Entertainment can be anything you want it to be. It’s usually enjoyable and relaxing for the most part. Entertainment can be watching movies or television, listening to music, or the use of social media.
When I feel anxious or stressed about a situation, I use different types of entertainment such as listening to music, watching daytime television, working out, hiking, crocheting, cooking, trying out a new activity, singing and sometimes shopping when I have extra cash. Lately, I have been engaging in a few Do It Yourself projects.
How does entertainment help with calming anxiety?
From my perspective, utilizing entertainment to calm anxiety, is the most convenient coping strategy to implement because most people enjoy being entertained. Finding a form of entertainment that works best for you might not be easy, but once you figure it out, you can always implement it at any time, with the anticipation and knowledge that it will help you feel better. I recently came across an article that discusses how BERT (Bedside Entertainment and Relaxation Theatre) helps keep young children calm prior to surgery. Entertainment in the BERT study was also used to get the kids to cooperate more and take deep breathes to reduce their anxiety.
My list of entertainment that helps reduce my anxiety
Watching movies – I generally enjoy any good movie but when it comes to reducing anxiety, I prefer comedy movies. It feels very relaxing, I get to laugh throughout the movie and overall, it distracts me from my worries.
Listening to Music – My choice of music depends on my emotional status or activity for that particular day. For example, if I’m working out, I listen to something with high energy to it –dance-pop. On the days where I feel very anxious, I listen to songs that have a happy feeling to them or relaxing. For example, “I feel good” by James Brown, “happy” by Pharrell, “Break free” by Ariana Grande, “Beautiful People” by Chris Brown or any song by Trey Songz and Chris Brown.
Watching Daytime television – Since I work most days and go to school, I hardly have time to watch television so I watch my favorite daytime television –Judge Judy, on my laptop or phone. I find it to be very relaxing and enjoyable. It’s like a natural Xanax.
Working out, Hiking and Running – I don’t just use these to calm my anxiety, it has become part of my daily routine. I enjoy staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Working out, hiking and running are my top three physical activity that I enjoy the most. Staying active helps distract me from feeling anxious by inducing a more lively and happy feeling in me.
Crocheting, Cooking, and Do It Yourself – Crocheting is something I learned while growing up in Nigeria. It was part of an art project, and ever since then I have always enjoyed doing it. I also have to mention that I am not an expert, I simply do it for relaxation and fun time. Cooking, on the other hand, I am an expert on that; or so I think. Cooking is also very relaxing and I genuinely enjoy doing it. DIY is something I started doing because I sometimes like to try new things out. I feel some sort of accomplishment and calmness when I engage in DIY. For example, I recently started making my own lotion and lip balm and I plan to try more new stuff and eventually post it on the blog for you guys to give feedback and see how productive my anxious-self can be.
Remember that you are not alone in your life struggles. There are people who are going through similar or worse things but finding a coping strategy and seeking help for yourself can help reduce some of those struggles. Please feel free to share some of your coping skills and suggestions.