Updated: Oct 28, 2020
Sometimes life can be a struggle, and finding calm in the face of life’s challenges doesn’t always come naturally. Once we accept that these challenges are life, not something apart from it. we can meet them with equanimity. I have worked with many people to help them find this equanimity in relation to their life’s challenges. It’s a fact that there is no magic pill that works for everyone. The trick is finding strategies that work for you, and the rest is about acceptance.
Anxiety is universal. It’s an uncomfortable and unnerving feeling of worry and concern. Often, we feel anxious about an actual thing, but anxiety can also be free floating or undirected. Most of us experience anxiety about something that might happen in the future (anticipatory anxiety) or about something that happened in the past (retrospective anxiety). When we have those discomforting feelings we have about our place in the world, the meaning of life, big life choices, change, ageing and the knowledge that someday we will die “existential anxiety “it is also one of the profound level of anxiety.
Most people underestimate their capacities and capabilities to meet their life’s challenges. I never cease to be amazed by what people can accomplish when they let go of their imagined limits to face their possibilities with an open heart. Different approaches speak to different people, my suggestion is to find the one that ring true for you. So, choice as per the need and situation of effective strategies also matters a lot. A few tested effective accessible suggestion or techniques to help you find calm or a different way of seeing the world that may better enable you to accept life’s difficulties as they come along. The good news is that you don’t need to be powerless in the face of your anxiety. You can learn to control it , and some of the ways to do that are actually quite simple like :
Cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine. These hormones are the holy trinity of stress. They are behind the butterflies in your stomach and buzzing in your brain. You can literally feel them pumping into your chest when you’ve given a good scare. By learning to respond to stress triggers in better ways, we can also train ourselves not to overreact, which means a calmer response to just about anything.
Work yourself up, or work yourself down Whenever you find yourself getting wound up an anxious about something, you can go one of two ways; work yourself up, or work yourself down. Either go straight and jump in to that or slow down till your brain can handle it in better ways. Try not to work yourself up: work yourself down instead. Slow down the breath, pause the thoughts, and dim out the images. This takes an act of will. Get in the way of your runway mind and work your way down.
Google earth yourself the hell out of there Sounds little weird?? But its effective 😊. when you are anxious your worries take up all the space in your head. They become everything. When this happens, it’s time to google earth yourself the hell out of there. Close your eyes and imagine seeing you somewhere from above like the google map. Then zoom out and see yourself getting smaller and smaller. Go right off the planet now, until the earth is a tiny speck that soon disappears. This is a great exercise to make you feel very small and insignificant, but in a good way. Soon your worries will feel like that too. Manageable and less bothersome.
Magic Formula of Anxiety. Anxiety = Overestimating how bad something is going to be VS underestimating how well you think you can cope with it. The real fact is that most people cope with almost anything that happens to them. Its thinking they won’t be up to that, causes anxiety. So next time you experience anxiety, check the formula and redo the math in your own terms 😊
Immunise yourself against Negative Emotional Contagion. Emotional contagion is when you get affected by an emotion that’s happening in a larger group. If you cavort with complainers, you will see what’s wrong with stuff everywhere. If you work with worries, worry you will. If you can the best cure for negative contagion is find an emotional culture that is brighter and more positive. You can’t shift away so easily but practice always makes man perfect.
Slow it Down. When you find yourself frenetically looping in your head with thinking thoughts, stressing out, creating to -do lists-it’s time to slow your pace-your total pace. It might be forceful still try to engage in something which is your choice to get isolated in your own terms with some inner peace.
Walk Back. when you are in the state of reaction, the freaking out state as we all are familiar of. This is the time to walk it back. There is a moment where a choice can be made. We run forward in to what seems like a fierce fire ,or we can pause, and slowly walk back from heat. This doesn’t mean that the event is any less real or important: We just approach it in a different way. We slow down a bit/we take a break, and we will be less identified with the panic and better able to cope.
Put on your Oxygen mask First. Many of us give so much to others that we forget to look after ourselves. Sometimes we even spend our valuable resources on those we care about. leaving nothing for us. We need to change a bit of perspective here, don’t call it a sacrifice or the ever-committed duty as a human. It’s not selfish to put your oxygen mask on first, it’s absolutely necessary. This is of course a metaphor. But it’s an important one.
Dr . Arron Balick was a great psychotherapist who took pain to nut shell his long clinical experiences in a book for the wellness of fellow beings. A good read is the book called Calmness is Possible, the little book of calm has the magic formula.