Feeling Anxious? (Episode 171)
On this day, November 4, 2020, there are many people feeling a wee bit anxious over what news we will be receiving this week as election results in a very volatile and divisive year roll in. It all is a bit magnified right now, and yet I also recognize that it's not just an election that raises our anxiety - and even if we didn't have all the craziness of this year, anxiety can be crippling and overwhelming.
We don't eliminate all that makes us anxious; we look for tools to help us navigate whatever comes our way.
Facing The Fear
A lot of times when there is a lot of fear in our lives, that's when we get really anxious and reclusive. We can recoil and get protective of what we think is very dear and important...and we close off a lot of opportunity in the process.
Susie Miller is a Christian relationships coach and one of our 48 Days Certified Coaches, and her email this week was all about anxiety with some great tips - so we wanted to share those with you!
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If you are batting anxiety and/or feeling more anxious these days, try these tips below. They will help you bring your mind out of the swirl of anxious thoughts and back into the present moment.
The world is happening, regardless
Recognize this is a process, and the world doesn't go on pause while you sort it all out. So give yourself grace - this isn't an instantaneous process to go from feeling anxious to a life of ease. When you are moving through an area you're stuck in, you oftentimes address mindset, and learn a new language at a new level of understanding for your soul. You open up your mind a little more every time you acknowledge what power and control you DO have.
Think about learning a new language - it's not just the words - you have to understand the grammar, the slang, the culture, the environment...there are so many inticracies to the process. The path to self-awareness is a lifelong journey with new levels of language in each awakening moment. The end of the journey in this world is death, so what language is getting you into the present moment? Is it time to learn a new way to speak and think for yourself?
I love this concept that engages all the senses.
Take a deep breath, a belly breath, and hold for 5 seconds, and then exhale.
Then Name/Acknowledge each of these out loud:
- 5 things you can see -What delights you to look at? Is it a flower, a photo, or seeing beyond your eyeballs...seeing love, happiness?
- 4 things you can feel - Maybe it's the warm cozy sweatshirt or the wind blowing - what feels good to you?
- 3 things you can hear - what is music to your ears? It it literally music? Is it recognizing and appreciating what you DON'T hear - and enjoying the silence?
- 2 things you can smell - don't sit smelling kitty litter and expect your mood to be peaceful. What smells calm and soothe you?
- 1 thing you can taste - simple pleasures. Maybe you have some Dove chocolates for a little chocolate fix. Or it's a simple glass of water that tastes oh so refreshing.
Deep Breathing Techniques
When you are feeling anxious, oftentimes we aren't breathing in a healthy way - we may hold our breath, or take shallow ones. Switch it up and really focus on your breathing - do it purposefully from your diaphragm:
Inhale for 6, exhale for 10 through pursed lips - Repeat 6-10 times. This will activate your vagus nerve/parasympathetic system which will bring calm and you back to the present moment.
Check out the Wim Hoff Method - we love it and do the app as a family - and with that deep breathing not only can our kids use this to reset at any point, we can all hold our breath for well over a minute!
Play Both Sides of the "What If" game
Anxiety can bring up all kinds of negatives, and we can fixate on it to the point that it becomes a full-blown reality and fear has overtaken us.
If you're going to speculate, two things. Number one, don't speculate on what is out of your control - it does you NO good to think about what another person may or may not say or think - that's out of your control. But you can play out what YOU may or may not say or think.
Second, if your mind is going to "go there" with the negative, then you are just as capable of going there with the positive. Don't just think, "what if it goes WRONG;" look at "what if it goes RIGHT!" Play both sides - if you're entertaining the negative, give the same respect to the positive.
Occupy Your Mind With Truth
The Avett Brothers have a great song, Tell the Truth to Yourself... What is really your truth? What do you believe in? Spirituality is heavily rooted in faith - and we often lean to our spiritual side/religion in times of unknown...and we're finding security within something that has a foundational basis of trusting and believing what you don't know for sure.
Think about your core values, your foundational beliefs that you believe in and hold. These are my truths:
Some additional resources for you
- When Adventures Go Awry (Episode 51)
- Tasks: Tips to Move Past Overwhelm and Make It Flow
- Tasks: They Are Taking Over My Life!
- Life Isn’t Compartmentalized…but if it were…
- The Burden of Overwhelm – Moving Forward While Always Feeling Behind
- 5 Tips To Focus For Frazzled Families (Episode 160)
- The Steps For Emotional Resilience (Episode 150)
- Self-Love, or Self-Sabotage? (Episode 152)
Your Weekly Challenge:
We're not throwing a one and only "perfect formula" at you - as Nathan says, build your own party mix of life. Don't try to do it all and get overwhelmed.
Look at what tools above may be helpful for you in this moment. Simply try one. Keep trying, one step at a time.
Look at what success really is to you. Is it something that you can truly claim and take ownership of? What are the qualities of who you are as a person that you want to continue to develop? This goes beyond just feeling anxious - you can use strategies like these for depression, overwhelm, feeling stuck, etc.
We have so much we bring to the table that frames our perspective and approach in life. The more we can claim that which we are in control of - our own mind, our own actions - the better we all will be. And we will truly see how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.