Updated: Apr 4
Hello friends, I’m just going to go ahead and say it. “What an exhausting, confusing, worrisome, gloomy and scary time we are currently living in.” This Covid-19 has put a strain on all of us, and it’s so important to not let it take over our mental and or physical health. Disclaimer here; I am not a doctor, but I do know something about the cycle and solutions for anxiety.
I’m getting straight to the point because with all the feelings that I’ve listed above, these usually bring on the dreaded anxieties. Anxiety naturally touches everyone’s life, but some a lot more than others. Anxiety is also a healthy reaction to anger or danger but when you begin feeling: restlessness or feeling on edge tiring easily difficulty concentrating irritability muscle tension sleep problems. racing heart, dry mouth, upset stomach, muscle tension, sweating, trembling, and irritability — frequently, this can become quite the problem.
These symptoms can really begin to mess with your life. Sometimes people may even require medication to help with it, and that’s ok. Lucky enough, there is a lot of information on effectively dealing with anxiety without the meds. To understand anxiety a little more, It begins in your thoughts. It then trickles down to your emotions and last, your actions. Here’s an example: If you’re thinking you’re going to have another anxiety attack at any time- this becomes a threat. Your body then emotionally signals your brain that you are feeling scared, worried, and terrified, resulting in a physical reaction. By this, I mean overestimating the danger OR underestimating the ability to cope Last , Fight or Flight. Running away unfortunately usually causes a pattern and intensifies anxieties the subsequent times around. Catching our thoughts in action are key !!!
Let’s look at some simple ways to help deal with our anxiety.
It has been proven that meditation is one of our best tools. Listening to guided meditations help us to distract and teach us to hear each word and not judge it. Just let it BE. After, maybe debrief with yourself how it made you feel. Why it made you feel that way. This teaches a lot about ourselves. There are A LOT of guided meditations on u-tube.
2. PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION
Close your eyes, relax and start at the tip of your toes. While deep belly breathing, clench your toes, clench whole foot, slowly clench calf then up the leg to your knees, thighs, hips, then move to buttocks, stomach then chest arms, hands, then neck & whole head. Clench the whole body for 30 seconds and then completely relax. This usually only takes a couple minutes.
3. DISCHARGE THE FEELINGS
Cry it out if you are sad. Maybe head out for a walk if you are angry. Write it out or talk it out.
4. ABDOMINAL BREATHING
Put your hand over your belly and take long, slow breaths raising your belly
Find 5 things around you that you can SEE, SMELL, TASTE, HEAR, and TOUCH and repeat this for 4-3-2-1 .... This really helps to distract the mind
6. TIP TEMPERATURE
Put ice cubes in your hand, or take a cold shower or wash your face. Intense Exercise : Cardio, dance , and run . Progressive muscle relaxation: described above
7. COPING STATEMENTS
Combining a coping statement with deep belly breathing can be very effective. It’s all about catching your thoughts that are leading to anxiety and retraining your thought processes. This is known as Cognitive Behavioural therapy. Something you might say is : “I can do this despite my anxiety” or “These are just thoughts, not real life" Or “I got this !!! “
8. CHALLENGING YOUR THOUGHTS
Ask yourself when you’re feeling anxious: What am I scared of? What is the reality of my fear? Gang up against the fear!
9. FLOAT WITH THE ANXIETY
Face the symptoms, recognize it’s there, accept what your body is doing, just breathe through it,Try using some coping statements. This might be very uncomfortable but it WILL pass.
10. LIFESTYLE & SLEEP HYGIENE
Caffeine, try to limit your daily intake of coffee/tea to one cup a day. Eight glasses of water a day, eat healthy, minimize stress, ( Try to go to bed around same time every night, if you can’t sleep after 15min. Get up and walk around, use bed for only sleeping & sex, no naps, And exercise daily.
11. USE A WORRY BOX/GOD BOX
Any worries you have, acknowledge them by writing them down and putting away in a box
12. WORRY FREE TIME
Allow a 30minute time slot every day that you are allowed to worry in then once that’s over, use encouraging self talk to move forward.
Remember, anxiety is normal and that we all deal with it. Anxiety can’t harm you but it can be very unnerving and uncomfortable. It was given to us to protect ourselves and our loved ones. It’s that “gut” feeling. If you feel like someone’s walking behind you at night, yup, that’s anxiety. Try to be kind to yourself. Nobody is perfect and we need to release ourselves from these high expectations you might think people have of you. Anxiety loves to thrive off expectations. It really plays games with our self esteem. Writing down how you feel about yourself and what you think others expect of you can be an indication where some of our anxieties come from.
This is a great opportunity to challenge those thoughts. In conclusion, Anxiety is a Bitch, but it’s how we deal with it that makes it uncomfortably comfortable. During this sad and uncertain time, our goal at Seek Purpose is for everyone to stay mentally and physically healthy, and safe while continuing to be proactive with recovery. Don’t let anxiety win.
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