Detoxing Your Mind

Se·ren·i·ty /səˈrenitē/ Noun 1. The state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled: "an oasis of serenity".

Yesterday morning I woke up early and decided to take my dog for a walk. The sun was still coming up and there were barely any cars or people out and about. As I walked I took in my surroundings, I took deep breathes and I smiled. There is nothing more serene than being outside while the rest of the world is asleep. I began to think of the importance of these moments, the moments when you can take time to detox your mind from the stress of your day to day. There are often days I find myself overwhelmed by the amount of things I need to get done before school starts again in September. Register for classes, visit my academic counselor to complete paperwork for exchange, find a place to live in Brisbane, register for my visa, get in enough hours at work, update both blogs frequently, document my workouts and diet, write weekly responses for my online summer course and complete my final project, not to mention trying to fit a social life with both friends and family into all of it. Now all of these things are blessings and let me make it clear that I am not complaining that I have all of these amazing opportunities; I am simply saying life can get hectic and when it does it can stress you out to the point of wanting to just stay in bed all day. In my final year of high school I noticed that my stress levels were surprisingly high. I was not one to fret about school or stress out about grades. My theory was that for once in my life my above average grades were not going to be enough to get into my program and university of choice - I had to work harder and if I didn't achieve results, there goes my plan for the next four years of my life. Stressful. However, these stress levels carried through to my first year of university where I had my first anxiety attack. I would stare at my to-do list of homework and my brain would just shut down. "There's no way I can get all of this done", "This is way too much, I can't do this", "Why did I come here, I'm not smart enough, I don't know how, I'm so behind, I'll never catch up" are thoughts that frequented my mind. But this story doesn't end with me giving up. No, it ends with me learning to cope with this anxiety and striving to go out and accomplish everything I wanted to because I worked too damn hard to get into that program and there is no way in hell I was giving up. I got through first year, and then I got through second year. The anxiety never went away but I got better at dealing with it and better at spotting the signs of an anxiety attack and being able to avoid it. I learned the importance of serenity. I learned the importance of breathing, screaming, running, sweating, nature, animals, communication and music. These were - and still are - outlets for me to detox my mind. I find the more I workout, spend time with those I love, put effort into staying organized and making to-do lists for every day the more I can keep my anxiety at bay. The world gets hectic, lives get stressful and I swear sometimes it does just seem like there are not enough hours in the day. But it is ALL manageable. No matter how slow you go, you are still going. Start to take life day-by-day and remember to take time out it for doing something you love. Life doesn't have to be a giant whirl-wind of emotions and stress. Simply take a step back and find your serenity. Photo credit:

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