I’ve been hearing from people who are anxious about the coronavirus, the financial markets, the political leadership, and what’s happening around the world. It’s true; these are chaotic and stressful times. It’s normal to have anxious and fearful thoughts—It’s normal to worry in times of stress—yet there are ways to worry less and calm the mind.
I’ve suffered from chronic anxiety, so I’m incredibly aware of the anguish that stress and worry bring. In my own life, I allow and accept the feeling of whatever I am feeling(fear, stress, anger, anxiety). Worrying usually arouses the feeling of fear or anxiety, so instead, I practice allowing it to be as it is. We want to do the opposite of resisting it because of what we resist persists.
what I have found works is this: Use four discernments for anxious thoughts, panic attacks, and a looping mind:
• Is it real?
• Is it here?
• Is it now?
• Is it mine?
When you understand how to work with these mantras, you can choose to respond to stress differently.
When I am under pressure, I also use positive affirmations to fight through fear and worry. Statements are valuable and can change your day and mood completely.
Here are some affirmations to help your anxiety. I know it might not seem like much with everything going on around us, but they have been helping me stay calm. I wanted to share them in case it helps some of you too.
• I am safe at this moment in time
• My body is strong and resilient
• It is safe for me to trust my judgment and intuition
• I am in control of my thoughts and feelings
• Overcoming challenges in life helps me evolve and become stronger
• I choose to be present at this moment
• My body is healthy and capable
• I decide to let go of things I can’t control
• In the present, there is nothing for me to fear
• I am an example of positivity to others
• I can see the best in challenging situations
• I choose to focus on love in stressful times
• I deserve to feel at peace at this moment
• I am so blessed to live this life
Worry — it’s what keeps many lying awake at night and is what annoyingly gnaws away at people as they try to work, enjoy life, and relax. Unrelenting anxiety and fear can be debilitating and drain you of energy — emotional and physical. For many people worrying has become habit and automatic. And like other habits and behaviors, it can be changed. People who suffer a lot aren’t able to enjoy themselves. They aren’t able to focus on goals and pleasure, and life for them often feels draining and lacks enjoyment. Simply put: they aren’t happy. So next time you find yourself overwhelmed with worry, take a deep breath and know that it’s normal and by changing just a few ways that you think you can change it. This takes time and practice. Be kind to yourself and go at your own pace.
Expand your awareness out to include all people
Whatever the worrying is about, it’s essential you know you’re not alone. Feeling vulnerable is part of the human condition and millions of people struggle with the same source of vulnerability that you experience. But when we’re feeling sensitive with anxiety, it often is all about us, we need to also impersonalize the experience and get outside of ourselves.
You can do this by imagining all the other people who struggle worrying and wish them all the same intentions that you just wanted yourself.
For example, May we all feel a sense of safety and security, May we all be free from the fear that keeps us stick in a perpetual cycle of worry, May we all feel that sense of belonging, etc…
It’s easy to live in our minds, trying to figure out why we think the way we do. We can get so focused on ourselves that we become self-centered, forgetting that the outside world even exists. So instead of endlessly probing your own mind, take an active interest in the world around you. This means shifting your attention from “What am I feeling?” to “What needs doing?”
Remember, take excellent care of yourself during this time, stay safe, and follow the safety protocol. Always be mindful and take necessary precautions, but do not allow fear to consume you. I hope you can find some relief from worry and anxiety soon.