In my last post I invited you to reframe your experience of 2020 and find the silver lining. I want to continue here with ways to reduce anxiety. There is no doubt that for most people the events of last year have caused them a lot more stress and anxiety than usual.
Uncertainty, loss of control and break down of communication causes most people to feel bad. Moreover, the media is full of headlines that cause fear and stories that make us feel distressed. A lot of bad things happen in the world. But then a lot of good things happen too, only they hardly ever get mentioned.
With the need to know what the latest guidelines around COVID are and how the Brexit deal is going to effect our lives, we have a tendency to look for news a lot more often. It is a dilemma, because the constant consumption of bad news will make you feel even more anxious! Our nervous system is not made to cope with the horror, pain and suffering of the whole global community. We are designed to care for a tribe, a group the size of a couple of hundred people at most. We are getting overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the information we are exposed to these days. And yet, we cannot just stick our head in the sand and not know what is going on. At the moment this is not an option.
But what can you do about this?)
1) Chose your sources of information carefully and selectively with your mental health in mind!
One thing I regularly advise people to do when they feel overwhelmed with anxiety is to be very selective around their channels of information. Chose just one channel of input: it’s either the papers, or the radio or the news on TV, but not all of them. Then instead of watching, reading, or listening to the news several times a day, do it just once. Also be selective of what you ‘consume’. You do not need to listen to it all, read it all, or watch it all. Chose the bits that you actually need to or want to know and switch of the rest. If you want to be more radical, maybe only attend to the news every few days! But make sure this is not causing you more anxiety, because you find not knowing too difficult.
2) Balance the bad news you are getting from the media with good news.
Have you heard about the 5:2 diet? It’s been around for a few years to help people to feel healthier and loose weight. You eat your normal diet for 5 days and then you do two low calorie days. Use this idea for your mental health. For every two pieces of bad news, find 5 bits of good news! Here is one of many ways I do this: humour!
I decided that this year I will treat myself to a daily dose of silliness. I bought myself a Gary Larson 365 day wall calendar! I love his way of thinking and it is so good to start the day with a laugh!
If you feel that your anxiety has increased and you want to do something about this, join me this weekend. I will show you many more ways in which you can reduce your anxiety. For more information go to the link below in the announcement section
Sadly I had to cancel the next Mindfulness course as I have a bad spell of fatigue and need to step back a bit. I will run this again as soon as my health improves.
Starting this Saturday 9th January 2021 at 1PM:
Begin Your Year With Less Anxiety
The course will be running for half a day on two weekends.This course will be held live online.
Find out more here.
If you think that someone you know might benefit from reading this newsletter or the course, please pass this on.
May you thrive in life!