Until about a week ago, I was a walking ball of stress. I opened every conversation with "I'm literally so stressed!" and caused people who are usually tense and worried to feel calm in comparison. 

Then, one evening, as I was – you guessed it – stressed about a bunch of problems (the majority of which, tbh, existed only in my head), I realized that if I continued with my current mindset and soaring levels of worry, I was going to whizz through life in a whirlwind of constant anxiety. That's when I made a command decision to turn aspects of my life around.

Below, you will find the five simple yet incredibly effective things I did to get my head out of the mist when things became too much. Those who are stressed about work, stressed about school, stressed about their social life, and even pre-stressed about the stress they know they're inevitably going to feel, this article is for you. I hope that my journey may, in any little way, help you out. 

1. Let yourself be happy

Yes, this is an actual thing that you're supposed to do. I'm one of those people that loves to push themselves. I have this voice in my head constantly telling me that I'm not doing enough, that I'm not good enough, and that I need to do better.

Many people let this voice drive their ambition and push them to success. In small doses, this attitude can be productive. But it's crucial to not let this voice be the only thing you hear. Keep yourself in check, tell yourself that you are deserving of all you have achieved, and remind yourself that you are enough. 

2. Cut toxicity out of your life

If this were an article only about food, I would wholly advocate for healthy eating. It is proven, after all, that if you eat healthy, you physically feel better

Even though you might like extremely greasy fries, gummy Haribo treats, and seven espressos a day, these things are clearly not good for you, and are a major factor creating your acne and odd energy levels. 

My advice is to identify your greasy fries and Haribo sweets and slowly cut them out of your diet so that you can be acne-free. Was that both literal and metaphorical? Yes, I believe it was. 

3.  Try new experiences (the more food-related, the better)

In my experience, the power of yummy food, good company and the perfect ambience can cure any level of stress. One of the most perfect mornings to date consisted of me sitting with my friend at a quaint coffee shop I'd never tried before, basking in the early morning sunlight and devouring a plate of English breakfast as we talked. 

Find new spots to explore and interesting plates to try, either on your own or with company. If you're as in love with food as I am, the magic of these simple, tiny moments will remind you that there is a whole world outside of the stress in your head. 

4. Dance to the beat of your own music 

This took on a literal meaning for me, as I recently went to a silent disco wherein everyone had headphones on and either listened to one of two channels the DJs played, or plugged into their own tunes. It was incredibly freeing, and I realized that it's possible to adapt this newfound liberation to the larger scheme of life. 

How? Well, for starters, stop comparing yourself and your achievements to other people's. Who cares if Susan got a higher starting salary than you, or if Jerry's fiancée is prettier than any girl you've ever gotten? The old clichés of "nobody's perfect" and "the grass is always greener on the other side" are too true, so stop measuring yourself up to others and just do you.

Love and appreciate yourself, because when you are comfortable with who you are you won't need validation from anyone else.  

5. Just breathe, dammit!

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it's important to close your laptop, step outside and take a few moments to breathe. You deserve it, and it's both physically and mentally good for you. 

Everything little thing you do (or don't do) will not make or break the universe. If you mess up or don't put 150% effort into every single thing you do, the world will keep turning, the sun will keep rising and setting, and Chris Pratt and Idris Elba will continue being two of the sexiest humans alive. Everything will carry on as usual, so just relax.

So there was my journey in five "simple" steps. I use the word "simple" very loosely because getting out of your funk and actually loving yourself enough to put yourself before everyone and everything is pretty hard. Take care of yourself. Let stress motivate you to get things done, but don't let it overcome you. 

I believe that it's impossible to fulfill the cliché of "live everyday to the fullest," because that would be exhausting. But I do believe in taking life by the day and doing your best. Self-care and self-appreciation are crucial instruments in this long, arduous journey to finding inner peace, so be kind to yourself and remember that you can win this battle. 

For more articles on mental health and wellbeing, check these out: 

- How Travel Helps My Anxiety and Mental Well-Being

- 5 Reasons Why Food Affects Your Mental Health

- This Is How Your Diet Impacts Your Mental Health