Have you come into contact with someone anxious? Have you ever caught the panic bug?
To support you during these uncertain times, I am sharing three steps to calm down, navigate anxiety, and enhance your wellbeing.
First, it’s important to know what is knowing what happens to the brain.
When stressed or anxious the thinking brain (prefrontal cortex) goes offline and into survival mode.
During the beginning of the pandemic, I was shopping at the grocery store watching scared people run through the isles loading their carts with toilet paper, spam, and meat.
Instantly, I felt fear. As a result, I thought about joining in on the panic shopping.
The scientific term is called ‘social contagion’ which is the spread of emotions from one person to another.
Only when the thinking brain senses safety, and it’s back online in the comfort of home and can rationally plan the future.
What Can You Do to Calm Down?
The first thing is to see that you’re panicking. It helps you stop the thoughts from snowballing. After that, you can use a few mindful practices to replace the habitual behaviors of worry.
Three Simple Steps to Feel Calm:
1. Stop and Ground in Your Direct Experience
Firstly, simply feel your feet on the ground and hear the sounds around you for 30 seconds. Standing in nature is a great way to have short mindful moments. While stopping and grounding in your direct experience, you can feel the earth below, hear the birds chirping, and feel the sun or wind on your face.
2. Take a Few Conscious Breaths
Secondly, take some deep breaths in through the nose, and then out through the mouth. While taking every breath out, allow your body to soften. Now, be with your breath watching it go in and out naturally.
3. Observe Your Body
Thirdly, scan your body, and notice if there’s any tension or stress anywhere. First, begin with observing your face. Next, begin to soften the muscles of your forehead, eyes, cheeks, jaw, teeth, and tongue. Now, move on to your shoulders and drop them away from the ears. While doing this, be aware of how you’re feeling emotionally. Are you more at ease or are you restless? Then, observe your mind. Is it distracted or settled down?
I encourage you to be aware of your experience fully physically, emotionally, and mentally. Just let it be what it is.
Ask yourself, “What am I needing right now?”. Pay attention and allow an answer to arise. This is a great act of self-care and compassion to take time for mindful moments.
You can build ‘mental immunity’ from habitual stress, worry, and anxiety with short mindful moments, many times a day. Right now, before you go on to your next thing, practice these three mindful steps to bring yourself into your direct present experience and a calmer state. Self-compassion can be the antidote to the stress we sometimes inflict on ourselves.
Do you need support in discovering and building your dreams and goals? In between my coaching and speaking schedule, I carve out a few strategy sessions each month. If you would like a complimentary strategy session (Value = $250), simply contact me here.
As a certified Life Coach and Mindy/Body Expert, Wendy Johnson helps people who are feeling stressed and frustrated create a life they love where they wake up every day on purpose with joy and inner peace. She’s passionate about teaching clients to unlock their true potential, achieve success, and live a life they love living. Wendy is an inspiring speaker, a passionate educator, and a highly sought after transformational coach.