International Happiness Day | How I Deal With Stress, Sleep Deprivation and Anxiety

by - March 20, 2019

I've had issues with sleep deprivation and anxiety for the longest time. And more recently, I've been dealing with stress. I've tried a lot of things and up until this point, not much had worked. I feel like for the past few months I've been really trying to get everything in check and I think by now I can share my methods and how I try to shut down my anxiety and stress.
I strongly believe that when you have feelings like anxiety, stress, depression, or any kind of mental issues, you do not have to live with it. Get it fixed. Go see a therapist, don't feel like whatever you're feeling is normal or not a big deal, you don't have to live with it and suffer. With this post, I'm simply sharing some tricks that might help but I'm no therapist so please don't dismiss a visit to a professional.
Did you know that today is International Happiness Day? Every time I hear about happiness I'm taken back to my philosophy class in high school where my teacher told us that happiness isn't an end goal but a journey. It seems complicated but I actually agree. Happiness isn't something you should work for but rather something you should naturally feel in everything you do. Instead of working towards happiness, work in things that make you happy while you're doing them. Happiness isn't something you achieve and then that's it. Happiness grows the more you feel it and accompanies you in your life. I believe good mental health is the key to unlock positive feelings. Like I said before, I don't want this post to end your mental issues but I do hope this helps a little for you to realize what you have to do in order to live a healthy and fulfilling life. And I hope you enjoy the pictures of blooming trees and flowers I took this sunday, I guess Spring is finally here to stay.

Something that has helped me for the past few months is the app InnerHour. I found it while I was browsing the app store, wasn't really looking for anything in particular, but thought I'd give it a try even though no other app I had tried before helped but I was still willing to give it a shot. And I'm happy I did. The first thing the app does is a diagnose. It asks how you're feeling and what you want to work on from anger issues to stress to sleep problems, you can pick whatever problem is annoying you the most at that moment. From then on, the app makes a 28-day plan in which you have daily goals to work on. The app has a main tab in which you can see the daily goals the app designed for you but also another tab with goals you chose yourself; a tab called the "relief bot" in which you can have a conversation with the app's mascot, Allie and you also have a tab for therapists if you feel like you need professional help. On the main feed, besides your daily goals, you'll also see audio files that help you relax like guided imagery, deep breathing, gentles massages, etc. and a mood tracker. After the 28-day plan is over you can choose to continue working on the same problem if you feel like the 28 days weren't enough or you can choose another problem to tackle. You can switch programmes whenever you want though. 
I've learned a lot from this app and I use it daily to track my progress and to use the audio files for the different types of relaxation.

I try my best to do a relaxation exercise every day. Sometimes it doesn't happen for whatever reason but it's something I particularly enjoy and I feel like it helps with my stress and anxiety in the long-term. I often do it in the morning after I've gone for a walk with Kiko or in the afternoon. Some people like to do it at night but I feel like it actually wakes me up because my body sees it as a "nap" so I end up feeling more refreshed than tired. But try to do it at different times and see what works best for you and your schedule. And you don't need to take a lot of your day for this, the relaxation exercises I do are around 10 minutes long and that's good enough.

I don't go to the gym. It's expensive and I don't like it. But what I do love is walking. I don't have a car and even though I live in a city with public transportation, I prefer to walk places rather than spend money. If it's a walkable distance (I draw the line at about 45 minutes) then you bet I'm walking. Having a dog definitely helped even more with that. He's a small dog but he still loves to go for long walks and I make sure we take a very long walk every morning even if that means walking around in circles. I feel like that mild exercise and contact with fresh air makes me feel calmer and more relaxed. If you can, I'd definitely recommend going for a long walk every day but if you can't you can try some exercises inside just make sure you're doing them safely, you wouldn't want to get hurt.

Daily Goals
This is something in which InnerHour helps with but you can do it without the app as well. If you have a planner or a bullet journal you can set daily goals every day. Start small and don't beat yourself up if you don't achieve a goal. Try again the next day. Think of something small that you do or don't do and make yourself work towards changing that every day. If you need some inspiration, some goals I've worked on were to follow a sleeping schedule, to do a relaxation exercise every day, to defy catastrophization (turning insignificant events into negative thoughts), to eat a meal full of antioxidants every day, to write about my day every day, etc.

Cut down
Cut down what you think you should cut down. You know that habit you have that deep down you know you need to stop doing it? This is the time to get rid of it. This is the sign you were waiting for. This is the day you make a change. Sometimes, unhealthy habits that we can't get ourselves to stop are part of the problem and cause more stress and anxiety. Cut it down for good and you'll see improvements.

Keep Yourself Busy
It's the oldest trick in the book and you might have heard a bunch of people say it already but keeping busy really helps. It's true that while busy you don't have time to deal with problems but the truth is, you don't have as many problems as you think. Most of them are created by your anxiety or stress. By keeping yourself busy you keep your mind busy and don't think about problems that don't exist. It helped me a lot and I didn't even realize until time had passed and I realized I hadn't had certain thoughts in a very long time.

I hope you're having a great day,
Marta Ribeiro xx

All of the pictures are protected by Copyright. Any use without given credit is punished by law.

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  1. Lovely post! I think more people should open up about depression and anxiety. I've been suffering for a long time and I think exercising and keeping myself busy have helped quite a lot!

    Mariya |

    1. I agree, the more people talk about it the more we can help eachother. Thank you for stopping by!

  2. Relaxing is something I struggle to do daily, but these are some great tips!
    Raindrops of Sapphire

  3. So many great tips here!
    Thank you for sharing this! Have a great day!
    Xx Caroline

  4. Exercise is totally a help tool.
    Thank you

  5. Totally agree!


  6. baby steps are absolutely a great way to free our minds from stress! thanks for sharing.

    Cate // 35mminstyle

    1. Totally agree. Thank you so much for stopping by!


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