I know that many people have mixed feeling about the outcome of the election, and many people have strong feelings one way or another.
I'm not going to state my political views here, BUT there is no denying that in times like these it's important to remember to take care of ourselves. Forces that are completely outside of our control at this point are not worth sacrificing your health and happiness for.
With that being said, I don't know about you, but my newsfeed and reading about so many distraught friends triggered some huge anxiety for me today. Because of this I wanted to give you some tools for combating anxiety! These are small tips you can do right now or sometime today, regardless of circumstance.
I think all of us have some anxiety here or there, and it's totally normal. When you feel that pang of anxiety, dread, and stress welling in the pit of your stomach or in your chest, try these techniques to help relieve the feeling.
I want to mention that I know debilitating anxiety disorder is very different from the mild anxiety that I'm talking about here. But even if you suffer from extreme anxiety and take medication for it, these techniques surely won't hurt!
1. Find a quiet space to be alone
It can be a stall in your work bathroom, sitting in your car, sitting in your bedroom, or maybe you have the luxury of taking some time to sit on a bench outside. Wherever it is, just find a quiet space where you can be with yourself and collect your thoughts without all of the overwhelming outside influences. If you have essential oils with you like lavender, take a deep inhale of the scent.
2. BREATHE & MEDITATE
If you have headphones I recommend you either put on some music that makes you feel good and makes the rest of the world melt away, or you can pull up a guided meditation either on YouTube, or using a fee app like Head Space. No matter the method you use, start by counting your breaths, making an effort to make them long, & deep breaths. Count up to 10, then start back at 1. Breathing in is 1, breathing out is 2, until you reach 10. Slowing your breath helps to slow your heart rate which sends your brain signals to calm down and that everything will be okay.
That's right, this is so important! After you've found a space to be alone and collect your thoughts, listened to something that makes you feel good and chemically helped your body to calm the eff down through breathing, it's time to move a bit to help you feel even better. Depending on where you are, you could do some simple stretches while you're still sitting, really working to expand your range of motion, maybe do a couple jumping jacks, or my favorite is to go for a nice brisk walk, which leads me to my next tip.
4. Get outside
There is nothing more life affirming then going outside and connecting with nature, even if it's just a tree outside your office building. Nature chemically helps our bodies relax. If social connections make you feel good then recruit a friend to come along with you for your nature walk - BUT make sure if you decide to bring someone or talk on the phone with someone, that you still make a point to connect and notice the nature around you while you walk and talk. ALSO it's very important to steer the conversation in a direction that will make you feel good & NOT cause more anxiety. Chose your walking mate wisely! Taking a walk alone is amazing also, no need to go with someone, unless you know it makes you feel better to talk it out.
5. Remove the trigger
Now I know, this can't be done immediately in every case. If your boss is what makes you anxious and you can't quit your job, then you can't easily remove them. However, I would say it's worth evaluating what you CAN change in order to change your circumstances. Maybe start looking for a new job, maybe find a passion project on the side, maybe start earning some side hustle so there's less pressure at work. There are always steps we can take to move towards the outcome we want, even if it can't be attained immediately. For instance, if people on social media are stressing you out, then take a break from social media for a day or two. If it's a specific person or people who are stressing you out, then possibly just unfollow them (don't unfriend, unless you really no longer want a friendship) so you don't have a constant trigger in your newsfeed. It's not worth keeping something so triggering in your everyday life.
More than anything, concentrate on the things in life that make you happy. I know there's a lot of doom and gloom out there, and sure there are A TON of negative things we can concentrate on. But worrying, stressing, and getting anxious over those things doesn't change them, and it doesn't make them any better. Instead do something with what you CAN control: YOURSELF.
The only thing in life we have control over is ourselves. We can try to control everything else around us but it's just not possible and it'll leave you defeated and frustrated. So control you today, and remember that we have SO much to be grateful for in this life.
If you're reading this, you have some sort of access to the internet, you have some sort of computer, tablet, smartphone, or a friend or family member with one of those things. You've had some form of education that allows you to read at all. You probably have a roof over your head, food in your belly, and people in your life who love you. You ARE blessed! So choose to concentrate on the good, and let's choose happiness today! <3
Also just as a side note, this is a guided meditation from YouTube that I used this morning and thought it was pretty good!
Have a beautiful day everyone and make sure to share these tips with someone who you think could benefit from them!! Sharing is caring, and no one should have to feel helpless because of their anxiety - so help someone feel better today!