Sometimes the news feels like too much.
- Threat of Nuclear War
I wouldn’t blame you if you just wanted to stick your head in the sand, or in a pint of ice cream and check out by binge watching Game of Thrones.
I used to do that all the time.
As soon as the anxiety would flutter into me, I’d run straight to the cupboard and eat my way into not feeling it anymore.
But then I realized there was another way to deal with anxiety and uncertainty.
Here’s my top 5:
1. Feel It
One of the things I learned when I overcame my binge eating disorder was that I was eating because I didn’t want to feel negative emotions – like fear, anxiety or uncertainty. Instead I buried them under pounds of junk food.
Now I allow myself to experience those uncomfortable emotions in my body. I feel my stomach clench, my lungs that want to start panting, my heart palpitating.
And then I look out my eyes at my surrounding world and ask myself:
Am I okay right now?
Am I safe in this present moment?
Almost always the answer is YES.
2. Get Grounded
Often when we get scared or anxious, we want to avoid or distract ourselves.
Instead, see if you can come down, come into the present moment.
The easiest way to do this is by breathing.
Take a deep breath and allow your entire body to relax. Breathing oxygenates the body and immediately grounds us.
So that rather than emotionally reacting to a situation or a perceived threat, you can feel more centered, and have more clarity and insight.
3. Ask for Guidance
Information, like action, reduces anxiety. Do some research about the situation whether it’s a storm, stock market fluctuation or political threat.
After you’ve read, use your discernment and ask:
What do you believe?
Then take a moment to check in with yourself. What feels right for you? Use your internal compass to help guide you.
4. Avoid Chaos
The world is filled with craziness and in our highly networked, 24-hour news cycle, life can feel increasingly stressful. We now hear about every disaster the world over, natural or man made – from droughts and climate change to drownings and even genocide.
You need information to make smart decisions however, watching too much news or spending excessive time on social media can increase anxiety.
Avoid falling into the swirl of chaos by being mindful of your exposure.
Know your ability to manage information so it doesn’t overwhelm you. Be kind to yourself and know when you’ve had enough.
5. Seek Peace
Who or what in your life helps you feel connected, relaxed and peaceful?
Are there friends or family members, perhaps a chaplain or monk, whose presence offers solace?
Maybe you prefer a boat ride? A walk in the woods, or on a beach. Perhaps visiting a garden or even gardening will bring peace.
Some find baths and massages work wonders and bring relaxation.
Others enjoy crafts.
Meditation is always a popular way to feel more comforted.
Incorporate ONE of these ideas into your life every day and see how much that supports your mindset and eases the uncertainty.
Life is filled with the unknown. And even though it can cause us anxiety, it’s also ripe with opportunity, and excitement.
But when you find yourself feeling dread about the future, lean on these 5 tools to bring you back to a place of clarity, peace and presence.
Which one will you try first? Leave a comment below!
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