No matter where you live in the world right now, for a certainty, anxiety is high with many of us. After the election there was a number attacks on mosques internationally and now there has been an onslaught of over 60 bomb threats at Jewish synagogues in the U.S. in January alone.
To me this means we need to not act out of anxiety and anger, but instead to calm our nervous systems, get some perspective and then choose how we’d like to respond to our emotional tumult. For some it will be signing petitions, for others it may be creating awareness for cultural sensitivity, and yet others may be so overwhelmed they need more direct self-care and self-compassion.
One thing we know for sure is we are active participants of our health and well-being. The first thing we need to do is regulate our emotions, creating a sense of stability and control. From this place we are level headed, have perspective and can make wiser choices.
In my work I have found 7 Ways You Can Ease an Anxious Mind.
- Slow down – At the first sign of things speeding up – thoughts racing, heart pounding, breathing accelerating – move a little slower.
- Come to your senses – Take a few moments to connect with your five senses to bring you back into the moment.
- Do a reality check – Ask yourself, “Is this thought absolutely true?” Chances are your worst fears are just that – fears.
- Release the critic – Interrupt the self-critic by dropping into your heart and saying, “May I learn to be kinder to myself.”
- Lie down and look up – Look up at the sky from time to time, and watch the clouds for a natural experience of mindfulness.
- Listen – As an experiment, take the day and set an intention to listen to the sounds of leaves in the wind, of kids playing, or someone speaking to you.
- Know your triggers – What makes you anxious? If you know your triggers, you can prepare soothing practices better.
These are just tips to play with in life to help give you the chance to settle into that space between stimulus and response where choice, possibility and freedom lie.
Below you’ll find a nice infographic that you can print out and take with you wherever you might find it supportive.