How to Deal with Stress: Healthy Ways to Cope with Anxiety

Handling stress and anxiety can be really tough, but there are steps you can take that might help. Here are our few suggestions from our pick of self-help books for you to consider

by Erika Jeffrey / 2021-08-09

Stress has a knack for creeping into our lives, no matter how hard we try to avoid it. Working on our mental health is incredibly important, especially in the times that we’re in - so we’ve fielded some advice from experts on helping stop this unwelcome invader. Find out how to defeat this silent killer and calm your mind with some of the advice here.

HeadSpace: Guide to Meditation - Matt D'Avella

On Uptime

In this eight-part series, D’Avella takes us on a journey through the origins of meditation, revealing how we can put this powerful practice into action in order to become stress-free. When we commit fully to this mind workout, the benefits offer the power to transform our lives.

The mind responds to training like a muscle does

What is it that you actually want to spend your time doing? When it comes to managing your time, we often overlook the relevance of having an actual purpose and setting goals. 

If you have something to strive towards, it becomes far easier to dedicate and plan your time. 

Of course, life can be a whirlwind, so our goals and purposes can change. So it's important to remember to regularly revise, reorganise, and reconsider your goals. 

Science confirms the benefits of meditation

A Harvard study proved that eight weeks of regular meditation was enough to change the brain. This is due to something called neuroplasticity. It’s how the brain changes in response to training. Several studies deliver visible proof of the success of meditation. These include patience, acceptance, compassion and even happiness.

The peace of mind you're looking for is already there

D’Avella reminds us that “you are not your thoughts.” We all tend to hold onto emotions that would be better off released. The visualization techniques taught here can help you recognize the limiting thoughts. You already have the power to live in a state of peace, you just need to get out of your own way.

10% Happier - Dan Harris

On Uptime

Are you skeptical of meditation? Join the club. This book by Dan Harris provides skeptics with an easy route into meditation. Harris has one clear lesson for us:

quotation marksThere’s no point in being unhappy about things you can’t change, and no point being unhappy about things you can.

Here, he dives into the benefits of how to let go of the ego and be comfortable being you.

Your ego always wants more, and gets in the way of your happiness

Ah, the ego. When you constantly think about the future and past instead of living in the present, the ego is in control.

It craves drama and worry and is always on the prowl to compare your achievements with the next in line. That’s why it’s never happy and no milestone will ever be enough to satiate it. Hence the importance of being aware of it and taking control over it.

Letting go of your ego and finding simplicity won’t make you a pushover

The beauty of mindfulness is in the power it has to make you more creative and productive. It doesn’t make you a weak person who goes along with the status quo just to avoid making waves. It simply removes the need for competition and helps you approach things with more clarity.

Meditation makes you more compassionate by giving you a fourth habitual response

According to ancient Buddhist wisdom, we typically exhibit three characteristic habitual responses to everything we experience:

  1. We want it.
  2. We reject it.
  3. We zone out.

When we introduce meditation into our lives, we gain a fourth option: observing without judging. When you reflect on painful emotions before acting on them, you’re able to notice the emotion and let it pass before taking any rash actions.

Into The Magic Shop - James R. Doty, MD

On Uptime

Who couldn’t use a little magic in their life? The pages of this book grant you magic tricks to apply to your daily life. They will extinguish the flames of anxiety and help you relax your mind. These tricks can keep your mental health in check and ultimately change your life. Let’s pull some of the main highlights from his top hat.

The greatest magic of all

Like many people, Doty had a tough hand dealt to him as a child. As fate would have it, he stumbled across a magic shop when he was twelve years old. The shopkeeper would change his life forever. She bestowed upon him the greatest magic trick of all – meditation, mindfulness and compassion.

Doty practiced these three components to unlock his true potential. It helped him believe in his own magic. Now, you can do the same. 

Your brain gravitates towards what's familiar, so we have to visualize our own success

We instinctively gravitate towards familiar routes instead of going out of our comfort zones. Why? Because it feels safer to do so. Doty unveils a trick that rewires your brain to set your sights on what you really want, even if you think it’s out of reach.

When you realize that your thoughts create your reality, then you realize that your thoughts are all you need to manifest what you’ve always wanted. When you follow the map of visualization techniques he provides, you get to wear the top hat.

The key to transforming your life

We’ve got one more trick up our metaphorical sleeves. According to Doty, the only way to transform your life is to transform the lives of others. Depression and anxiety are rampant among those in society that are the most isolated.

He encourages you to think about moments in your life where you’ve encountered unconditional love. He asks you to really lean into the sensation of it. Then, spread that love to as many as you can. The power of this positivity can truly change the world.

The Emotional Freedom From Stress - Chantelle Brown

On Uptime

In this course you get to explore how to perform regular mental detoxes to combat stress. She busts the myth that suppressing emotions helps get you by and to instead deal with them head on. Explore the main takeaways from this uplifting course.

  • Acknowledge how you feel – don’t suppress, deal.
  • Practice the Emotional Freedom Technique – get relief from stress, pain, emotions and negative thoughts with this free, tapping technique to zap stressful symptoms away.
  • Overcome pain, emotion, negative thoughts – awareness is key. Release negative thoughts, and welcome a fresh perspective.

Summary

We can all use a little guidance when it comes to handling stress. These authors are here to remind us that we don't need to put extra stress on ourselves to live a 'perfect life'.

While stress is often, unfortunately, unavoidable, the key lesson here is that all we need to do is learn how to manage our reaction to it, not trying to avoid it altogether.

We need to check in with ourselves regularly to make sure we're not putting too much pressure on ourselves, and to avoid burnout. For more books on this topic, then be sure to check out the full hacks on on the Uptime App. 


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