How to manage your anxiety in stressful times
I’m all about staying positive, keeping going and driving forward in these weird times. But I also think it’s important to note your feelings, tap into your feminine side and acknowledge any anxiety, overwhelm and stress. These feelings won't go away just because you are ignoring them. Your body knows. Your body will react for you.
In order to get through the next few months as society settles into a new norm you need to find ways and means of protecting your physical, emotional and mental health. If you already struggle with anxiety, trying to cope during a global pandemic and national lockdown is likely to be an even more challenging thing to do.
Your ability to stay positive and maintain positive thoughts determines the tone of your emotional life.
There are many practical things you can do to foster positive emotions. We’re spending so much time ‘trying to get through it’ that we’re missing some opportunities. Take a step back. There’s no right or wrong way to feel.
This blog is going to give you some practical ways to help bring about a calmer and happier you.
Strengthen your connections
For those of us in family lockdown, now is the opportunity to spend ‘quality time’ with our loved ones. Take the time to ensure it is quality time - hug your kids or partner, look them in the eyes, have long conversations with them – all of these gestures promote closeness and also boost your oxytocin, which is a hormone that bonds people. It also has a calming effect on your body. Do not underestimate the power of a hug! When your oxytocin levels spike they tell your body to switch off cortisol, the stress hormone.
Look for the good in others
These types of crises can bring out both the worst and the best in human nature. Focus on the positive and look at all the amazing things that people are doing to support one another in their communities.
Feeling are not the same as facts
Everything you feel isn’t necessarily correct or factual. Challenge your negative thoughts and ask yourself “feeling or fact?” Remind yourself to go one step at a time. Be confident and replace the negative feelings by focusing on something you enjoy. Practice by noticing things around you that give you a sense of wonder and beauty. A painting in the hall…the cat sleeping in the sun…your dog’s cheerful greeting. Anything that creates positive feelings for you will work. Then when the negative stuff seeps up, counter it with a positive memory.
Savour the small moments. Even during lockdown you still have many small moments to savour. The smell of coffee, the feel of the warm shower on your back and so on. Stop and take in these moments, rather than letting them rush by on automatic pilot. Do this and you are giving your brain a chance to process the pleasure. This boosts your feel good neurotransmitter that helps elevate your mood and make you feel calm.
Clear your mind
Easier said than done especially when you are feeling overwhelmed! Have you signed up for or taken on something that you probably don't need to be doing right now? If it's not serving you and filling your cup it could be time to consider dropping it for now to pick up again at another date. If your plate feels full, take something off.
Like your wardrobes, your mind can fill up with unnecessary and unwanted stuff. It is important to get things straight and organised. Practice mindfulness by focusing your attention on the present. Some ways to be mindful;
● Slow down
● Breathe to a slow count of 5
● Make a to-do list
● Keep a journal
● Go for a walk
● Immerse yourself in a favourite pastime
● Do less and focus on only one thing at a time as much as possible.
Some days you may be less anxious and stressed than others. It’s all ok.
When you can learn to harness stress, managing anxiety becomes much simpler. Using stress and anxiety as something that serves to motivate you instead of something that holds you back is the key to this process. If you would like to know more about how NLP techniques can help you manage your stress and anxiety, get in touch. I’d love to help.