We are living in constantly stressful times and it seems to be one thing after another to stress us out. Added to that, busy lives and not finding time for ourselves can eventually take it's toll.
Here are 5 tips from me for what you can do today or any today when anxious thoughts or stress set in.
1️⃣BREATHE 🌬️Let's start with the basics. Yes we are all breathing already, but we can breathe to live or we can breathe effectively. If we are anxious and breathing in a fast, shallow breath, our primal brain and autonomic nervous system gets the message - danger. ⚠️ So it becomes a cycle. Often we don't realise how tense our breathing has become.
You have control over this - control your breathing and you send the message to the brain that all is ok. Aim to keep your breaths slow, steady and even all the way down to your belly. Colour breathing is very useful - imagining breathing in or around your body a calming colour, bringing with it a sense of ease. On the out breath, imagine that colour changing and taking away tension.
2️⃣Ground Your Senses 😌 We are being bombarded with all kinds of sensory input all the time. Social media, the news, internet, constant information and alot of it stressful.
The 54321 technique can be a great grounding method.👇
✨Look around your surroundings and find FIVE things you can see, look at those things and describe them.
✨Acknowledge FOUR things you can touch around you, or four things you can feel - clothes on your skin, wind in your hair. 👍
✨Acknowledge THREE things you hear. This could be any external sound.
✨Acknowledge TWO things you can smell.
✨ Take one slow deep breath. By using your senses in this way, you can help to ground yourself in the moment.
3️⃣Laugh 😃 Humour is a great antidote to anxiety. Spend an hour each day watching your favourite comedy show, or talking with friends, you can't beat a good joke with friends. 👍
4️⃣ Accept it, feel it! Stop for moment, think about what you're feeling - sad, angry, stressed. Tell yourself it's ok and it's probably a normal reaction to the world around you or what's going on. Then step back from the thought or feeling and put in some perspective - what would you tell a friend? Is there another way of looking at this? Allowing yourself to feel a bad feeling for a time is often more effective than telling yourself to be positive. Then we can begin to move past it with the techniques such as breathing, grounding etc.
5️⃣Plan✍️ having a plan for something you'll do in the future can focus your mind beyond the current time.
Think of something you really would love to do, not something ordinary but something that really means a lot to you. Plan for when you'll do this, feel it, see it, believe it. Know without doubt that you can move beyond current times and better times are ahead, focus on that.