Tag: <span>anxiety</span>

Back To Basics: 4 Ideas To Keep You Going Strong

How ‘ya holding up these days?

So many people are being hammered by negative stress, anxiety, anger, fear, depression, and a few other things. So much to think about to take care of yourself and those you love.

What are you doing to keep yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually uplifted? Feel free to share your ideas with me-I may even collate them and share them back with all of you (minus any identifying info of course!).

For many, it’s coming down to the basics:

1. Focus on what you can control. Worrying about something you can’t control only keeps any anxiety-igniting thoughts alive and well. There are some things you can control; decide on those and do them.

2. Reconnect with your body. Do a body scan, find any areas of tension, and then BEFORE you do your deep breathing, tighten the tense part even more, THEN, do your deep breathing to relax it.

3. Acknowledge any intrusive thoughts or strong feelings. Be gentle with yourself about this. If you have a mind, it’s gonna wander, so do your best to not dwell on these particular thoughts or feelings-that only keeps your amygdala activated, which keeps the body in a state of anxiety. You certainly don’t need that now.

4. Find ways to laugh. Whether it’s funny jokes shared online, silly videos, funny movies, or TV shows, find ways to laugh. There are several online sites that have some really funny jokes-laughter is great medicine to decrease negative stress and build resilience. Maybe even try laughter yoga.

5. Stay connected. We’re all in this together and we’ll get through it together, but right now, we have to remain physically apart. However, don’t let physical isolation turn into social isolation-stay in touch with family, friends, and neighbors. Now we can use technology as a force for good to stay connected.

As for me, I’m keeping a quote by His Holiness The Dalai Lama, very close:

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” 

I’m also keeping the exercise up to keep my immune system, especially my IgA and IgG up (thank my good friend and colleague, Ken Nedd, MD for this information).

We will get through this,

As always, I love helping women live happier lives. Whether you call it depression, anxiety, stress, or nerves, I’d like to help. I invite you to call me at 512.680.2874 for your free (up to) 15-minute phone consultation. Let’s discuss how I may be able to help.

And remember, TBC is completely online now, which frees up your time so you can enjoy your life more!

Looking forward to hearing your story and helping you feel better,

Stay healthy and connected,

Dr. B.

Ideas To Keep The Negative Stress At Bay During This “New Normal”

Wow-what a difference a week makes. Early last week I was making plans to give some community talks, but then, BAM-I don’t think they’re gonna happen in the time frame I thought.

There’s so much more I wish I could share with you in this particular short newsletter about ways to deal with any worry, anxiety, and fears, but I want to keep it very easy on you because I know you’ve got a lot to think about these days.

Here are 5 ideas to keep worry, anxiety, and fears (WAF’s) at bay:

1.  Recognize and get comfortable with uncertainty
Think about it-we all live with a lot of uncertainty on a daily basis. For example, any time you take a shower, you could fall in the tub and hurt yourself. But does that stop you from taking a shower? No, because you don’t dwell on that fact, which makes it a lot easier to take a shower.  When someone constantly focuses on uncertain situations, it keeps the amygdala activated, which is a recipe for more worrying, anxiety, and fear. It becomes a vicious cycle. You can choose differently, recognize that uncertainty is very common, thus enabling you to have more control over your thoughts.

2. Keep what’s happening in perspective
A quick way to keep from having WAF’s is to limit media time. Ask yourself how much time, how much of my precious life and energy, am I willing to give up to upsetting media coverage? Yes, stay informed (more on that later) however it’s important that you limit exposure to what you hear on TV and read online and re-focus on what’s good and positive in your life as well as the things you do have control over.

3. Keep in touch with those you care about and who you know care about you
Using CDC guidelines about social distancing, reach out to those important to you. Yes, I too believe in the power of hugs, but social distancing protects you and the ones you love. Use technology, if you have it – a simple phone call, text, or video call may increase feelings of connectedness, which can help keep you calmer.

4. Continue your health promoting routine
If you’ve ever worked with me, you may remember the encouragement to create a wellness lifestyle, which includes exercise or some type of movement. Exercise is a great way to decrease WAF’s because you have to really focus as you do it so you don’t hurt yourself. It’s also a way to integrate your body, mind, and spirit to keep the stress hormones at bay. Keep on moving!

5. Start or continue to make happiness or contentment your focus
As you focus on the good already in your life (from #2), consider intentionally taking it in. Dr. Rick Hanson*, a neuropsychologist offers us this suggestion through H.E.A.L.:

H: Have a positive experience. Notice or create it, like the sun coming up in the morning, a baby’s smile as they crawl towards you, or calling your bff and sharing your day.

E: Enrich it. Hold this new positive experience in you for 5 seconds or longer. Use all your senses to truly feel it.

A: Absorb it: Allow this really good experience to become part of you so that it feels as comfortable as your favorite pair of shoes.

L: Link positive and negative material. Even if you have something negative in the past, allow the positive experience you’ve been having to remain front and center. See if you can remain with the positive and let go or simply allow the past negative event to be present without focusing on it.

Last, it’s important to be concerned, stay informed, and not panic. Choosing credible information sources, such as CDC, can help and give you the information you need.

As always, I love helping women live happier lives. Whether you call it depression, anxiety, stress, or nerves, I’d like to help. I invite you to call me at 512.680.2874 for your free 15-minute phone consultation. Let’s discuss how I may be able to help.

And remember, TBC is completely online now offering video sessions, which frees up your time so you can enjoy your life more!

Looking forward to hearing your story and helping you feel better,

Dr. B.

*Hanson, R. (2013). Hardwiring Happiness: The Practical Science of Reshaping Your Brain-and Your Life. Random House.