I originally planned on writing about eating healthy on a budget, which I’ll save for another day.  But, grocery shopping is difficult to think about with my wedding being nine days away. Instead, I thought, “what better topic to write about than tips for dealing with stress!”

Everyone experiences stress at their own levels; some people stress almost every second of every day, while others do not seem to have a care in the world.  I am usually a stress-free (or close to it) kind of person, until recently.  Planning a wedding in four months is no joke!  Make that a low budget-DIY wedding, the weekend of Mother’s Day and graduations (including my fiance’s), my day job as a server and my photography clients, life is just a little bit busy.

I’m sure everyone can relate, whether it is with children, work, school or diets. I’m thankful that even at my most stressful moments, I have been able to quickly snap out of it and recompose myself before all control is lost. Here are a few regular techniques I like to use.

1.  [Prayer] |Meditation- Most people think it is impossible to have 10 minutes a day to sit in silence, and allow your mind to clear.  I practice meditation as I go about my day by remembering to focus on my breath and focus on remaining present, wherever I am. Besides alleviating stress, with [prayer] and meditation, you are learning to control your thoughts rather than the other way around.

2.  Step Outside| Appreciate Nature- After I have been sitting at the computer for a while, stepping outside for a few minutes is extremely restorative and rejuvenating.  Just a little fresh air helps give my mind, eyes and body a break; allowing space for new thoughts and ideas to flow in.  It’s also beneficial to stand up after sitting forever! This usually helps give a new perspective and refreshed patience for the task at hand.

3.  Exercise-  Walking, jogging, lifting weights, Zumba…whatever works for you, is a great way to relieve stress!  A combination of endorphins (a natural pain killer) released and the ability to sleep better definitely decreases the stress meter.

4.  Focus on Good Things-  I’ve recently learned that I have the choice to feel good, which to me is exhilarating.  I love being aware that in each moment I have the ability to choose how I feel.  However, in those moments where my mind is racing, worrying, stressing, repeating itself over and over…I eventually catch myself, take a deep breath, and focus on something that makes me feel good (whether in my surroundings or in my thoughts) and I can feel the energy shift within me.

5.  Appreciation-  It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of excitement in life events and often lose control.  Stress comes from worry and feelings of lack. Appreciation comes from focusing on the Abundance in our lives and can be as simple as thanking the sun, the air and the water to your job, friends and family.  You can say thank you for your blessings out loud, in your mind or keep a gratitude journal and list 10 things your thankful for every day.  Instead of feeling worry or anxiety about something that is not actually happening right now, say thank you for the outcome you would really like to experience!

In addition to these five tools I use to keep my stress level low and my joy level high, I remember that things are always working out.  I do not have to, nor am I able to, control every single thing that occurs in my life.  AND these are all things that I’ve asked for that I now have to be thankful for!

Great, wonderful, joyful and exciting things, experiences and loved ones to remind you that the “issue” your stressing over is really not that bad and will be over before you know it!

Alexa Aviles

Photographer ||Writer || Waitress || Soon to Be Wife || Vegetarian|| Alter Ego | Flower Child

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