Notes from “Finding Calm in Uncertainty”
Now is the time to really develop and use the skills of mindfulness, breathing and awareness to move through difficult emotions and stress and become an eye in the storm.
It is normal to feel a whole range of emotions during times of uncertainty including fear. Our brains are wired to keep us safe, so they don’t like it when we cannot predict the future and life keeps changing.
It helps to get to know your own response to stress:
Fight/Flight/Freeze/Fawn: Usually it’s a combination of a couple. All of these are normal responses to uncertainty and fear.
If you tend to fight, can you create some space and do something physical.
If you tend to flight, can you pause and breathe, and either let the anxiety calm, or simply take a break, walk and come back to connect with someone.
If you tend to freeze, move a little, jump, dance, shake off the freeze physically, breathe.
If you fawn, notice when you are doing it and pause. Can you let others be uncomfortable and have their own feelings? Can you support them and show compassion without fixing?
Notice where you feel anxiety in your body physically, what thought you are believing, and what your impulse is. Once we become familiar to fear, we are less likely to succumb to it.
Moving through difficult emotions (name it to tame it).
Notice: What am I feeling?
Name: Joy, fear, worry, sadness, anger, disappointment, disgust, irritation… etc. Remember emotions change and often there is more than one.
Navigate: Each one might be different. Ask “What do I need right now?” Tune in. It might be to sit and breathe, to jump and run, to have a conversation or to sit in the quiet.
Checklist for anxiety: HALT
Use this to see what response you might need.
Other simple suggestions to boost immunity and calm your nervous system.
Limit media watching.
Take control of what you can. Your home, your schedule, your meals.
Nutrition: eat healthy to stay strong. When we are under stress, our gut is under pressure as well as our brain. Eat balanced, wholesome, fruit and veg and take supplements.
Exercise: a must right now. Gentle walks and yoga might fit, or cardio workouts online.
Meditate: this looks different for everyone, but if you have been wanting to start, my course Fear to Freedom is a good place, or any number of apps such as Calm or Insight Timer.
Reach out to other people. For yourself, and for them. Make that phonecall, forgive that person, check in on someone.
Focus on what is important to you. Now is the time to pull in, get clear and not waste time on what is not important. Write that book, paint that painting, enjoy the natural world.
Deep, soft belly breathing helps to decrease stress. You can repeat a phrase such as “I am ok right now” or something that calms you.