There are nights that I lie in bed, staring at the ceiling amidst a personal hurricane of regret, worry and general negativity. It usually surrounds a situation of dealing with others in my life… or a sudden life event that alters my perception of the future.
I know you know what I mean, because these are the emotions that shaped MY life while trying to conceive.
And, our programs provide a huge antidote to it…and of course, that is a shameless plug here in our blog for our programs, but, I am so very proud of our offerings and I will not apologize for that.
However, the in-between times when you aren’t listening to them, and you go back on auto-pilot, this is when the monster (even when you think he is asleep) will roar back to life in an instant and bite you in the ass.
So, here are my eight ways of dealing with it. First and foremost – and lately – my method of control is using a mantra… so hence, that is first on my list…
Deep breathing is a great way to lower stress and you can practice it just about anywhere. Close your eyes and take ten deep, cleansing breaths. Shift your attention from your mind to your body by focusing on filling your chest and belly with air on each inhale and the sensation of release that comes with every exhale. Take as many breaths as you need until you feel your heart rate slowing down and your tension easing.
- Practice positive self-talk.
It’s easy to slip into negative self-talk when we are feeling depressed, anxious, or overwhelmed, but remember to be gentle with yourself. Push negative thoughts aside and embrace your positive inner voice. Imagine yourself as a child, feeling lonely or afraid – what would you say to your child-self to help calm their fears and remind them they are loved? A simple, “It’s okay” might be all it takes to make you feel more centered and peaceful. Adopt these reassuring thoughts as your personal mantras and repeat them to yourself throughout the day.
Meditation goes hand in hand with many of the other tools on this list and is a wonderful way of increasing awareness and acceptance. Mindfulness meditation is a particularly helpful technique that expands on deep breathing exercises by focusing more deeply on the rhythm of your breath and letting thoughts and emotions pass over you without judgment. Acknowledge and respect the feelings that come to you during your meditations and clear your mind by intentionally allowing them to float away. For more information on meditation check out Ken Myer’s guest post Finding Time to Meditate: Keeping Yourself Healthy.
Anxiety is exhausting! It drains us mentally and physically and oftentimes disrupts our sleep patterns. If you find yourself having a hard time sleeping or falling asleep, you may need to adjust your routine. Try a cup of herbal tea, power down all screens at least an hour before bedtime, or do a few restorative yoga poses before hitting the sheets – it may take a little experimenting to find what works for you, but the benefits of a good night’s sleep are worth it. Check out Joanne’s post Waking Up Feeling Refreshed – It’s Possible! for more sleep tips.
- Create a support system – and use it!
Fill your life with people that accept you for who you are, encourage you, and bring you joy. We all need help sometimes, and when someone really cares about you, it isn’t a chore to lend a hand. Just remember that your support system wants you to be happy and healthy, and they would probably do anything to help get you there.
- Walk it out.
Exercise has many stress-busting benefits. The Mayo Clinic concludes that exercise increases feel-good endorphins, acts as meditation in motion, and improves your mood by giving you confidence and a sense of command over your body. You don’t have to be an athlete to enjoy these benefits – whether its walking, gardening, swimming or yoga – just pick an activity that you enjoy and make time for it everyday.
- Express gratitude.
Every single day, identify the simple things in life that bring you joy and express gratitude for them. Whether it be the rays of morning sun, or your best friend’s belly laugh – whatever makes you stop and enjoy the moment. What else brings you happiness throughout your day? Try to become more aware of your inner state of being and make a commitment to yourself to manifest more positivity in your life.
This is a life-changing habit. I guarantee it. This is what I’ve done: I take 10 – 15 minutes to take a simple walk outside. And while I step, I either say “thank you” “thank you” thank you” or “I love myself” “I love myself,” “I love myself” over and over again (see steps 7 and 8 below as well). It’s a powerful way to reprogram your brain such that when you encounter negative emotions, you will begin to catch yourself and say your mantra again. More on this in the coming months, I promise. It’s a game-changer.
And now your turn. What methods of control do you use to help keep stress at bay? Please share…I want to hear from you!
With love & gratitude –