Tuesday, July 3, 2012

AskJax: How to Distract Your Mind from Worry


I recently received an e-mail from a reader that has anxiety.
They asked me to share some ideas that I had  for getting the demons out of their head.
In order to do that, I’m bringing an old post back to life which I think more than answers their question.
…and of course I had to add a few new things to it as well…

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This morning I woke up and stretched. I heard a crack and immediately thought that I broke a bone.
I walked into the kitchen to pour myself some OJ and noticed the expiration date was in a few days. I immediately thought I would spend the day hurling up sour juice. Classy, huh?
After freaking out that I would be late to work and worrying about whether or not my eyes would bother me around 3pm, I put my glasses into my bag and got ready to run.
That's when I wrapped my scarf around my neck and started to get nervous that a spider had crawled into my scarf during the night. I shook that bad boy out like a pro and went on my way.

I guess it's safe to say that I am a very anxious person.
What I should be anxious about is having a heart attack from stressing over nothing all the time!
The good news is, I'm not always this way.
Most of the time I can take the pressure of anything and then some.
I actually prefer to be under pressure because then it lights a fire under my ass.
The bad news is, when I get anxious, I get really anxious!
When I start stressing, I realize it right away and try to relax.

I know that we all stress out, get anxious, or freak out over different things.
Here's some tips on how to r e l a x...

1. Breathe.
There's supposed to be a special technique for this, but I just try to breathe deep.
Don't do that labor breathing exercise. It doesn't work for stress. Just saying...

2. Clean.
For the love of God, put the bleach down!!!
I find that if I clean or organize something around me, the anxiety starts to subside.
It could be the change in my focus or it could be the order around me making me feel less cluttered.

3. Bye Bye Google.
I'm famous for googling meaningless nonsense and then diagnosing myself with some rare, fatal disease.
Stay off of Google!
Unless you're looking up Aaron Hernandez pictures. Then go right ahead. That should be #4...

4. Chit Chat
If I feel myself getting anxious over something silly, I'll call a friend or family member and yap about nothing until I calm down. Poor Peaches and Madre...hahaha

5. Read
Pick up a Glamour and glow while looking at all the pretty clothes, shoes, and make up.
Pick up a book and focus on a fictional life.
Reading is a great way to get your mind off the silly things running through it.

6. Robert Downey Jr. Movies
This one's my favorite...

7. Shopping
Shopping is great therapy for stress! New things can make anyone smile.
Just set a limit for yourself. Don't spend $3,000 on a pair of shoes and say Jax told you to so you can relax. When that bill comes in the mail you'll stress harder than ever!

8. Wine
The alcohol stops the shaking after hearing about a tornado that killed 12 people in 7 different states.
Yes, I even worry about the weather.

9. Green Tea
It may not have the same effect as booze, but it's great for relaxation.
The Japanese I work for swear by it. I call it the miracle tea.

10. Vacation
If time and money allow, go on a vacation.
Leave your worries home and dive into something you really enjoy. Go see a place that you've always wanted to. Make memories that you can laugh about when you're stressing all over again.

11.  Project
Dive into a project that you have been putting off.
Maybe you can organize those pictures that are all thrown around or go through your old clothes for donations.
Hello effective and productive way of distracting your mind!

12.  Music
Being stressed is a green light to take off your clothes and sing as loud as you can into a piece of fruit.
Yes, it’s even a green light for men to blast Britney Spears and get their groove on!!! 

What are your relaxation techniques?

84 comments:

  1. A warm bubble bath with candles lit, music on and a glass of wine to drink. That usually does it for me and if it doesn't I just slam doors until I work off the stress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohh, that sounds sooo nicccee!!! Girl, you got anti-stress down to a science!! ;)

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    2. Would you ladies believe me if I told you I have the most beautiful tub that I never ever use? I'm surbubble bath with candles lit etc is relaxing, but I'm just too impatient (= not relaxed) to wait for it to fill to the brim....

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    3. Ohhh, I believe you!!!! But, I'm confused. Why wouldn't you use it??? It sounds amazing!!!

      Delete
  2. Being alone makes me relax. Just chill out on the computer, or take a nap

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh noo, being alone makes me panic more. Gives me more free time to overthink my brain without distractions!!!

      Delete
  3. For me, the best stress relief is taking the dog for a really long walk, while listening to an audiobook on my iPod. And I agree with Adam, sometimes I just need to be alone to recharge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that sounds like a great idea!!! A really long walk could always do the trick. I've never listened to an audiobook, but reading a book can distract my brain real well :)

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    2. Audiobooks are awesome for long walks, working out and long, solo car rides!

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    3. Really?? I need to invest in a few then ;)

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  4. I bet those demons in his head are cat related....
    Best form of relaxation is sex... and more sex....or some cuddling if it's too hot for sex, although it's never too hot for sex....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm, they could be cat related!!!!

      Dez, the hotter it is for sex, the better!! It's a time to sweat ;) hahahaha

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  5. good advice!
    i think your best bet number 12 music!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad that you find it to be good advice :) Ohh, you like music??? Go and rock out ;)

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  6. Nope Dez, not cat related.

