Continuing with ways in which to manage anxiety – I would like to add an eighth and ninth way – after I let you in on the next four we talked about in class.
To review, I have previously written about Breathing, Movement/Nutrition and Distractions (see day 68).
Thought Stopping: Identify and Challenge Irrational Thinking and stop it! Ask yourself are you mind reading someone else’s brain without facts to substantiate how someone else is thinking or how they are going to act? Jumping to conclusions about someone else’s future behavior or how something is going to turn out? Are you a fortuneteller? Can you predict the future?
Also detrimental is Should-ing all over yourself, feeling you Must say, do or believe in a certain way. Thinking strictly in All or nothing/Black and White methods. Over generalizing everything and everyone.
Take your etch a sketch brain visual and erase!
Affirmations: Give yourself positive self-talks. Example: “Even when I am anxious, I am okay.” “This too shall pass”, “all will be well, all will be well” – also using the famous Serenity prayer works wonders. Like yourself and accept yourself exactly as you are.
Substances: Limiting, reducing or eliminating alcohol, caffeine, recreational drugs, over the counter stimulants. Easier said than done, but these are major stressors to your body and are not natural.
Sleep: Establishing regular sleep times and rituals that pleasantly put you to rest. Avoid TV and all electronics @ one hour before bedtime. Develop a transition period and create a sleep environment, for example, keep the bedroom cool and dark, bathe in a lukewarm bath, place lavender on your pillow, drink chamomile or soothing tea, read a benign novel (not a murder or haunting mystery), drink warm milk, etc.…
So I would like to add Laughter. When you can laugh at yourself or be cheered by funny antics or situations – you can actually be healed. I sometimes laugh at what my cats are doing or something I heard or read earlier. This can put your mind at ease and physically decompresses you. I suppose this can be placed under the label of Distraction.
Another tool I have found invaluable is Avoid Negative People/Situations/News/Gossip. I imagine you could add this to Substances.
I still find out who died, what violent/tragic situation just occurred – from others. I have been avoiding the news since the Gulf War in 1990. Bad news flies fast and I prefer to listen to other talk radio/TV and hear about it if I want, but not be glued to the news. I don’t have to be the first on the block to know everything. I am not an ignoramus. But I also know I have an addictive/ADD personality.
I still listen to Politics, World News in general, keep up with Economics and Sports, but I am not a slave to it anymore and I have had to distance myself or detach from it a little in order to remain sane. I like to avoid drama these days.
Negative People and Situations are vampire suckers in my opinion and since I feed or absorb vibes pretty sensitively, I try to abstain as much as humanely possible from these two. And what may be ok for you might not be for me. I have to make that judgment call. I also may be able to handle something one day and not the next according to my general wellness and self-esteem/strength that particular day or even moment.
And don’t get me started on gossip. It is basically character assassination. Every time I get caught up in this vicious activity (which I find as I heal, I do less of, but I am human) I feel less than and stress myself out about my unkindness. “What a horrible person I am” – then I have to forgive, make amends, do affirmations, waste time writing about it, ugh. Don’t need this either. Who does?
In conclusion, we will always have stress as long as we are alive, but managing it can be a maturing and growing process that can be learned, practiced and employed every time we find ourselves unbalanced via our awareness and vigilance (or someone else – usually near and dear to our hearts – points it out for us).