A LOT of you have read my post on how I deal with anxiety (if you haven't, click HERE :) ) and some of you have asked me how I bounced back from letting my anxiety and stress levels control my daily life and of course, my mood. So here are some tricks and things that have worked for me to help me keep a positive mindset and lead a happier lifestyle :).
First off, it was extremely hard for me to just suddenly shift my mindset. From my anxiety post, you guys know I had lost my self esteem and confidence for the longest time, and that I received a lot of help and advice from a counsellor. She said in order for me to be happy again, I had to learn to first: be independently happy, second: to not be so hard on myself and third: to learn how to release stress.
I honestly did not know where to even begin to be happy again, at the time it was so hard to even put in the effort because I was so down. Every smile that I put forward didn't feel genuine. I learned however, if there's a will, there's a way and I just took baby steps.
I started to do things that I wanted to do and went back to doing things that I had given up in the last 25 months. I really wanted to bring back the spark I had prior to the last two years. If you guys didn't know, I took dance throughout elementary school and high school so I really wanted to get back into that. However, with a heavy school schedule I didn't really have time to take proper dance classes. So instead, I started doing Ballet Beautiful. This initiated my road to positivity and happiness :)
1st Tip: Exercise
Ballet Beautiful is a workout lead by professional ballerina turned fitness instructor, Mary Helen Bowers. It's a good workout for those looking to achieve a strong and lean dancer's body. Once I started doing this workout, not only did I get leaner, I also felt good for the first time in a longtime. Exercise helps your body produce endorphins and of course endorphins make you happy! This was also a great way to destress.
2nd Tip: Read Self-Help Books
I was not very familiar with self help books so I picked up one that was reccomended for first time "self help readers". This book was Treasure Yourself by Miranda Kerr. I was able to relate to some of the stuff she's written and I actually really like this book. This helped me see things in a different perspective and it helped me realize the importance of loving yourself and treating your mind and body well.
3rd Tip: Eating Healthy
From Miranda Kerr's book, I learned that feeling good and looking good definitely starts from within. When I was so miserable, I did not care what I put in my body and obviously it helped to contribute to the negativity. Once I started putting in the effort to eat healthier, not only did it help my skin look better, I felt good inside and healthy so it started to boost my confidence and self esteem. I really love drinking green juice or a fruit smoothie in the morning. It gives me the energy boost I need to start my day :)
4th Tip: Be gentle with yourself
This is a big one for me and an affirmation I now live by. By being gentle with myself, this means allowing myself to take a break from studying when I feel like I really need it, or just going out and getting ice cream because I want to. This has helped reduced the amount of stress I experience daily tremendously, because now I do the things that I want to do without anxiety getting in the way (the majority of the time) and I started to believe myself when I tell myself I'll be okay in high stress situations (which now happens a lot less in comparison to before). Being gentle with yourself also means treating yourself every once in a while because GURL, YOU DESERVE IT. This could mean giving yourself a pamper evening every couple weeks or going shopping even.It's nice to just treat yourself every now and then :)
5th Tip: Choose Positive Affirmations
Choose some affirmations that apply to you and try to live by them. This has helped me alter my mindset from negative to mostly positive because it has become a habit. I say "mostly" positive because I am still a work in progress haha. I like to read affirmations once I wake up in the morning and try to live my day by one affirmation that I choose for that particular day. I also like to remind myself of the affirmation throughout the day by writting it down, taking a picture of it and setting it as my home wallpaper on my phone. By living by these affirmations daily, it's starting to become "normal" to me, just like how a high degree of stress was once so very normal to me. Here are some of my favourite affirmations...(all of these I have read somewhere haha)...
Be gentle with yourself and be gentle with others
I conduct myself honorably at all times
It is okay to be sad sometimes
I am free to create success in my life-it is my choice
Being myself involves no risk
Blaming others does not solve anything
I am greatful for everything that I have
Loving others is easy when I love and respect myself
So this is what I am currently doing and have been doing in the past 8 months to try to better myself :) This has helped my anxiety a lot because by doing all this, my stress levels have not been so high. I still get anxiety but I find that now it usually won't lead up to a panic attack because of the different mindset I have started developping. I know inside I will be okay and I have learned to believe that. So if you guys are struggling to pep up a bit, maybe give these tips a go? Haha they work for me so hopefully they can help you too.