12 Ways to Become the Queen of Zen

Stress and anxiety are two of the most common attributes to everyday modern life, and it’s well known that they’re taking a huge toll on our health and over all well-being. Here are 12 simple ways to go from stressed to zen.

Everyone knows that life loves to throw curve balls. These moments can be big or small, and are usually consistent throughout day-to-day living. Things as common as waking up late, forgetting to fill up your gas tank the previous day, being stuck in traffic and running late for work while praying your car doesn’t run out of gas can all add up and quickly make you feel out of control.

Of course, this isn’t always an everyday incident, but it definitely happens. Some of us tend to live less stressful lives than others, and some people are just naturals when it comes to avoiding feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed. For the rest of us who need a little help from time to time, there are many different methods to reel us in off the crazy train.

Here are 12 simple and successful methods to help you remain cool, calm and collected.

1. Daily Movement


I know, I know: daily exercise—what a shocker. However, it has been proven time after time that daily physical exercise and moving our bodies decreases stress and anxiety and promotes feelings of happiness through the production of endorphins. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym or on the elliptical—just do what works for you.

Even an act as simple as walking around the block can make you feel better, especially if it’s sunny outside, which will help you obtain a healthy dose of vitamin D. Just don’t forget your sunscreen! Spending time outside is always a great mood lifter and can make you feel more connected to the world around you.

An exercise that is known to aid in relaxation, and rid the mind of anxiety, is yoga. Yoga is amazing for the body, mind and soul; even a simple 10-minutes flow exercise on YouTube can leave you feeling centered.

Daily exercise can also be accomplished in the bedroom or elsewhere if you’re feeling frisky. Sex is a great stress reliever for both you and your partner, and can make you both feel more connected and at ease, ready to take on the rest of your day.

2. Reframe Your Point of View

Sometimes you really just need to change your attitude towards life. The mind is a really powerful thing, and when you harness negative thoughts and energy, that’s what you attract into your life. When you start to change those feelings into more positive ones, things start to change, but this is much easier said than done.

When you feel like your life is crumbling, it’s hard to act cheery, but even just forcing a smile has been said to increase ones positive emotions. Fake it ’til you make it, right? No one enjoys the company of a constantly negative person, and if your thoughts are constantly about how stressful and hard life is, things aren’t going to change.

The power of positive thinking can push you into a better state of mind, which in turn will attract more positive energy into your life, making things seem less stressful. However, sometimes life gets in the way and terrible things can happen. If you have a big meeting or an interview coming up that you need to be calm and prepared for, try having a really good, hard cry.

Cry in the shower, to a friend or by yourself and just let out all of your emotions and feelings. Once that shower or conversation is over, it’s time to start moving on from those negative emotions and try turning them into positive ones.

You can’t bottle up all of your emotions; you need to release them, let the natural process of hurt or anger happen then move on and don’t give those emotions any more power over you. It’s really important not to bottle everything up because that can end up turning into a bigger explosion down the road. It also keeps you from being able to move past those negative emotions.

A positive mind set is a beautiful thing, but life and bad things do happen. Give your feelings and emotions the proper attention and release that they deserve and then move on. Just remember that nothing bad can come from a positive mindset, but a negative mindset can be a terrible thing on your overall well-being.

3. Be Around People You Love


When you’re feeling stressed out and anxious, it’s a good idea to try and spend more time with your loved ones and people you genuinely care about. These are the people who are going to make you laugh, smile and bring out the natural, happy you. These are also the best people to discuss your problems with, especially stress and anxiety, because these are the people who will most likely really listen to you and your feelings and give you sincere answers.

They’ll let you cry on their shoulder and then help to pick you up when you’re ready and keep you strong. These people are your support system, and though they care about you and what you’re going through, you don’t want to constantly make it all about you and your stress—they have stresses too. Plus, if you’re constantly thinking or talking about something negative, you’re giving it power.

Let them know what’s going on in your life, listen to their advice and then laugh the night away with your best friends, mom or whoever, and try to heal those feelings of stress and anxiety.

4. Deep Breathing

Focusing on taking deep breathes can be very calming for an anxious or stressful mind. Breathing in through your nose and exhaling through your mouth is known to be quite therapeutic and can help to calm a pounding heart or racing mind.

You can also take your deep breathing exercises to the next level and try meditation. Meditation can be very helpful, but it can be difficult. When you’re meditating, you’re trying to create a state of deep peace that occurs when the mind is silent.

There are many YouTube videos, blogs and articles on mediating, and it may take some practice and getting used to, but you might eventually find it very useful. Adding essential oils like lavender, rose, sage, bergamot and lemon to a diffuser can also help to promote relaxation and relief from anxiety, especially during your deep-breathing exercises.

5. Eat Well


Eating whole foods will help you to get the vitamins and nutrients that your body and mind need to function properly. Vitamins B, C and E and Omegas 3 and 6 are all known to help combat stress and anxiety levels in the body.

Eating proper foods will also help you to feel fuller for longer, which in turn will help to avoid binge-eating or overeating when stressed. When you eat junk food, you tend to feel like junk in turn. Limiting certain foods in your diet—like sugar, processed and packaged foods and caffeine—is a good idea because these can wreak havoc on your hormones and body, and can leave you feeling more stressed, anxious, sick, and drained than before.

Similarly, switching to herbal tea or reducing the amount of coffee you consume will greatly help your anxiety and stress levels. There are also many teas on the market with natural ingredients that target stress and anxiety. Eating a proper diet will boost your energy levels, help you sleep better and promote a healthy immune system and better weight management.

