Whilst it’s only natural to feel overwhelmed by the current and uncertain situation, some people are feeling very anxious, maybe for the first time. Anxiety is on the increase and it’s one of those things that self-perpetuate. The more we overthink, the more the anxiety takes hold, leading to more overthinking.
Today I’d like to encourage you to hit the reset button – it’s the way to make that self-perpetuating loop stop and control the panic that we are feeling.
It might take a bit of practice, and you might have to persist for a while if your anxiety is high and constant, but it really is worth working on. When you are calmer, you sleep better, have more energy and can tackle what life brings with more resilience.
Here are 3 simple steps you can take:
It sounds simple to just stop, but it actually takes focus and effort.
When you are in the grips of anxiety you will likely have lost perspective on whatever situation was spinning you out in the first place.
Try to bring your thoughts back to the present moment. Take some deep breaths to calm yourself down and then try a grounding technique – the 5-4-3-2-1 method is a good one but there are lots of other methods that work just as well.
Acknowledge or if you prefer describe:
5 things you can see
4 things you can touch
3 things you can hear
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste
Doing this will anchor you in the present and the counting will interrupt the thoughts that are spinning around in your head.
Talk to somebody
The physical symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat, tight chest and perhaps trembling are usually more apparent than actually understanding exactly what is making you feel anxious.
When you are feeling calm, take some time to think about what it is that is making you feel that way. It’s important to figure out what’s really bothering you otherwise you can’t take any action to change it.
Writing your thoughts and feelings down (no matter how jumbled) is a great way of trying to get in touch with what it’s about and often that’s a good way of working out what you want to talk about and who you want to talk to.
You can then talk to an impartial person that you can trust who can show you how your situation looks with some distance. This way, solutions should be easier to find as you will gain some perspective.
Make sure whoever you speak to doesn’t have any reason to influence your decision. You want them to be as impartial as possible. You can of course always talk to a coach – I might know one!
List positives and make an action plan
I am going to suggest that you write out an action plan to focus on what you would like to change – but just before you do, I recommend first taking 10 minutes to list the positives in your current situation.
There is always something to be grateful for, and when you wake that gratitude up it will boost your mood and therefore your resilience.
Once you are feeling in a stronger place, there are lots of questions you can ask yourself.
Maybe you want to do something different but you haven’t yet got round to working it out?
Could you perhaps look at what’s going on, are you getting enough sleep, do you need a more balanced diet or a more balanced lifestyle?
Think back to a period in your life when you felt happy or maybe more secure and ask yourself what you were doing then that you enjoyed or perhaps found interesting.
Then you can go into writing that action plan with a strong mindset, feeling empowered.
When you clear your mind of worry and bring your awareness to the present, you will find that your anxiety loses its grip on you.
If you would like to talk about what is bothering you or the changes that you would like to make, get in touch and we can have a chat, I would love to hear from you.