We are about to hit eighteen months of a pandemic being the main stage in our lives. Who imagined we would face long periods of separation from our loved ones, or feel anxious as to whether our supermarket has sufficient toilet paper? Today the pain of loss, the loneliness of isolation and the anxiety of when will it ‘be over’, weighs heavily on our minds.
My son has been living in the U.S. and is desperate to come home. As his mother, I am more than desperate for this to happen. Working in the US, he caught the virus but thankfully recovered, and is now fully vaccinated. Our current concern is whether his flight will be honoured given Australia has now capped the number of flights for returning travellers.
With anxieties of my own from life itself, and now the worry for my boy coming home, I really needed to stop and take a breath. Anxiety is very natural as are all your feelings. There is no room to feel guilty for how you feel with what is happening around you.
Some years ago, I developed some strategies around anxiety which have not only helped myself, but others in coping with life’s challenges. Here are my 3 top tips for lessening anxiety and I hope they help you.
Tip 1 Separate Your Worries into Two Lists.
- List 1 includes the worries that are your responsibility, and over which you have some control or influence.
- List 2 includes everything that is not your responsibility nor under your control.
Focus your attention on the worries in List 1. Make a plan to deal with them in the best way you know how and set a timeframe. Get moving. Make it happen.
Surrender the worries in List 2. It is exhausting to emotionally carry what you cannot change or influence. My favourite way of surrendering is through prayer and a request that the highest outcome, according to the Divine Will, is done. I then see my worries lifted into a bright Light where angels and guides help those I care about.
Place your energies where you have a degree of influence and surrender the rest to the wisdom and love of the Universe. You cannot know the higher plan.
Tip 2 Remain Mindful. Stay in the Present.
A big percentage of time spent worrying is wasted on anticipating problems in the future, or re-hashing pain from the past.
Stay in the present moment and deal with one situation at a time. Do not burn energy through anxious anticipation, imagination or regret. Find moments of gratitude and expressions of beauty right now. Notice them and feel them.
Tip 3 Practise the B.E.T Relaxation Routine
I created the B.E.T Routine while working as a counsellor and hypnotherapist. It’s a straightforward breathing technique that anchors positive affirmations of calmness.
B stands for Body. E stands for Emotions. T stands for Thoughts.
Here is the B.E.T Routine:
- Press Your thumb and first finger together as if making an ‘OK” sign. Hold them like that during this exercise.
- Take 3 or more slow, deeper breaths (inhale to the count of 4 and exhale to the count of 6) as you relax the muscles in your body. Affirm in your mind, the cue-word, ‘Relax.’
- Take 3 or more slow, deeper breaths as you relax your emotions (your feelings). Imagine breathing unhelpful feelings away as you exhale, as though they are smoke. Affirm your cue-phrase ‘Let them all go.’
- Take 3 or more slow, deeper breaths as you calm your thoughts. Like a roundabout, feel them slowing down and under your control. Affirm your cue-phrase, ‘I am centred and calm.’
- Relax your thumb and first finger. The exercise is over. You may wish to do it several times in a row. Then, distract yourself by engaging with something unrelated to your anxiety.
Practise the B.E.T Routine frequently to gain the strongest results.
My final wish is that you offer kindness to yourself. It is not an easy time for many of us to be living in, and yet every day offers us opportunities for bright blessings, if we notice when they cross our paths.
For more strategies on living a positive life, check out my book, ‘I’m Positive!’ here: https://trustyourintuition.com/product/im-positive/
Until next time,