Let it go: Positive ways to manage stress and anxiety


Sophia Neels

Stress is one of the top causes of heart attacks, anxiety and depression. Sadly, people do not always find the best way to deal and cope with stress. They may end up using drinking, drugs, and other unhealthy fixes in order to feel calm again. 

Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that causes feelings of frustration, anger, or nervousness. Stress is the body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps to avoid danger or meet a deadline. Stress can easily build up and cause emotional and physical distress before it’s even noticeable. 

One positive way to deal with stress is by going to a therapist. The stigma around mental illness and therapists hugely affects people and their willingness to go to a therapist when needed. A therapist or counselor isn’t just for people with a severe mental illness, they can be for anyone. Seventy-eight percent of doctors recommend going to a therapist or counselor because it’s good for general mental health. While it may seem very common to feel the effects of stress, it doesn’t mean you can’t talk to someone about your life and the stressers. 

Another great way to relieve stress is to take walks once a day. It is proven that just getting up and moving boosts serotonin levels, which leads to feelings of happiness, calm and relieved. Do anything active, basically: walk, go for a run, swim. Anything active can improve your serotonin levels and lower your stress. 

When it comes to meditation, some people do this on a daily basis, and some people think it’s fake. Mediation isn’t necessarily what you think. You don’t need a yoga mat, you don’t need five dozen candles, argan oil or fancy yoga clothes. All you need is a quiet room, and a calm clear mind; calm music is a nice touch though. There are many apps and YouTube videos available that will help with learning to meditate and be more mindful.

Keeping a journal is another great way to deal with stress in a healthy way. Write down all your feelings, write about your day, your week, your month or even your year. Write about the emotions in a certain situation and write freely; this is a book only for you unless you wish to share it, so be open with your feelings.

Listening to music is another way to distract yourself from the stress and anxiety you face in your life. This doesn’t even have to be calm music — unless that’s what you want. Just have fun with it. You will almost immediately forget about the stresses in your life as you fall into the rhythm of the song and it takes you away. 

Stress builds up when we are in demanding, uncomfortable, awkward and intense situations and sadly, those happen quite often. For students, school and even home life can increase our stress levels drastically. Even extracurricular activities and homework can factor into stress. Troubles at the workplace, co-workers and such can easily skyrocket your stress and that’s why relieving your stress is so important.