At times like this, our minds like to play tricks on us. Our sub-conscious mind goes into survival mode and wants to protect us from danger.
We must thank our sub-conscious for wanting to keep us safe, BUT we must also separate the FACTS of what’s happening with the FEELINGS we’re attaching to it, in order to regain control over our minds and alleviate any anxiety that begins to rise within us.
Here are my favourite techniques to calming the chaos in your mind;
- Create a list of the thoughts that are coming up. Ask yourself
i. Does this thought serve me?
ii. Is this a positive thought?
iii. Can I do anything to change what’s happening?
2. Write 3 sentences relating to your thoughts that better support you. Take a negative thought, re-frame it and create a more positive statement
3. Clear your mind with 5-10 minutes of meditation each day. Morning and evening are good times for this, as you can attach it to your morning or evening routine.
4. Plan out the things you CAN do and work out what steps you need to take to do them and focus on ONE thing at a time.
5. Do some form of exercise – I love to go for a walk in the forest or run at the gym. Yoga and Pilates are also good for gaining a fitter and stronger mind and body.
6. Write a list of all the things you do have, what you’re grateful for and what you love.
7. Do something that brings you JOY. Self-care is key for calming your mind.
8. Write a list of the things you’ve over-come in your life. We spend so much time punishing ourselves for our mistakes, that we forget about our successes. Recognising what’s gone right will help you refocus your mind on the positives.
AFFIRM to yourself every day that ‘ALL IS WELL IN MY WORLD’
In times of anxiety you may also notice some physical symptoms, sometimes called Somatic symptoms. These can be;
- A tightening of the chest
- Being startled and scared easily
- Rapid heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Lack of concentration
- Problems sleeping
- Tense muscles
If you feel tension in your body for any reason here is a good positive muscle relaxation technique
Tense each muscle group in the body hard for about 10 seconds and then slowly let go. Allow the feeling of relaxation to continue for 15-25 seconds and continue onto the next muscle group requiring tension. Take notice of how each muscle group feels when completely relaxed in direct contrast to how it felt when completely tensed before moving onto the next muscle grouping.
Tell yourself to ‘relax‘ in your mind as you do it to help you focus. Now, let us look at the muscle areas to be worked during the exercise.
Firstly, clench your fists and then hold for 10 seconds and then slowly release. Relax for 15-25 seconds. Tighten your bicep muscles by actively pulling your forearms up and towards your shoulders and tightening both muscles to the point that the bicep muscle can be seen visibly raised. Hold for 10 seconds then slowly release. Relax for 15-25 seconds. Tighten your tricep muscles, which are the muscles on the underside of the upper arms, by extending your arms out straight and locking your elbows. Hold for 10 seconds then slowly release. Relax for 15-25 seconds. Carry on doing this with every muscle group until you get down to your toes.
Now picture and feel a wave of complete relaxation slowly spreading throughout your body, starting at your head and gradually sinking through each of the muscle groups right down to your toes. Repeat 2 more times until you feel completely relaxed and at peace.