’s something that would normally make you smile, after a bit the smile will come, along with the positive health benefits and chemical reactions in your brain. Being ridiculous may not be your strong suit, but it definitely helps me to calm anxiety and find joy.
- Get Lost in a Book. If you don’t feel like going to the library, there are plenty of books online. Find a book that makes you laugh and has no emotional triggers in it. I enjoy books that have sarcastic humor such as The Sweet Potato Queens. They are hilarious and have greatly helped me with number 8 above. They helped change my perspective. You may be able to download a free app from your library to check out digital books (for free) or you can do Amazon Kindle if you prefer. That one starts out free anyway…
Why You Should Try These Stress Reducing Activities
The point is not to solve your problems, but to get your thoughts to stop racing, to calm anxiety and find joy while lowering the stress levels. Often there is nothing we can do about the things causing the stress and anxiety in our lives. The only thing we can do is accept the circumstances and keep going forward. That’s not to say it is easy, I’m still working on acceptance. Somewhere along the way, my brain skipped acceptance in a healthy way and jumped straight to a ‘crap happens’ mentality. The process of switching that to being at peace in acceptance is a process that I’m still working on.
The relief will not come immediately and may not come with the first thing you try. The point is to keep trying until you find it. It will be worth it and perhaps the journey of finding what helps you will be the thing that really helps you in the beginning. Life is a journey, and while we don’t get to choose what happens, we do get to choose how we respond to it.
Keep your head up.
You can do this.
It will get better.
What do you do to relieve stress and lower anxiety? We’d love to hear your tips and tricks. After all: it takes a village!