5 Things That You Can Do Right Now To Let Go Of Fear and Anxiety
Fear is one of those annoying little voices that keep us from achieving greatness.
It was a primitive fundamental feeling that helped us to stay alive. As we've evolved, that fear trigger was changed from staying alive to anxiety.
Living in constant fear and anxiety impacts our health.
I know that when I was getting a divorce, my fear and anxiety was at its most heightened. Not only did I start to think of what I was going to do to get through this, but I also thought about the kids and how I was going to be able to take care of it all.
My life was shifting and a lot of the things were completely out of my control.
- Was I doing the right thing?
- Were my children going to be okay?
- How was this going to impact them emotionally?
- Was my son going to be okay to not have his father around all the time?
- Was my daughter going to have issues as she got older not having her father around?
The questions were constant.
When we live in this constant state of fear and anxiety, it impacts our health. It impacts:
- Physical health. Fear weakens our immune system and can cause cardiovascular damage, gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome, and decreased fertility. It can lead to accelerated aging and even premature death.
- Memory. Fear can impair formation of long-term memories and cause damage to certain parts of the brain, such as the hippocampus. This can make it even more difficult to regulate fear and can leave a person anxious most of the time. To someone in chronic fear, the world looks scary and their memories confirm that.
- Brain processing and reactivity. Fear can interrupt processes in our brains that allow us to regulate emotions, read non-verbal cues and other information presented to us, reflect before acting, and act ethically. This impacts our thinking and decision-making in negative ways, leaving us susceptible to intense emotions and impulsive reactions. All of these effects can leave us unable to act appropriately.
- Mental health. Other consequences of long-term fear include fatigue, clinical depression, and PSTD.
When we live in constant state of fear and anxiety it impacts our health.
Now I want you to breathe in and out very slowly. If you are reading this and you can relate to this.
You are not alone.
Here are the things that I have learned on how to shift that fear and axiety.
1. Breath: yes it's that simple. I personally love the Sama Vritti or “Equal Breathing”
How it’s done: To start, inhale for a count of four, then exhale for a count of four (all through the nose, which adds a natural resistance to the breath). Got the basic pranayama down? can aim for six to eight counts per breath with the same goal in mind: Calm the nervous system, increase focus, and reduce stress.
When it works best: Anytime, anyplace—but this is one technique that’s especially effective before bed.
Calm is an inside job. Give yourself the gift of serenity and start the day with ten minutes of solitude and positive energy. Think calm, measured and open-minded, and your daily activities will correspond.
How it’s done:
When it works best: I have found that meditation works best when you know that you are going to have at least, to start off with, 5 minutes of completely non interrupted time. I know that this is hard for us moms, but the truth is that we can choose to have that time. Put them down 5 minutes earlier to bed. It's okay having this time for yourself isn't going to be the end of the world for them. I promise it will make a complete difference in your mom time with them as well.
3. Practice Self-Care: Now I know what you are thinking. WHAT like I have the time when the kids are running around, I have to give them breakfest, lunch, clean, work, teach, make sure they have playdates, get them reading, exercise Isn't exercise time for myself. When you get there. Urgggg... Is anyone going to find me sexy?
Are you done?
Okay, here I am going to go into one of my rants: But why is this such a dirty word when we become moms? As women without kids we have no problem booking a massage session when we are in need of one. We definilty wouldnt miss a hair apponintment and we buy those sweet, sexy cloths that make us look cute.
Then we become moms and all of a sudden we let all of that go?
Get a massage, a mani-pedi, or a haircut. If money is tight, look for a discount salon or a training school which offers quality services for people on a budget. So they don't serve peppermint tea on a silver tray close your eyes and imagine that five-star service while you take in the pampering you deserve.
4. Challenge Negative Core Beliefs:
Remember that thoughts precede feelings. Negative thoughts lead to negative emotions, which lead to negative behaviors.
For example: Sharon wakes up and immediately thinks, I'm going to completely mess up this presentation today.
After that thought she feels unmotivated, nervous and sluggish and starts yelling at her kids when they don't dress fast enough.
Challenge reality. Is this really true that I am going to mess the presentation up? How else can I approach this presentation? You create the negative thought, and you can uncreate it.
5. Practice Gratitude
The benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they're thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.
My first day after my divorce I remember being grateful for having the strength and having my kids, for having the roof over our heads and for finally having peace. You can start off my naming three things you are grateful for. It could be your dog, the trees, the air that you are breathing. Anything. I promise that as the days go by you will find more and more things to be grateful for.
Just. Be. You.