    Agree with Dez's solution. But writing helps too and organizing a bit as well, music can surely take them away as well. Or just telling yourself to shut up works sometimes too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you surreeee it's not cat related??? You never know...LOL

      Telling myself to shut up just makes me argue with myself and then I look crazy!! hahahahahaha

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  7. Jax, I write and read as well. And sometimes will pick the wine / hard liquor (eeps). I would love to say that I've gotten a handle on my anxiety but that's not the case all the time. But the best we can do is try right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly!! As long as we try that's all that matter. We just have to find the best things to distract us from our anxieties :)

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  8. Good list of coping stuff. I am with you on the music. Just change Robert Downey Jr. movies to John Hughes movies and that's my list too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Chica!! What's wrong with Robert Downey Jr??? Looovvveee himmm!!! hahahaha

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  9. Great advice Jax. Hopefully you can manage it without medication (like many of us do).

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Barfly! Yes, we use medication as a last resort only ;)

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  10. thanks dear! this post is really what need... hubby says i'm just like that.. and its true!
    when i got pregnant, after giving birth and now taking care of our son.. i become very anxious and conscious particularly about our health..
    i guess its normal now that i'm a mother myself maybe just too much so i'm trying to do other things that can help me to relax a bit.
    i started reading again and watching dvd's :)
    and of course nothing beats the new place or a vacation treat :)

    xoxo, Haus of Gala

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, really?? Glad to hear that more than one person is getting use out of it!! That makes me happy!!

      Don't worry...health is one of my biggest concerns!! I worry about it all the damn time :) Great tips to add!!

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  11. I have developed many ways to deal with stress and anxiety, but they are very unconventional. If I said what they were, everyone would probably lecture me that they were very unhealthy, and I should be dead by now. So...yeah...they ought to take YOUR advice. It's much better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unconventional??? Oh my!!! lol Do be unhealthy or dead!! Why don't you try reading or music? It's less life threatening ;)

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  12. To me, when I am stressed or not in mood, the house remains messy. Yeah, music, cooking - especially baking, soup, and long warm bath and long walk or movie and being alone.

    Great advice Jax

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really need to invest in a bath!!! I've been craving a good soak since Anne mentioned it ;) You really don't find cleaning therapeutic? Ohh, I do!! I agree with the baking and the cooking though!!

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  13. I'm with Anne, a nice bubble bath. Also, a trip to the beach, writing, deep breaths, praying, dancing, spending time with the kids...can you tell I've had way to much practice LMAO!

    Great advice, Jax!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's another one for the bath!!! Looks like I completely missed out on that one. LOL I'll just blame the it on the fact that I don't have a bathtub. lol Ohh, well, practice makes perfect!!! ;)

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    2. Eep!! I've been ccrrazzzyy busy!! I'm back though :) I'm back!!!

      Delete
  14. Honestly, I never relax. I seem to always be worried about something. I know that's unhealthy, but it's just me, I guess. I will have to try some of your tips out for myself.

    I'll start by googling Aaron Hernandez pics and take it from there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you, Ray!! I'm always nervous too. Even when I don't think that I am anxious, I notice my leg shaking and realize that there is something on my damn mind!!

      Googling Aaron Hernandez pics?? Ohh, you just got bonus points!!!! hahaha

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  15. Nice,nice I need this LOL, I had a terrible weekend so many things and Im exausted, and yes IM ANXIOUS person and Im worry always especially with the people I love :(
    I have to read this Only I want i relax and live OK LOL
    For me is nice Cook (especially baking) but if Im so bad I cant cook:(
    Tea (I drink a lot of tea)
    Read (I love read) dor hours I forget all:))
    and love shopping too. But not always I can LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Today I think in this post Jax I need a vacation sooooooon!!!

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    2. Aww, a terrible weekend?? Sorry to hear that Gloria!!!

      Cooking and baking with a nice glass of green tea sounds great. Actually, that's what I'm doing right now! My red velvet cookies are in the oven. Yum!!!

      Reading is another great way!!!! Yes, you need to be careful with the shopping :) Vacation??? Yes, Please!! lol

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    3. Sometimes to rest I really need be alone!
      Did you see. The muffins I bake? Were. Amazing lol

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    4. Ohh, I have to look!!! I love me some muffins!! You're blog makes me eat a lot ;) lol

      Delete
  16. I have horrible anxiety so I take relax now It's an herbal blend of lavendar, St John's wart and other herbs. I also do the breathing, used to read, take walks, and clean like a mad woman until I pass out from exhaustion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohh, I've never heard of that!!! I'm going to have to try your special herbal blend ;) Sounds greath!! Walks is a great idea, and I really love the cleaning one!! It's a great way to be productive and relieve stress. :)

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  17. When I try to relax, I usually listen to music and just start writing or reading, something that takes my mind off it the best I can. Another thing I was told is exorcising (specifically running) which I'll be trying out very soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome things!! Exercising is a great one to add :) So many people find it therapeutic. I don't...I find it to be work ;) lol

      Delete
  18. Relaxation is always about music and the outdoors

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Music and the outdoors??? Got it!!

