We're all feeling it; a strange mix of anticipation, anxiety, uncertainty and hope. It's no wonder we feel uncomfortable and tentative about change – whether it's a return to work, school or adapting to new government guidance.
With so much to process, our minds are struggling to keep up. It’s worth making a little time to find some peace and gain a little clarity - here are five simple steps you can take:
Our natural response to stress is ‘guarding’, this triggers tension in our muscles and shortened breathing patterns. Drop your guard by relaxing your shoulders and taking five slow and deep breaths.
Try these free mindfulness meditations to get started.
Tip: Use a calming aroma like cinnamon, mint or lavender
Often, when we are in flight or fight mode, it is easy to allow fear to overwhelm us. ‘Awfulising’ is now a recognised psychological state*, where the potential consequences imagined is more stressful than an actual event.
Acknowledge the fear, then consider the reality – whatever I am fearing, is it possible? Is it probable? Pause to assess your choices – can you inform yourself better about the fear to help eliminate the threat you are feeling?
Our inner voice has immense influence, programmed from a very young age we are listening to our inner dialogue 24/7. It’s not easy to alter those deeply ingrained messages, especially when we are in a state of fear, but self-soothing can help. Begin by telling yourself that all things must pass, you can find a way to manage the situation and take back control.
Our subconscious mind is a powerful tool, capable of manifesting many physical states. When stressed, we are less able to stem the panic and bring thoughts into focus. Visualisation techniques can help by taking the edge off that heightened state of alarm, and much like meditation, the more we practice the better we become at calming our minds. Here are some good examples to try.
If something has just rattled you, there may be an immediate physical and emotional reaction. Pause for a moment and if you can, physically move away from whatever has triggered a response.
Tip: Use this popular exercise is to distract your senses by finding:
Above all, it’s a time for self-compassion. Slowly replacing negative thoughts with positive affirmations takes time and like any new habit requires practice. Showing yourself kindness is the first step to creating a calmer outlook and allowing more peace into your life