3 Practical Actions for Anxiety, Overwhelm and Negative Thinking
It’s testing times right now, right? And that’s putting it lightly.
We’re confined to our homes, many jobs suspended, plans halted, the economy in dire straits and our own health and/or those of loved ones held to ransom over our immunity against a completely knew and largely uncontrollable virus.
Ahhh, the simplicity to say “nah it’s fine, we’ll be back to normal in no time” may be temping, but largely fails to meet the very, VERY human experience of how out of control much feels at the moment.
Now, that’s not to say we may also enjoy some calmer days. But, for the most part, I want to begin by reminding you that whatever you feel right now is normal, because right now, not much is normal. In case no one on their Instagram Live has reminded you of that recently.
Having lived with my fair share of anxiety and panic in life, a time like this feels both familiar and not. Spending most of my twenties in a sense of chaos means that actual chaos doesn’t feel too different, however, having grown through that mindset and now revisiting life in this way feels like one large test.
SO, here's practical 3 things that I find mega helpful, and you may do too.
Acknowledge, Accept and Allow
It’s easy to want a magic pill to make the discomfort go away, or squash it down, drink or distract ourselves from it. Truthfully, this only compound the issue.
Acknowledging negative thoughts sheds a light on them and brings us into a place of greater power. Accepting that this is how we feel, that’s it’s alright to feel uneasy or scared places us in a position to validate and not deny our emotions and feelings - often when we deny how we feel, it only screams louder. (You may know this from experience!)
It’s not wrong to feel any kind of way, either now or ever, but it’s in the amount of power we give it to dictate our actions and choices. Allowing our thoughts, feelings and emotions means we create space for them.
Once you’ve acknowledged, accepted and allowed, you may like to a lot a couple of ten minute slots in the day, maybe in the morning and night time, to check in with it. Ask yourself how it’s impacting your day? Has it bubbled over in other areas? How can you help yourself for these 10 minutes?
2. Jot It
Grab a notepad and pen, preferably one with tear out sheets. Carry the notebook with you everywhere for the day and as soon as you notice a negative thought or fear, jot it down. Write it in a way that observes, rather than creates fact, so “I feel anxious that…” “I’m scared of…” and not “I am going to be…” or anything else that makes it sound like fact.
At the end of the day you’re going to have a clear idea of the pressure you’re putting yourself under and the weight of what you’re carrying. Bring in compassion for yourself, and patience, and remind yourself you do not need to torture your mind with worry and fear all day long.
Once you’ve read over and committed to releasing these worries, find a way to destroy the piece of paper - either through burning it, tearing it up and throwing away or soaking in water then throwing away. Whatever feels cathartic to you.
3. Support Map
Everyone has different support systems around them at the moment, or even in ‘normal’ life and calling a friend or family member will mean different things to different people. Recommending you call a loved one when you’re feeling down is a nice idea, but the reality doesn’t always match up.
Maybe no one answers the call, perhaps you’re arguing with them or you don’t feel like explaining yourself to others. While it’s super important to reach out and create connections with others, there’s also great importance in learning more about how we can be there for ourselves too.
To help with this, grab a plain piece of paper, write on it everything that brings you joy or helps you feel better; music, dancing, putting on make up, having a hot bath, favourite funny podcasts, journalling, doing your nails, baking - you name it. Then, pop this map somewhere you’ll regularly see it, by the light switch in your bedroom for example.
Every time you find yourself on a downward spiral, believing negative thoughts or in a funk you just can’t shake - go to the map and pick one thing and start on it! It doesn’t have to be hours, maybe just one dance around the living room, or finding a recipe for later.
You can empower yourself to create positive change in your life through small preparations.
It’s KEY to remember none of this is a one time thing. Negative thinking can sneak up on us, a bad moon can strike out of no where and maybe your hormones make you feel like you want to lamp someone. Hey! It happens.
Consistency in choice and creating the difference is what matters, not being perfect or never having a bad day. I’ve been there 1.3 million times myself and still have those choices to make. This is life, cutie. When we know to expect it, we can lessen the nasty attached to it.
You’re lovely, and you’re doing great.
Sending much love,