Anxiety and low-level stress are becoming the new normal. Ever-present social media, the pressure to always be “on” at work, plus trying to juggle a healthy social life mean that a constant feeling of inadequacy and/or butterflies in the stomach is all too familiar. This persistent stress means that nowadays it doesn’t take much to tip us over the edge. We called on inspirational speaker Jody Shield, who is also Lululemon’s meditation ambassador, to offer up five tips that instantly curb those extreme feelings of stress and anxiety in under a minute.
“As an inspirational speaker in self-help and well-being, I often teach alternative ways to cope with anxiety. My focus is always to give people simple self-help tools and techniques to use as soon as the anxiety kicks in, or before it does,” explains Shield.
Keep scrolling for her invaluable tips.
As soon as the mind accelerates and goes into overdrive and worry, say to yourself, I surrender. It’s like a signal to the mind to release the fight, to release the control and tension you are applying to the situation.
When we get anxious, it’s usually traced back to a fear of losing control or worrying about the outcome of a situation, which is often beyond our control. When we learn to surrender to it, we learn to let go of control, and the situation flows naturally and a solution is created.
When we’re anxious, our minds get packed full of worry and words—usually negative. Our thoughts are on a loop and keep repeating over and over. We need a way to download our thoughts and release some of the baggage packed in our brains. Get a blank page and pen, and spend time downloading all your thoughts onto the page. Let yourself free-flow and write whatever’s on your mind. It won’t make sense, and it won’t look pretty or be complete sentences, but it’s important not to judge yourself if you make a mistake or it doesn’t sound like it makes sense. The main thing is that you transfer your thoughts onto another drive! Do this last thing at night or first thing in the morning. You might want your to-do list nearby, as often tasks will come out.
It’s good to use affirming or positive phrases with ourselves. Words are energy, and positive words are positive energy which feels good to us. You have a choice in every moment. You can choose to stay in fear and panic, or you can choose another way. Try saying to yourself, I choose to find peace or I choose to relax and calm down, and see how that changes your state of mind.
When we’re anxious, we go into panic mode and immediately disconnect from our bodies. We’re afraid to sit with our emotional reaction, as our brain is telling us it’s dangerous to experience what we’re feeling. By just sitting with our tension in the body, it usually passes quite harmlessly. It’s the fear of how great the reaction is going to be that scares us.
Whenever we’re anxious, everything goes into overdrive and fast, so we need something really effective, which is where some simple tapping comes in. Bunch your hand into a fist, and tap it over the V bone at the top of the collarbone. Keep tapping until you feel calm again.
It works by stimulating an acupressure/energy point in your body and sends signals to the amygdala (fight-or-flight response in the brain) to neutralise the emotion and restore the body to a calmer state. Tapping is brilliant and works immediately.