Meditation & Deep Breathing
It may be strange to try to find a quiet space when there’s all this noise in your head, but try to close your eyes and breathe. One of the greatest benefits of meditation is that it helps relieve stress, and I think we can agree that this is something we’re all feeling right now. It also makes you happier overall. In fact, Ronnie Newman, director of research and health promotion for the Art of Living Foundation, notes that there is a difference in brain activity when meditating. He states activity in the left side of the prefrontal cortex increases, leading to more positive vibes, while activity on the right side decreases, and with that, negative feelings.
It’s important to stay active since exercise boosts endorphins, leading to a healthier and happier mood. If you’re not into cardio, yoga may be your activity of choice. Yoga keeps you fit, but also encourages a very zen and tranquil connection to both your body and mind. It pushes your physical flexibility but also keeps you grounded mentally. It may be worth trying if this is an avenue you’ve never explored.
Music is seriously therapeutic. Listening to your favorite album can bring you a bit of peace among the chaos. If you don’t feel like dancing around and instead just want to crawl in bed and listen to sad songs, that’s okay too. Sometimes you have to just let it out, and music can get you there.
Utilize Your Support System
Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and family during difficult times. Everyone needs a support system, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. Confide in a relative or close friend about how you’re feeling. They may be able to offer comforting words of advice. Spending time with loved ones is also a great distraction since sometimes we need to clear our minds and take ourselves elsewhere for a moment. Get lunch, go to a movie, visit the farmers market--do something that you enjoy with the people you care about most.
Words of Encouragement
Reading can be another source of support in trying times. Literature teaches you so much about the human spirit, and how to find strength when we feel most vulnerable. We’ll leave you with this beautiful poem by Emily Dickinson.
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm
I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.