1. EAT BREAKFAST
As a dedicated breakfast enthusiast, I don’t understand skipping breakfast. It doesn’t have to complicated, I have been eating a toasted peanut butter and jelly sandwich every morning for years. It doesn’t even have to be breakfast food, as long as you eat to start your day.
Beyond helping you lose weight, getting blood to your most important organ, steering you away from high calorie foods during your day, and sharpening your focus all day; breakfast helps create a habit or routine for yourself. Also, food keeps you from getting hangsty or hangry by getting some glucose in your blood and waking you up.
2. SMILE LIKE A MANIAC
I read on a blog a few years ago about a girl who would start her morning by smiling like a crazy person into the mirror for five minutes after she did her makeup. This includes a big, fake smile, keeping your eyes wide, and letting your whole face smile. I do this in the car when I drive because I like to entertain my fellow commuters. Or I have a list of go-to youtube videos that do the trick. When you relieve your face of stress and worry, you are allowing positive energy to take over, releasing some endorphins to your brain. The physical act of smiling (even it is fake) pushes on major facial nerves, that naturally release tension. This is the principle behind Lion's breath. Smiling, laughing, or positive face movements all work to reduce stress and make your day a little better.
3. SCHEDULE WORRY TIME
Individuals tend to spend their time thinking about past events and how they could have gone better or thinking about the future. While both are positive, when they become obsessive and take over our day-to-day dealings, they can become intrusive to remaining present. For now, just acknowledge your worries, put them in a bubble, and let them float away. An old school technique of cognitive behavior therapy advises us to set aside some time to worry, rather than letting it dominate your life or forcing yourself to ignore your problems. Sit down for 15-30 minutes at some point in the day and write a list of what you need to do and how. This gives you some control over parts of your life that seem to be out of your grasp. While we are not just faucets of backed up negative thinking that can be drained all at once, it helps manage stress and allows you to make better decisions than ignoring problems and letting them pile up, adding to your worries.
4. MAKE TIME FOR LOVED ONES
At our worst, it is easy to take your network of friends and families for granted. The more you isolate yourself, the only company you keep is your negative thoughts. Take your daughter out for ice cream, go get acupuncture with your mom, or offer to babysit your nephew. Social ties are kind of like a home base. Even a quick text message or phone call can make you feel more bonded and grounded in your social community. If all these suggestions are making you feel more anxious, take yourself out on a date. After all, you better be on your list of loved ones!
It is easy to be cynical and pessimistic. It’s fashionable, even. If you begin to manage your stress and anxiety in simple, everyday ways, you will see long term results. Many of these techniques can help you sleep better, which is the biggest key to improving your day. It goes without saying that acupuncture can help you smile more, forget your worries, and feel like you’re part of a community.