“Everyone has the ability to increase their resilience to stress. It requires hard work and dedication, but over time, you can equip yourself to handle whatever life throws your way without adverse effects to your health. Training your brain to manage stress won’t just affect the quality of your life, but perhaps even the length of it”….. Amy Morin
Times of uncertainty can make a person feel cornered. It can trigger feelings of anxiety, confusion and uncertainty leading to great stress. Good or bad times come and go. Nothing is permanent. What is important is, one knows how to acknowledge this fact and minimize the feelings of anxiety so that correct decisions can be made. Such an outlook can help reduce stressful feelings and situations considerably and improve overall mental, emotional and physical health.
Nothing is as chaotic as it seems, truly. Nothing is worth spoiling your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear. What we can do in such times is, build a support system. If we actually look at it, it is quite simple. We just have to build that mindset. If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will anyways, do us no good. Isn’t it?
Well, there are few things we can do in chaotic times to make life more bearable and productive:
Acknowledge the Scenario: It’s perfectly normal to start worrying since whatever is happening at that point is unknown. Please note: do not ignore such feelings or try to repress it as it will only add to the feelings of anxiety, which will trigger more stressful situations internally, which is even worse. Acknowledge it and accept it as a part of life. The more you tell yourself that it is OK and get into a solution mode, the easier it will be to deal with the situation and your own anxiety.
Gain Focus and Control: No news is bad, too much negative news is even worse. Don’t allow too much of the negativity of the stressful times to get to you. Limit yourself to watching just a half-hour of the news just to remain updated. It is easy to feel overwhelmed or confused not knowing what decisions to take or how to handle the situation. Added to this, other family members, friends, well-wishers come with their own set of advice, behaviors and so on, confusing the situation even more. What works during such times is to be calm. Focus on doing something productive. Take baby steps. Complete one task, then another. This will give you a boost and make you feel more positive. It is possible that what is out there is not in your control, but you definitely can take charge of how you will handle your reaction to it.
Keep yourself Fit: 30 to 45 minutes of good exercise, each day, which includes cardio, meditation, deep breathing, going for walks, running or bike riding is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety. We all know how a good dose of exercise releases endorphins, dopamine and a host of brain chemicals or neurotransmitters as they are called that make you feel great and energetic. These brain chemicals also help support a healthy immune system. Try doing some deep breathing or meditation exercises for 5-10 minutes first thing in the morning, listen to some affirmations and soft music. All these will set a positive pattern for a productive day.
Eat well, Sleep well: During stressful times, we have to be careful what we eat. Many times, we tend to reach for comfort foods, which can often make us feel worse. Instead, go for healthy foods and supplements which will make you feel more energetic and positive. We also tend to binge watch and lose sleep due to stress and worry. Ensure that you don’t lose focus and stick to a bedtime schedule. Try listening to some nice relaxing music, read a book, deep breathe. All these could help you get a good night’s sleep.
Practice mindfulness: Becoming more aware of where you are and what you’re doing, without becoming overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around you. Live in the present. In the now. As you practice paying attention to what’s going on in your body and mind at the present moment, you’ll find that many thoughts arise. Your mind could keep wandering to events of the past or something in the future. That’s ok. It is a natural part of human nature. Don’t force-stop your mind from wandering. Instead, acknowledge and slowly bring your mind back to the here and now. While practicing mindfulness, you use your breath to anchor yourself in the present moment. And every time we return focus to our breath, we reinforce our ability to do it again. You might have to do it again and again, consciously. It is much better than being zoned out and letting stress and anxiety take over.
Have and be a Strong and Informed Support System: Especially during such times, it is very important to have a strong support system with friends and family. They keep us grounded. They act as our life support system and help us from getting discouraged. In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.
Nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth sacrificing our health for. Nothing is worth poisoning ourselves with stress, anxiety, and fear. If the problem can be solved why worry? We can and will find a solution as humans are resilient. Stay strong, stay connected.
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