Girl (or boy), you need to relax.
We all do.
We all deserve to.
So I wanted to give you guys some pointers and delve into what my **current** favorite ways to relax are -- because it does change over time (not too much though). I'm someone that can go from 0-100 when it comes to anxiety. I've always been a nail-biter, and I've had a lot of other problems and habits thanks to my anxiety throughout my entire life. I'm also an Aries Moon, so I tend to be extremely impulsive, which I don't think is ever helpful when you're emotional. I've been able to dial back a lot on many of these issues, because I've become much more conscious and self-aware of whenever I do get anxious or whenever my emotions are all out of whack. I feel more in control thanks to the following things I do to calm myself down and stay grounded.
Yes, I'm one of those girls that had a million journals growing up that I never finished filling completely. I would journal consistently for a few days, then it would turn into weeks, months, years...until I just stopped and bought a new journal. Rinse and repeat.
However, lately has been different. I bought a new journal back in September of 2019, I believe. I've been the most consistent I've ever been with any journal in my life. Whenever I find myself getting really worked up over things, I journal about them. I learn so much about myself while doing it. I can really sort through any emotions I may be feeling and get to the root of what's making me feel however I'm feeling. Also, I don't only do this when I'm feeling negative emotions. I think it's really useful to journal on normal days where you're not feeling at a high or low as well. Along with journaling on days where you feel super happy. Journaling doesn't have to be this depressing thing. For me, it helps me get to root of my problems on terrible days and it helps me discover what truly makes my heart race on my best days.
I suggest going out and buying a journal that's aesthetically pleasing to your personal taste, and journal in it once a day or once every three days or so. I enjoy looking up specific journal prompts to write about when I'm not interested in writing about my day specifically. It gives me a way to flesh out my goals I want to accomplish, things I want to change about myself, etc.
2. YOUPER APP
I forget how I found out about this app, but it has definitely played a huge part in me having more control and insight into my emotions. I could do an entire blog post alone about the benefits of using this app on a regular basis.
It's basically an emotional health assistant. You can adjust the settings to your liking. For example, I have it set up so that I get a notification on my phone every morning at 9AM and the assistant asks me a series of questions about my mood and emotions. Then we discuss why I'm feeling that way. I can select from different emotions I'm feeling such as: calm, optimistic, proud, annoyed, happy, tired, anxious, grateful, joyful, frustrated, confident, angry, excited, or simply okay. Then, a spectrum pops up and I can choose how intensely I'm feeling that emotion. Maybe I'm feeling calm, but how calm am I feeling? Slightly calm? Fairly calm? Very calm? A little calm? I love this, because you get to really pinpoint what you're feeling. Over time, you start to learn that yes, there is a difference between feeling slightly optimistic and very optimistic. After this, the app has you select what's making you feel this emotion. Is it because of work? Family? Money? Social media? Health? Being by yourself? Good sleep? You can also add custom reasons as well that will then be saved for you to click on later. Then, over time, the app tracks what causes you to feel specific emotions the most, and then it will tell you! For example, currently, according to the app, what's been making me feel the most confident recently is: being by myself, my best friend, social media, work, exercise, and friends.
The app monitors different things like anxiety, depression, social anxiety and more. For me, it does check-ups every month. There's graphs that track all of these things I've mentioned within the app as well so you can see how your days have been going over time. The app has voice-led (and silent) meditation exercises that are very relaxing. You can set daily goals everyday, if you want, and the app will check in with you later in the day to see if you completed your goals! Totally useful with holding yourself accountable.
I mean...this app is absolutely amazing and I hope you all can see why I love it. Even though I personally love having a physical journal along with the Youper app, if you're not the type of person that likes to write in a journal, this is a great substitute, because when the app asks you about how you're feeling and why, it then has you explain why those things are impacting you. And then it takes it a step further and has you analyze those emotions and gives feedback. There's been plenty of times where I was super pissed about something and then this app gave me a reality check. Maybe I had a reason to be mad about whatever I was mad about, but maybe I was too mad and wasting my time ruining my own day. I thought I was being super rational and Youper was like, "but girl, are you really???" This app has a great way of helping you realize that on your own which I love.
