Experts say that if you think of fear and worry as raw energy, you can actually learn to redirect it toward a more productive use. Since I’ve noticed myself becoming increasingly stressed trying to balance it all as a full-time working mom, I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. Likewise, if you’re looking for a way to channel your stress into something positive, this post is for you.
I myself have been trying out the below solutions and I’ve noticed that they’re helping me to feel happier, calmer, and more motivated. Excited to share them with you today along with today’s outfit post (this dress is less than $70.00!). I’m also teaming up with Once Again Nut Butter to share one of Phil and my favorite snacks of the moment that’s helping us to feel good too.
Outfit Of The Day
I’m loving the embroidered detailing–especially at this affordable price-point. I’ve linked to a few different versions of the dress below as well. I also found this adorable mini version of the dress for little girls here. I can’t wait for Naiya to be able to fit in it!
5 Ways To Turn Stress Into Positive Energy
1) The 15-Minute Workout
Doing just 15-minutes of cardio can trigger a substance in the brain that protects neurons from the stress hormone, cortisol. If you don’t feel like you have enough time to work out but you do have 15-minutes at any given time throughout the day, try going on a brisk walk or run.
This will help your body to become more resilient to stress and it will ultimately help you to have a more positive day.
If you’re feeling extra stressed, challenge yourself to raise your heart rate first thing in the morning before work. Set your alarm at least 30-minutes early, put on your favorite workout clothes and get that heart pumping. You’ll notice that you’ll feel better equipped to fight off anxiety throughout the rest of the day.
2) Unplug In The Morning
Start every day by doing something you love . Sip coffee in bed, read a few pages of a book, do some yoga or meditating instead of checking your phone right away.
I myself am guilty of scrolling through my newsfeed for the at least 20-minutes after my alarm goes off. I immediately start honing in on crazy current events or emails popping up rather than slowly waking up with a clear mind.
Most recently, I’ve been channeling any stress I wake up with into doing something that makes me happy instead. For me, that includes spending quality time with Naiya and Phil completely unplugged.
Mornings now are all about my family and they’ve become such a special, relaxing part of my daily routine. Better yet, this slower start to my day has ultimately made my work days much less stressful too.
3) Focus On What You Can Control
Feeling powerless exacerbates stress, while feeling effective decreases it.
Something that always stresses me out is having such a long to-do list that I don’t even know where to begin. This has become even more intense since having Naiya. I never feel like I have enough time in the day to get everything done and also be the most present mom I can be.
I’ve recently been channeling my stress into taking action and focusing on what I can actually control throughout my day. Whenever my to-do list starts feeling too all-encompassing, I write it all down in a notebook. I pick a tangible task and make it happen. From there, I physically cross the task off my list. I’ve noticed that I immediately feel so much better.
Channeling my stress into accomplishing tasks ultimately brings my anxiety levels down and makes me more productive. It’s a win-win.
4) Do What You Love
Channel your stress into activities you love. If you’re creative, find one creative thing to do every day. Knit, paint, draw, sing, garden, cook–find your passion and let your mind go. Even if creativity is not your thing, find a hobby you love and go for it as many times a week as you can.
According to Columbia University, these activities may actually protect your brain and body from the effects of stress in similar ways to meditation. The key is choosing activities that require total immersion and bring you joy, which is the best way to reap the energizing benefits.
One thing I’ve been doing lately to let my mind go is preparing healthy food. I’ve never enjoyed cooking before in my life but since I’ve become a mom, I’ve been preparing healthy meals and snacks for our family as much as possible. We rarely have time to eat out like we used to and we feel so much better mentally and physically when don’t order in. Clean eating is where it’s at!
One of our favorite snacks recently has been adding Once Again Nut Butter Amoré Hazelnut spread on gluten free bread. From there, I’ve been adding fresh fruit like sliced bananas and strawberries.
We’re loving this nut butter because it’s gluten free, organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, vegan, kosher and it’s also delicious! It also happens to be high in protein and fiber. This Once Again almond butter is also delicious and we’ve been adding it to oatmeal and smoothies. Sharing a few other Once Again recipes here and you can enter to win a 6-pack of Amoré Hazelnut Spread with Cocoa & Milk here.
Channel your stress into eating healthy rather than drowning your anxiety with unhealthy foods that will ultimately make you feel even worse. It’s okay to indulge a little but do so in the healthy way! If you stick to it for a few days, you’ll notice a big change in your anxiety levels.
5) Don’t Hold Your Breath
Have you ever been so stressed out, you’ve actually forgotten to breathe? I’ve been there many times.
Whenever you’re feeling especially anxious, channel your stress into your breathing techniques. You can start by counting down from ten while breathing in and out slowly through your nose.
I’ve recently learned through kundalini yoga that we breathe predominantly through one nostril or the other at any given time.
Breathing through the left nostril is associated with calmness, empathy, sensitivity and synthesis.
Breathing through the right nostril is associated with vigor, alertness, will power, concentration and readiness for action.
If you’re feeling especially anxious, cover one nostril with your thumb and breathe in and out slowly, focusing solely on your breath. You may notice the above positive changes and hopefully your body will experience an overall calming sensation as well.
Deep breathing will help you to stay focused and less anxious throughout the day. I’ve tried paying extra attention to my breath in stressful meetings and it’s done wonders in terms of helping me to stay calm.
Photography: Azusa Takano
Thank you to Once Again Nut Butter and Moms Meet for sponsoring this post.