The fact that chronic stress is detrimental to our health is common knowledge. Stress, which is our body and mind tipping into flight or fight mode, can strain our hearts, reduce our memories, speed aging, divide our attention, throw off our digestion, and disrupt our sleep, which comes with a lot of its own consequences.
We all do our best to manage stress, but for people with depression and anxiety, the problem goes far beyond combatting the pre-meeting jitters or occasional blues.
Those who struggle with these mental disorders know they can be a major disruptor in our lives. It’s more than stress; it’s a constant, never-ending dread, heaviness, nervousness that you just can’t shake.
You’ve probably tried a lot of different things to combat stress, anxiety, and depression. Medicine. Exercise. Gratitude journals. Meditation. All of these things can work, but what do you do when you’re too stressed out, anxious, or depressed to do any of those things?
After all, if you’re feeling crushed under anxiety or depression, that last thing you feel like doing is going for a run.
Most things that help the symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression are things that require a certain amount of effort, and sometimes you just can’t bring yourself to write down things you’re thankful for.
Sometimes the last thing you want to do is focus on your breathing and watch your thoughts drift across your mind like clouds in the sky (or whatever that guided meditation you once listened to said to do).
Sometimes what you really need is an effective mood booster that requires almost no effort at all.
What if you just had to push a button? What if you could get a quick boost just by hitting “play?”
In many cultures, sound and music are used to induce states of mind, including states of calmness. Music can have a huge effect on our mood and stress levels, and it’s one of the easiest things you can do to combat stress.
Try happy songs when you need a boost, or calming songs if you need to slow your mind down. In fact, this study identified that listening to “Weightless” by Marconi Union can reduce your stress levels by 65%!
Give it a try! If you’re having a rough day with depression or anxiety, pull out your phone and play a song. It just takes a few buttons, just a couple thumb movements, and can give you a huge boost right when you need it.
Save the Zumba and gratitude journal for when you’re up for them. In the meantime, all you have to do it push play.