by Derek Edwards, LAC
There is no shortage of articles out there with tips and tricks to dealing with the stress and anxiety over what’s happening in the world right now. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, here are a few things to try if you are feeling the weight of stress and anxiety right now.
Feel it It’s okay to not feel okay. One way to take some of the power away from anxious feelings is to acknowledge that they are there. Feel it, acknowledge it, and tell yourself that it’s okay to feel what you are feeling. Instead of focussing on everything that causes you to feel overwhelmed, take some time to feel it and then identify what you can control, even if it’s just one small thing. Identify triggers and warning signs During these last couple of months, I’ve noticed myself becoming more irritable. I’ve had difficulty sleeping and I’ve been more easily frustrated than is typical. I have noticed this in my interactions with my family, as well as my overall mood. It took me a while to realize that what I was really feeling was anxiety. Once I began to learn my warning signs it gave me the freedom to begin addressing it. Practice mindfulness Anxiety does a great job at distracting us from the present. It pushes us to worry about things that are oftentimes out of our control. Simple mindful exercises can help bring us back to the present moment, to being aware of what is right now. It may not seem natural, and you may find your mind wandering at first, however, like anything else the more you do it the easier it becomes. There are a number of apps that can lead you through guided exercises or you can simply sit in a quiet space and focus on your breath and notice sensations within your body. That’s the great thing about mindfulness, you get to be in control. Challenge negative thoughts It can be easy to believe that the automatic negative thoughts that pop into our mind are true. “What’s wrong with me?” “I can’t do this.” “It’s not worth trying.” Take some time to challenge those thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations. It may feel forced at first, and you will never completely get rid of the negative thoughts, however, it is possible for the positive to outweigh the negative. Give yourself grace It can be easier to be patient and understanding with others than with ourselves. Give yourself the freedom to not have all the answers, be the perfect parent, or have it all together. Give yourself some grace. You can do this. For more information or to setup a session: