We get sweaty palms, our breathing becomes fast, our hearts pound, and we feel out of control! This is stress, anxiety! The world is coming back together again after falling apart. We have all been Humpty dumpty this past year, our whole words unraveled, we have been picking up the pieces and are now coming back together again!
3 Principles of Stress
Anxiety is actually on your team.
It’s attempting to protect you from perceived danger.
It wants nothing more than for you to survive another day and live a long, prosperous life!
P-A-C-E So, let’s set the pace. Research shows, it actually takes 20 minutes to ride the wave of cortisol that floods the body. Within those 20 minutes, you are capable of instilling adaptative coping skills to “steer the pace of your anxiety.”
Utilize the following P-A-C-E technique. Follow these attitudes.:
1. BE PRESENT, PATIENT & PROACTIVE: What we resist, will persist, says Jon Kabat-Zinn. We must learn to be present, patient, and proactive with our anxiety, in order to manage our anxiety. Our mind is highly suggestive, we become what we tell ourselves. “So, don’t think of being anxious, go.” We can’t just make it go away. We learn to notice it and see it as an extension of us but not all of us. When you notice yourself feeling anxious, tell yourself: “I am experiencing anxiety. I can be a witness. This is a part of me. This will pass me by.” Realizing you are larger than the feeling, will help you relax and be able to have an objective point of view about your anxiety state.
2. AROMATHERAPY AID! Anxious breathing happens in the upper chest. As soon as stress hits, immediately put a dash of aromatherapy in your palms, put your palms above your nose, inhale the breath in 1-2-3-4, loosen your belly, and breathe out 1-2-3-4, by elongating the exhalation with an OCEAN breathe 5-6-7-8. This type of breathing helps intercept the Polyvagal central nerve responsible for anxiety. Breathing helps you expel tension so it doesn’t stay cooped up in your body. I also massage my upper chest to release the tension. Watch a mental health video where I explain breathing properly:
3. CHECK YOURSELF: Ask yourself and answer “Is this a FALSE alarm or am I in real danger?” Answering this ”out loud” to yourself, assists in rewiring the brain which overrides the FIGHT-FLIGHT-FREEZE threat signal being sent to the body. A body scan is also highly recommended. Tightening up parts of the body one at a time, and releasing the tension.
EMPATHY: Practice self-compassion. Place your hand over your heart and forehead and feel the body and mind connection. Your thoughts make a difference. Say “Even though…. I am feeling anxious… I can still have love and compassion for myself.” Be kind to yourself whenever possible — listen to the power of your spoken word. Remember to show yourself compassion over and over and over again.
Learn to embrace your anxiety with P-A-C-E for preventative mental health so we end up like this Humpty Dumpty and break the fall!