Annie recently answered a question regarding alcohol and stress. But today, she addresses what exactly she does to relax after a long, stressful day. When reaching for a drink is no longer an option, then what could possibly be as effective? Annie gives us some ideas and pointers on what works for her!

Episode Links:
10% Happier Dan Harris

Download EP:158 Transcript

How do you handle stress without alcohol?

What do you do at the end of the day to relieve stress? I really do believe that if you’re not gonna use something for self-medication, which is actually taking something that’s going to psychoactively change your brain to instantly remove the stress, the things that you can do are few and far between that are as effective.

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Exercise

My husband and I and our kids joined a gym and now we are going through doing TaeKwonDo, and that’s been a huge stress reliever.

Coffee and Tea

Really enjoy coffee and tea. The great thing about tea specifically is you can make it an entire experience, with getting specific teas and oolongs and a teapot and buying the blossoms and everything else. It can be really akin to some of the fluff and pomp you got around wine drinking, which I think can be really useful if you like that preparation and excitement around it.

Meditation

How I understood meditation was that you had to clear your mind and you had to stop thinking. Someone told me once Annie, if you learn how to meditate, give me a call because that will be the day. It’s true. My mind, one of the main reasons I think I drank was to just slow my mind and to stop thinking as much as I was thinking. So, trying to meditate and stop thinking just had me feeling like a failure, and I hated it. Absolutely hated it. I thought it was the worst.

Observation

In fact, I don’t even really like the word meditation because I think it’s kind of loaded. But, the one thing that I have figured that has really worked for me, and I have to give a shout out to Dan Harris, author of 10% Happier, because he reframed meditation completely so it wasn’t about stopping your mind from thinking, it was about observing your thoughts. It wasn’t about that I had to stop thinking, it was about allowing my thoughts to come in and just being like oh, that’s interesting. Interesting that I’m thinking that. And being aware of what I was thinking. So, he said it’s not that you’re trying to reach somewhere where you’re not thinking, it’s that you’re actually doing brain exercise by paying attention. And you can do it in lots of different ways.

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Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
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