6. Stop Comparing

This can be so hard to do sometimes, especially with the heavy influence of social media on our lives. If you’re having a rough day, feeling down or are in a slump, the last thing you need is to compare your bad day or lazy week of Netflix marathons to someone’s fun-filled vacation pictures on Facebook or Instagram. Remember that these social media outlets are just highlight reels; don’t compare your cozy night in to someone else’s wild night out.

Another thing to remember is that a lot of pictures of celebrities that you see on Instagram or in magazines are usually photoshopped. The majority of our beloved pop stars, models, Instagram queens and actresses are constantly either photoshopped or made gorgeous by a team of stylists.

Always try to remember that you are you—no one else. You were given your life for a reason, so always remember that you’re a beautiful, intelligent, loved and accomplished woman. Don’t compare the things you have, your looks or anything else to someone els; try your best to focus on yourself and building a better life.

7. Exit Unhealthy Relationships

This can be a really hard step to take, but if you have a friend who fills you with anxiety and stress constantly instead of helping you to relieve those feelings, it may be time to question that relationship. I’m not saying to pull a high school move of, “I’m not your friend anymore,” but just slowly release them more and more.

During that period of release, you can also determine your feelings about the relationship more accurately due to not being around them as often. Focusing more of attention on people who are positive, have similar interests and hobbies as you and who inspire you will make a world of difference.

8. Acceptance


Similar to number six, acceptance is an important step in achieving a stress-free life. Accepting yourself for who you are, what you look like, your past, where you come from and everything else is an amazing act of self-love. If you can’t accept yourself and the things you can’t change, how can you expect other people to do so or expect to feel satisfied. This will simply keep you in a constant stage of anxiety and street.

Another big part of acceptance is accepting other people and their actions and that you have no control over the things that they do or say. You can make suggestions and let your feelings be known, but people are going to do what they want and say what they want anyway.

Sometimes people say things that they don’t mean when they’re upset and that’s okay to an extent because that is something that the majority of us tend to do. Accepting that you can only control yourself, your own words, and your own actions will help you to feel more in control of your own life, easing the stress that others may put on you.

9. Understand Where Your Feelings of Stress and Anxiety Come from

Try to understand the cause of your feelings of stress and anxiety. Is it work? Is it trying to house train your new puppy? Is it money? Is it debt? There’re a million different reasons, big and small, but you need to get to the root of your problem and fix it. Some situations take more time than others, such as large amounts of debt, which can’t exactly be erased overnight. However, small steps to tackling your problems is key.

If it’s credit card debt, take a look at your spending habits. Try to see where you can budget and save and put some extra money towards paying off your debt instead of just making the minimum monthly payments.

When you’re stressed out, one of the last things you should do is repress those feelings, such as by covering them up with drug and alcohol addiction, seeking unnecessary attention or self-harming. You might feel like it’s helping you and that it’s no big deal, but these types of things turn into habits very quickly—and then they become even bigger problems.

When you become reliant on a substance or other negative outlooks, you’re only harming yourself—even if it may seem like things are better for the moment. In reality, all you’re doing is hurting your mind and body and creating more stress for yourself. Looking for quick fixes to try and distract yourself from the real issue is not the answer. Take time and think about where your problems are coming from and who or what is causing them.

There’s a lot of information out there on erasing debt, making extra money, doing home renovations, meeting new people and everything else in between, so practice your small steps and don’t give up.

10. Laugh


Laughter is the best medicine, and should be incorporated into your life every day. Laughter and feelings of genuine happiness are the greatest emotions to battle stress and anxiety. Plus, it’s been proven that laughing just fifteen minutes a day can burn 10 to 40 calories daily or up to four pounds a year. So, whether you’re laughing with your loved one, friends, coworkers or just watching a funny movie, make sure you incorporate some fun and laughter into your life.

11. Write it all Down

If you’re feeling stressed out and anxious, a good way to try and weave through it all and find some clarity is by writing it all down. Writing down the tasks you need to accomplish, a list of what’s been stressing you out, or even making a list of your dreams and aspirations can help to take some of the weight off your shoulders.

Sometimes it’s a good idea just to let your mind run loose on a sheet of paper: write down all of the crazy, jumbled thoughts inside your head, and don’t stop until you feel relieved, light, and at ease. When you see everything on paper, it’s a lot easier to sort through and decide what needs to be addressed right away, what can wait and what problems you might have just created in your own mind.

12. Practice Gratitude


You might be stressed out about the things you don’t have or the things you haven’t done yet, but there are so many great things that you do have and things that you have done. Being grateful, recognizing all the great people in your life, having a roof over your head and food in your stomach and fridge is a blessing. What we take for granted, other people are praying for, and sometimes it can be difficult to come to this realization because we tend to live in a very money driven, materialistic world.

When you look at what you’re stressed out about from another point of view, it can change things. It won’t erase those feelings entirely, but instead of feeling overwhelmed, I hope you feel more at ease, knowing that it isn’t just you struggling out there.

Even if you have money troubles, a stressful job and everything in between, you still have your family, your friends, your pets and all the little things in life to be grateful for. Being happy with what you already have, and appreciating the people in your life and the roof over your head will make you a happier person, knowing how blessed you already are.

What are your favorite ways to de-stress and stay anxiety free? Add to this list in the comment section below!

About the author

Chelsy Normandeau

Chelsy Normandeau is a marketing student from Vancouver, Canada, with a passion for the great outdoors, craft beer, and writing. She aspires to teach others her money saving ways, fitness tips and tricks, and has the dream of one day being a best selling author.

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