Could you benefit from these tips: Ten ways to reduce fear and anxiety?
Gratitude journaling is a good way to shift your focus to be more positive
So far, 2020 has included a pandemic, fires, killer bees, hurricanes and many other scary issues. Sometimes, It is hard to remain calm during scary events like these. How can we manage our pain when it seems like the world is falling apart? We can remember that we can use tools to help ease our mind and relax. Here are ten ways to reduce fear and anxiety in 2020:
- Reframe automatic negative thoughts. We have thoughts, but we are not our thoughts. Remember to listen for thoughts that are overly negative, attempts at mindreading, or skew a situation. Whenever you hear a thought like that, pick it up and inspect it. Is it true? Where is it coming from? How is it warping the truth? How can you reframe it?
- Practice gratitude. Get a journal, write on receipts, generally speak positive things in your life. Focusing on these positive things helps you realize that you have so much good in your life. If you have trouble thinking of something, just ponder the things you miss at home when you go camping or are away from home for a while.
- Get regular exercise. It may be difficult to get outside and exercise depending on where you live, but make time to walk around the house, get to the gym, or even walk up and down your stairs. Getting just fifteen minutes of exercise can help lift your mood, especially if you are restless in the house. Try to make it fun, maybe you need to get a hula hoop. According to the Mayo Clinic this is a good treatment for anxiety as well.
- Sleep. Not too little, not too much. Try to be mindful of how much sleep your body needs. If I sleep for 12 hours, I might wake up feeling rested, or might wake up more tired than the night before. Try to see how many hours you typically need and work from there. If you wake up at the same time every morning and go to bed the same time every night you will be able to create a solid sleep schedule.
- Pray or Meditate. No matter what your spiritual beliefs, this is a good time to practice them. It is a good way to anchor yourself in your spiritual beliefs and create a sense of calm for yourself during this troublesome time. Try to set aside a few moments every day just for prayer or meditation. This can make a big difference in your ability to face the day and handle complex situations.
- Take Time to Play. Take your dogs for a walk, or teach them a new trick. Pet or talk to your cat, hamster, bird, lizard, spouse, or couch. Do you have a favorite stuffed animal? Make time for some play and let your brain learn to let go and relax. Get out a puzzle, host a masked or virtual board game night with family and/or friends. Whatever you do, make sure to create some time in your life for play.
- Start a new hobby. Is there something you always wanted to learn? Perhaps a new language? The art of baking? How to play the guitar? Ride a bike? Or have you wanted to learn a new craft like knitting, crochet or needlepoint? This is the time. Most of us are stuck at home due to the smoke or working at home, so it’s a perfect time to start that sewing project or learn how to make your own candles. Here are some suggestions by The Strategist
- Minimize screen time. Try to avoid spending all day at the computer, or watching television. Don’t allow yourself to be consumed with social media. It is tempting, but excess screen time directly affects your mood and sleep. Try instead to read more books (reading is a great way to go on an adventure), get outside and enjoy nature (if it is safe to do so), and spend more quality time with family and friends, virtually or otherwise.
- Eat healthy foods. Eating health will help protect you from COVID and other seasonal issues like allergies, colds and viruses. Choose foods that help boost your immune system so that if you DO get exposed to COVID-19, your body will be better equipped to fight it off. Anti-inflammatory foods also boost your mood and are good for your overall health. Here are some suggestions by Harvard Health.
- Wear a mask, but don’t mask your emotions. Mask up, but don’t avoid feeling or communicating your emotions. This is a time to be open and honest with those we love and with ourselves. If you find yourself hiding your fear and frustrations, find someone you feel comfortable talking to. Who can you vent your feelings to and perhaps explore some solutions? We might all be wearing masks on our faces, but that doesn’t mean we should stop communicating and caring about each other.
Spend time outside and enjoy nature’s beauty
Although things may seem out of control at times, we do have tools that can help us get centered, manage our stress, anxiety and pain. Spend time discovering what works best for you. Now more than ever, this is the ideal time to learn how to use these tools and work towards healing. Let’s hope 2021 comes soon. In the meantime, refer often to these ten ways to reduce your fear and anxiety…they will be effective well beyond the end of this year.
Look up in the sky and you may catch a rainbow
Here at Take Courage Coaching we specialize in helping those living with chronic pain discover the tools that work best for their unique situation. Our pain coaches help people get back on their feet by learning to live with and manage chronic pain. Are you interested in our health and wellness coach training? Start here.
Take time to visit with your neighbors