Take a deep breath and give up the fight. Just give it up. Embrace your anxiety and all the other feelings that float up--boredom, frustration, fear, restlessness. Do not waste your inner energy resisting emotions which are natural, understandable and appropriate for the current situation. “Giving up” resistance is different to “giving in” though. You are still able to take thoughtful action which is in line with your goals and values.
This is an absolutely great exercise to do any time you feel overwhelmed (Hillary Clinton in her book confessed to using this exercise to cope with the loss of the presidential election). It is called Alternate Nostril Breathing:
--Sit in a comfortable position
--Exhale completely and use the right thumb to close your right nostril
--Inhale through the left nostril
--Use the ring finger of the right hand to close the left nostril
--Exhale through the right nostril
--Inhale through the right nostril
--Close the right nostril with your right thumb
--Exhale through the left nostril
--Repeat this cycle for about 5 minutes
This exercise involves tapping into your past positive experiences to support you now. Remember a time when you felt happy and well. Close your eyes and recall as many details as you can: where were you? Who with? What did you see? What did you hear? What did you wear? What did you do? You may find it helpful to use old photos / videos for this. This exercise can be done with any past event that brought you joy, e.g. successful graduation, relaxing holiday, time you felt cared for and supported etc. Concentrate on the good feelings as if you are feeling them now.
Transferring your thoughts and feelings onto paper has long been a helpful way to relieve anxiety and stress. You can either try unstructured writing (e.g. write for 5 minutes at the end of each day about things that worry you) or create a little daily plan, e.g.
--write down 3 things that worry you
--write down 1 practical way you can address each worry and test it over a course of 3 days
--write down what worked and what didn’t during those 3 days
We hope you are staying well and healthy.
Fernwood Clinic Team
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