      Delete
  19. I clean and organize like a crazy....and I paint my nails. Staying in the lines forces me to forget my troubles. I also breathe and focus on the beach. I

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree!! Cleaning and organizing are great ways to distract yourself...not to mention productive!!! But, painting nails? Oh no...that's added stress to me.. LOL

      Delete
  20. Whew! I know have an excuse if I am sprung singing into a piece of fruit dancing in my underwear.

    "I was just trying to stop being anxious I swear!"
    "Why are you holding that piece of fruit?"
    "It's a microphone"
    "It's an apple. Wouldn't a banana be better?"
    "... They're out of season?..."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahahahahaha Bananas could go out of season??? Who knew!!!!! lol This is a great skit to consider for your stand up. I'm cracking up thinking about it :)

      Delete
  21. Anxiousness is an actual disease? If so, then I always fall sick right before exams!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's an actual disease. Well, it's more like a mental disorder. lol I hear you on the getting sick before an exam. No worries!!

      Delete
  22. A good book and a cup of tea!

    Yes I am 95, lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL Does that make me 95 too because that sounds awesome ;)

      Delete
  23. i've had bad anxiety all of my life, but two things are slowly calming me down: pulpy orange juice and your blog.

    i tried to lose the Google, but without Google, i wouldn't have found your relaxation techniques, so it's one of those chicken-and-egg deals.

    ah, of course music, music is my life, it's what soothes my savage beast. lovely Jax, stop on over my blog place today for some brilliant M83...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You like pulp in your OJ?? Ew!!!!!! I hateee pulp. LOL But, I love that my blog helps you with anxiety ;) lol

      Delete
  24. Great list, I often do number 11 when I'm trying to get over worring about stuff! and sometimes I just take a nap!

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    Replies
    1. Ohh, naps don't do it for me! I can't sleep when my brain is all frazzled ;)

      Delete
  25. I like cleaning and taking on a new project when things seem overwhelming.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I used to do Praxis tapping, which is where you tap at the neck or chest, in a slight circular pattern. I have been known to head down the pub to de stress, but if its full of drunks, it gets more stressful lol.
    I am big on helping those who need a hand though, so i like helping others, giving clothes is a good way to improve the world.Well done for doing it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohh, I've never heard of that!!! I'm googling Praxis Tapping right now!!!

      Delete
  27. Haven't been doing much of it recently, but working out and running always help me. Writing also helps, because I feel as if I accomplished something.

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  28. There is an award for you on my blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Nice variety of suggestions Jax. I can relate to the projects one--getting myself immersed in something else makes time fly and often eases my mind.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Googling symptoms of an illness is the absolute worst.

    "Symptoms of Malaria include headache, fatigue, and stomach ache."

    Me: "Oh God, I have a bit of headache, I'm tired, and my stomach is upset... I'M DYING OF MALARIA."

    ReplyDelete
  31. My relaxation process as a creative designer as follows:
    1. Fresh Music (Hype Machine is what I normally use)
    2. Blaze
    3. Tea (Green tea has the same amount of caffeine as coffee + good for metabolism and skin care)
    4. Comfortable clothes
    5. Take my board out for a skate
    6. Beach beers
    7. Go for a run/workout

    ReplyDelete
  32. Shopping is great therapy for stress? The S-word... really? Funny you should mention this.

    What I do to relax:
    1. Avoid shopping like the plague
    2. Shave. I guess it's the male equivalent of cleaning.... we think a lot when we're shaving. (Only then.)
    3. Have dinner at a friend's restaurant.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I do love your pink comments. Such a clever idea and so funny. I find breathing is sooo good for stress, as is a really good book.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I think a huge one is organize. Once you're organize and you know what's coming, you don't have to stress and be anxious anymore!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I just passed an award onto you. Check out my blog if you want to pick it up. (=

    ReplyDelete
  36. I find the best stress relief is to sing loudly and off key. I'm not sure why, but it never fails to make me happy.

    ReplyDelete
  37. There you go again, talking bout Aaron Hernandez!

    I drink. I eat. I sleep. I smoke. I still stress.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Wow, good timing. I've been having a few minor anxiety attacks lately. I need some ways to relax and get my mind off things. :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. I mostly eat. My house is too messy to clean.

    ReplyDelete
  40. As someone who's moving to a different state in less than a month, I needed this. I had a big ol' freakout yesterday over everything I had to do. The only thing that helped me calm down was taking a walk...oh, but it's 1,000 degrees outside right now! So I do pushups. It really helped. Then I got home from work and drank a gallon of vodka. It REALLY helped.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I would agree with all of these tips, but just being busy and cleaning is my number one way to calm my mind and distract it :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Nice tips...well, except for the Robert Downey, Jr. movies...how about Natalie Portman instead. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  43. I agree with #3. My doctor has directed me to avoid self diagnosis on WebMD or google.

    ReplyDelete

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