We all have a lot to be anxious about these days. Financial insecurities, job losses, health concerns, wellbeing of our loved ones, and the general economic and political issues swirling around us.
So, it’s understandable that overcoming anxieties is on top of mind right now.
If this is you and you’d like to stop drowning and start thriving, here are four simple techniques I use to tackle my worries in turbulent times.
1. Acknowledge this: Uncertainty is part of life. Fretting over not knowing what the future may or may not bring doesn’t help. It only deepens those negative feelings. So, take a deep breath and acknowledge this simple fact: uncertainty is part of life. It’s not to be feared. It can be conquered. Successful people and successful companies know this and harness this to their benefit. So can you!
2. Believe this: Regardless of your situation, age, background, gender, or neighbourhood, you can prepare for the uncertainties in life. We do this all the time. It’s just that right now, these feelings have been heightened tenfold, so it feels scary. But it doesn’t have to be. We can all dig deeper into ourselves and find the courage to face our fears and overcome them. Yes, that will take a little bit of effort, but what’s your alternative? Drown in despair? I would never want that for you or me.
3. Do this: The first thing to do when you feel anxious is – as cliche and simple as it sounds – to close your eyes and take a deep breath engaging your diaphragm. Then, let it go slowly. Do this five times when you feel fear course through you and you start reacting in knee jerk fashion. You will feel more in control. This is the place you need to make your smart decisions from.
4. Then, do this: Take a piece of paper and list all the things worrying you. Writing them will be cathartic and will open your eyes to how unscary some of them are. You’ll clarify some problems and even see solutions as you start scribbling.
You may still have a few unsolvable issues. But this is a great start. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by a big gray cloud of worries, you’ve got them down in black and white. This is the first step to start tackling the anxieties plaguing you.
If you feel like you’re in a tight spot with no options, might I recommend a life-changing book? It’s one that has helped me stay sane, and dare I say, happy even.
The book is Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.
Some of you may know, Frankl was a Jewish psychiatrist from Austria who survived a series of concentration camps while his family perished. It was a horrifying time in human history, but what was so compelling is how he responded to his situation.
The biggest lesson he has for us is life always has meaning, no matter our circumstances. It’s up to us to choose what meaning we give it.
Frankl says the day we give up hope is the day life ends. And he shows how those who chose hope were the ones who ultimately survived the labour camps.
So, it’s not what happens to us, it’s how we respond that impacts our happiness.
Whenever I feel angry or hopeless, I put life in perspective by thinking of this hero and realizing how much I have to live for.
Remember, this crisis is temporary and is nothing like what Frankl experienced.
To me, 2020 is an important year filled with solid life lessons that will only strengthen my skills and my courage to create a better life for the future.
I know this doesn’t change your circumstances, but we will get through together with our sanity intact if we follow in Frankl’s footsteps.
I keep this small book on my nightstand to remind myself how fortunate I am and to push myself forward every day.
On those days I feel a bit down, I take out my journal and write down 50 things I have to be grateful for in life.
If I can’t think of any, I start with “I can see!” as there are people who wake up every morning without eyesight. One gratitude I always put down is having my amazing and wonderful readers who are waiting for my next book. That always gets me leaping out bed!
Sounds simple, but it works.
After this, I do a ten-minute meditation with long slow breaths to settle my mind. Doing just these two easy activities always lifts my mood and gets me ready to tackle the day.
What do you do to turn your blues around? Maybe it’s simpler than you think.
Now, I realise these are truly simple steps, but sometimes the answers are easier than we think. We complicate life most times.
If you’re looking for more tools to beat fear in uncertain times or go into more detail on these four tips, download Bust Your Fears at www.RebelDivas.com/Books.
I hope this has helped ease your mind a little bit. What I really wanted to share with you today is you’re not alone. We’re all in this together.