Try to: Hang Out With a Kid

stress relief

Another experiment that worked for writer Madeleine Connolly. Her post on her improved mental health caught my attention. Here's what she says:

I work with kids, and I love it. I laugh every single day — probably ten times at least. Everyday is different, and everyday I learn new things from them. I practice compassion with them, and I get to witness the returns of that.

One of the best returns? Kids make you talk to them. You’re pretty much forced out of introversion when you work with kids, because you have to hold conversations about literally anything and everything. And their confidence can rub off on you too. I used to find talking with other adults who were confident to be difficult — it often used to make me feel even more introverted. But I found that’s not the same with kids, they’re just happy to be themselves, and for some reason it’s infectious.

I can’t explain it — but it’s a goddamned beautiful mystery that kids being themselves can help me to be myself.

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Try: Having a Conversation Outside Your Comfort Zone

I'd rather text too, btw. Always. Maybe text to hang out, then try the comfort zone convo?

I'd rather text too, btw. Always. Maybe text to hang out, then try the comfort zone convo?

If you don't usually reveal much about how you're feeling, try sharing something. If you're an over-revealer, sit back and learn about something new. If you talk to hide discomfort, try being quiet to see what happens. If you hate talking....you get the picture.

Get over the initial discomfort. Break the action down into something super small...one small comfort zone step at a time. 

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Try to: Seek Out Art

art

Nearly every book about meditation, mindfulness, and anxiety says the same thing: Bear in mind that you're not alone. It's a hard thing to feel, though. Does reading these words on the page from me, or even knowing I've felt some of the things you have, really make you feel less alone?  This is where art like music, reading, or theater help (at least, those are the things that help me--everyone is different). In the past, I've pushed them down the priority list. Putting this on the list is a way of saying: for me, art is key to turning down the volume knob on anxiety. 

If this experiment works for you, hit the heart to let others know they should give it a try!