Finding Joy

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Aditya Saxena

By Arielle Giordano

Five healthy ways to release stress and anxiety during the holiday season.

Are you experiencing tension, anxiety and stress now with the holiday season upon us? Stress is a normal part of life. It warns you that you are encountering problematic situations, and it is designed to motivate you to act to feel better. Without stress, you would take risks without regard for the consequences and make life decisions without critical thinking. That said: In small amounts, stress can be a good thing. But when that stress starts to become unreasonable—when it starts to make you feel sick, anxious, unhappy or fatigued—it can become a serious problem and the cause of long-term anxiety and physical problems.

Are you willing to let go of your stress and anxiety? If you say yes, then I have five healthy and easy strategies to help you on your journey to a more joyful life:

1. Move more, stress less! Your body wants to move, and your health depends on it!Dance, exercise and stretching movements are viable ways to release everyday anxiety and stress. Human beings have a natural impulse to dance and move. Physical activity and movement such as stretching, dance and exercise play a key role in stress reduction by burning away stress hormones and releasing chemicals that improve your mood. Dance takes you out of your mind and into your body.

2. Be okay and open. Both anxiety and stress are often related to problems coping in life. Life happens regardless of what we think and feel. Being okay that a stressful event is happening brings you to a place within to relax. Thoughts and feelings are only thoughts and feelings. Being okay takes you into your heart and deeper into your being. Become open to finding the small door within your heart that will open the door of new possibilities. Relaxing in your body and resting in your heart takes you deep and releases feelings of tension, tightness and hardness.

3. Foster creativity. Throughout history, the arts tell the human story. Creative expression and art can guide you to release stress during the holiday season by calming the nervous system. Nonverbal expression can help you move away from your thoughts and feelings and into a new perspective. YOU can renew and regenerate with dance, movement, music, visual arts, clay, baking, acting, writing, cooking, building, inventing and gardening. Sing your song, dance your dance, paint your paintings and bake your cakes. Creativity can transform pain and assist in the healing of traumatic events by giving a voice and expression to difficult life experiences. The creative process opens the way for unconscious messages to take shape and have form.

3. Seek love and joy and let magic happen. Is the glass half empty or half full? It’s all in your perspective. Focus on the positive things in life and spend time looking for miracles. They are all around us if we pay attention.

4. Love quiet time. Find time to be alone and quiet by yourself. Honor your human being. When we are always doing, we do not have time to stop and smell the roses. Make a conscious choice not to use doing as a distraction to keep anxiety in check. Be willing to sit and listen to your inner wisdom.

5. Enjoy nature. The world around us is magical when we tune into the patterns of creation. Spending time in nature is a wonderful way to connect with a deeper part of who we are. We are not just an observer of the natural world—we are a part of it. When we find wisdom at this level, everyday stress and concerns can melt into the larger tapestry of life.

May your holiday season be bright, beautiful and full of joy.

Transformational Life Coach Award-Winning Author & Speaker, Professional Dancer. Arielle’s Award-Winning book for Best Self-Help Award: Dancing With Your Story From The Inside is available on Her professional career includes the Lead Faculty Area Chairperson and Professor for the College of Humanities, History and the Arts at the University of Phoenix. She is a published co-author of Transform Your Life Books 1 & 2 and author for Tampa Bay Wellness, Conscious Shift & Transformation magazine. She has published her 4th book, an Instructor’s Manual for Barlow Abnormal Psychology 4th ed. and authored Psychology, A Journey 3rd.ed. Study Guide published by Nelson Education, Toronto, ON. She has also studied philosophy at the College of Integrated Philosophy with John DeRuiter for twenty years. Arielle has been a featured guest on radio and television, in newspapers, and the media across the US and Canada. She is a certified Essentrics Stretch and Dance Instructor. Arielle offers coaching sessions, classes and workshops and a free 30-minute Consultation. Websites:, Email:

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