What to Do When Life is Littered with Stressful Moments

Finding beauty and care in the clutter

Kaki Okumura
3 min readMar 18, 2022


What is your favorite sound to wake up to in the morning?

Birds chirping.

Why do you think that is?

I don’t know, something about it is relaxing.

When we think about how to navigate anxiety and stress, many of us think that we need to be implementing a drastic change in our lifestyle to help navigate it– whether it be taking on an intensive meditation practice and daily yoga classes, or a complete renovation of our home to clear out the clutter.

And while these things can be beneficial and I am a big advocate for activities and building spaces that support our wellbeing, the truth is that when we are anxious and stressed, we often do not have the emotional bandwidth to engage with these activities.

But there are little things that we can do to lighten the emotional weight on us– and sometimes it’s something as simple as letting ourselves hear birds chirp.

Bird sounds have scientifically been shown to offer relief from stress and anxiety, and boost our mental wellbeing, but we don’t need a research study to experience it for ourselves– take a walk outside, swing open a door, or simply open up the window before you sit down to do work. A minute or two of just letting yourself focus on the chirps and sounds, and you may notice that you suddenly feel…

a little lighter.

Instead of trying to force ourselves to do the most intensive version of self-care, sometimes the smaller steps are what allow us to build back our emotional bandwidth and regain our sense of inner calm. Because when you take the time to notice it, I assure you that your life is full of peaceful and beautiful moments that can help give you air.

What other beautiful moments can you spot in your daily life?

Learn to be healthier, inspired by life in Japan:

I teach about health inspired by simple Japanese philosophies and lifestyle practices, so you can learn to find peace, fulfillment, strength, and health in your own body. Stay in the loop and get access to free resources: Sign up here!



Kaki Okumura

Born in Dallas, raised in New York and Tokyo. I care about helping others learn to live a better, healthier life. My site: www.kakikata.space 🌱