Last thing, the interface is GREAT. It's not overwhelming at all. There's some apps I've tried to use because the concept of it seemed interesting, but the way everything was presented on the app was just stressful and overwhelming. This app has a layout that is appealing to the eye and doesn't give you anxiety looking at it. Plus, it's very easy to understand.
Typically when I meditate, I use the Youper app for it, because the Youper app contatins guided exercises that specifically target whatever you're using the meditating for. However, sometimes it is nice to just meditate on your own. The way I prefer to meditate is pretty simple. I typically do it before I start my day, and from time to time, I'll do it before bed to help me relax. I lay down on my back and get comfortable on the bed, close my eyes, and take deep breaths in through my nose and exhale through my mouth. I do this for about 5-10 minutes, and it gives me the ability to start my day in the most relaxed state possible.
I know not all of you are dancers, but you don't have a to be a dancer to dance. Dancing has always been my main source of expression. Whenever I'm super happy, or super down...there's always a good song to pull from to dance to and just release all of those emotions. This is so fun to do when you're alone. In your own room, or when you have the house to yourself, just try it. There's nothing more freeing than running through your own home dancing to your heart's content with nobody around. After dancing, I feel very relaxed once my body calms down.
Music maybe isn't always what I recommend as the first way to deal with your emotions, because I think music can sometimes be very triggering. Whatever music I'm listening to can impact me heavily. I don't know if it's because I'm a dancer or what, but depending on the song, it can have a huge impact on my mood -- which isn't always a good thing. So I like to journal and maybe meditate before listening to music, especially if I'm feeling really down or super anxious. An alternative is to listen to music while I do those things. Soon, I will start creating music playlists for you all to listen to that will be useful for when you're journaling, need to relax, need to be cheered up, etc. If music isn't super triggering for you, this can totally be your go-to though. Music helps me to feel liberated and confident within myself. Also, since I'm a dancer, music is kind of my life, so there's that.
Practicing gratitude can be life changing. I do it so regularly now, that when I find myself in a rut, the things I'm grateful for automatically pop into my head now! That rarely ever used to happen before. I practice gratitude mainly when I'm journaling, using my Youper app, and meditating.
When I'm journaling, from time to time, I'll do a prompt that pushes me to jot down what I'm grateful for. Sometimes, when I'm simply journaling about what's going on in my life, I'll choose to practice gratitude to help reconstruct my thinking -- especially if I'm being really negative.
With the Youper app, the assistant will suggest that I type out what I'm grateful for almost every day when I'm interacting with it. So I do. And it makes a difference. There are also meditation exercises within the app that are specifically for practicing gratitude.
When I'm meditating, sometimes, I like to think of nothing and simply focus on my breathing. Other times, I like to think of what I'm grateful for. Especially in the mornings when I'm starting my day. When you carry the thought of what you're grateful for with you throughout your entire day because you thought heavily about those things in the morning, you'll notice the difference it makes when things get tough, and even with just maintaining a positive mood daily.
Thank you for reading. I hope you can incorporate some, if not all of the things I've listed to help you for more relaxed in your day to day life. Tranquility is so important for shaping your day, your life, your thoughts. Knowing why you're feeling the way you feel and having a way to either maintain that feeling or do something about it is essential to our lives and everyone deserves that power over themselves and their mind.
Feel free to subscribe to the Royal Blogspace for more content, and if you have other ways you like to relax or take control of your emotions, comment them down below! I'd love to incorporate new ideas into my own life and I'm sure many other people would love to hear your suggestions too! Stay tuned for those Spotify playlists I mentioned above as well.
Here's a link to the Youper website so that you can learn more about what it offers and decide if you want to incorporate it into your life: https://www.youper.ai/