Trying something new or adopting a new habit can be extraordinarily nerve-wracking, especially as an adult. If you feel this way about learning new things, that is okay and so common. What we want to encourage you to do is move past that fear in order to give yourself an opportunity to grow.
One of the best ways to combat stress is to keep your mind, body, and heart busy with an activity or experience that you enjoy. This looks so different for each and every person, and that is the beautiful thing – everyone combats stress in their own way.
Cited ideas for managing stress include:
- Meditation, mindfulness meditation and walking meditation
- Exercise indoors or outside
- Get extra sleep
- Practice Positive Self-Talk
- Garden, dig in the dirt and connect with nature
Gardening reduces cortisol levels, a chemical our body produces in response to stress. A great article in Thrive, Why Gardening is good for your mental wellbeing showcases the growing evidence that gardening benefits our mental health. A report in the Mental Health Journal cited gardening as being able to reduce stress and improve mood, with a reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety.
“It’s the experience of gardening that is so beneficial to reducing stress. Just spending a little time in your garden, hands in the soil, watering and witnessing the beautiful growth can provide serious benefits for your mental well-being. Keep it simple, enjoy the experience, unplug, and dig in.”Donna Letier, Co-founder Gardenuity
Stress is an unnecessarily normal part of our daily lives. When you think about the last time you were feeling stressed out about something, it is always a bit too recently for comfort. In some ways, stress can be helpful for pushing yourself or meeting a deadline, but as a regular part of your lived experience, stress should not be a main character!
Every person will manage stress levels differently in their life; what is relaxing to some may be anxiety inducing for others. In order to manage your stress levels, you first need to understand what types of activities make you feel happy, relaxed and that you are truly enjoying yourself.
It is also important to cut extra stress out of your life. Sometimes we worry about things that we simply cannot control. If we practice the act of letting go of those unnecessary worries, this will greatly cut down the amount of stress we are experiencing every day.
How to Cope
Coping with stress can be stressful in and of itself, but that is certainly not the goal! Thinking about all of the things that are causing stress in your life can definitely have an adverse effect on you. Once you move past that, you can start to create some active practices that will allow you to expertly cope with and manage your stress.
A great way to do this is to try new activities and experiences that will give you something to look forward to. Whether this means that you are finally learning how to knit, or that you are going to try rock climbing for the first time, let it be something that you are super interested in and excited about.
The Benefit of New Experiences
New experiences are wonderful for dealing with and mitigating stress because they make us happy. At the end of the day, this is truly what is important. In addition to having an outlet for happiness, new experiences also create opportunities for excitement, learning, and having something to look forward to.
Think about how your brain and body constantly crave the chance to be active in a new way. When you try a new hobby, you are creating new learning pathways in your mind and body – how incredible! Exercising this versatility of ourselves is an experience that is so fulfilling, and one that will help us stay out of the grips of extreme stress.
Take a Deep Breath
If you have been feeling very stressed lately, that is okay. It is important to acknowledge where you are at before you take steps towards a solution. This week, consider trying something that you have been wanting to try in order to make a change for the better (and, the happier). You might find that that extra activity is just what you needed in order to have a better day.