By Johnathan A. Ertwine
While the quarantine has been lifted please be mindful that we should try and spend more time at home than in public places. Of course, the activities outside of the house look like more fun but what if I told you that the stuff you have at home can help you find some much needed anxiety and stress relief. This article is FULL of (research proven) suggestions to relieve some of your pent-up anxiety you may have! Enjoy!
P.S. They are fun for the whole family!
Did you know that coloring has the power to relax your brain? Research has shown that the fear center of your brain, the amygdala. It induces the same state as meditating by reducing the thoughts of a restless mind. This generates mindfulness and quietness, which allows your mind to get some rest after a long day at work.
· Coloring is not just good for kids! In adults coloring has been shown to lower blood pressure and improve mood.
Did you know that mental-health issues and stress or high anxiety often go together? Finding an emotional release like painting allows a person’s mind to relax and let go of all the problems that contribute to a high stress level.
· A fun show to watch, if you are new to painting, is Bob Ross. His show has inspired countless people to pick up a brush with confidence!
Did you know that practicing gratitude can lower your stress and anxiety? Research shows that people who participate in activities that foster a sense of gratitude experience an immediate increase in feelings of happiness and decrease in negative emotions; however, without consistency, the positive effects dissipate over time. Try making a gratitude list (things you are grateful for) or maybe a gratitude board for the whole family to practice!
· If you would like to practice gratitude try starting with writing down three things you are grateful for everyday for a week. If you notice your mood improving keep it up!
Imagination and play:
Did you know that day dreaming may be good for you? Research shows that fostering creativity and imagination improves mood and lowers anxiety. Playing pretend is a natural childhood tendency to help children unwind and release stress. A household that plays together, thrives together!
· Try to practice the restaurant game at home or during a snack time with kids.
Journaling may seem like a personal form of self-expression, but it can be so much more if you open your mind to new ideas. Writing in a prompt-based journal has helped countless writers and artists get started in their careers. Journaling reduces stress, anxiety, and releases all of those lovely “happy” chemicals in the brain! So why not give journaling a try?
· If you do not feel like a creative writer, or do not want to buy a journal with prompts, try reflecting on your day or a verse from a book you love.