In the current situation, almost everyone of us experiences moments of anxiety, doubt or uncertainty. Rules and routines change, we lose our orientation and new feelings emerge, which we might not know how to deal with (immediately). You are welcome to listen to Diana’s and my new podcast episode where we discuss how actively facing our feelings creates a positive attitude towards life.
For me, fear is a topic of the heart, full-of feelings and less head. Therefore, a small disclaimer in advance: I share my “anxiety solvers” with you here and besides scientific evidence, my conviction also finds its place here also.
What you do is who you are
I once again became aware that a part of my character determines my actions, which then in turn determine my character. I’m sorry, what? It may sound more complex than it actually is. Let me give you an example that might make it clearer: As a positive person, I like to laugh. By activating these muscles, that I need for my smile (it doesn’t matter whether pretended or honest), the release of happiness messenger substances is triggered in my brain, which creates a positive mood. That’s how it is with many things: By breathing calmly and meditating, I convince my brain that it can relax and that there is no reason to panic.
Routines for stability in life
In the current situation, many of our daily routines are impossible, which may lead to chaos and can cause a feeling of insecurity. All of a sudden we are constantly faced with new decisions and considerations about what might be best. How do I continue? Will everything go back to normal as before? Am I actually doing what I want right now? May this crisis be an opportunity?
It makes me realize how boring but also incredibly valuable routines are. They save me so much thinking and brooding when I can simply switch to autopilot, and if we suddenly lose our bearings on the outside, it often scares us at first. What we are left with and what we always have is our inner home. There we can create the stability we cannot find on the outside. If you are a person who thinks a lot and likes to do things to perfection, keep in mind that it does not always have to be the one perfect solution – “better done than perfect”, right?
For me, this time right now helps me a lot to look at things in a completely different way again and to explore new ways. I can learn from this and grow from these sometimes rather suboptimal decisions: this applies to things like toilet paper but also to bigger decisions at work.
My calming cocoa ceremony
No day without -You probably already know that by now! Hardly any blog without my favourite routine: a hot cup of chocolate! In addition to the stability it gives me every day, it creates a cozy warm feeling. This makes my worries melt away very quickly. And it also supports my happiness hormones a lot, as you can read again in my article on serotonin.
Sleep tight to be emotional stable
As I explained in my blog post on circadian rhythm and sleep, a routine is essential for good sleep. Especially now, when everything is different and also go out less, that can cause a not very restful night. And when the brooding starts even… I have heard a lot of good things about “weighted” blankets and there is also some scientific evidence for their positive effects. Some explanations for there anxiety-relieving, pain-relieving and sleep-inducing effect are based on the pressure the blanket exerts on the skin. The pressure is registered by sensors in our skin, passed on via the nervous system that leads to a release of messenger substances that act on our brain. The pressure of the blanket gives me a feeling of security and to me it feels a bit like a big hug – and we can’t get enough of that at the moment. Have you ever tried one of these blankets?
New ways of communication
Even though I first had to get used to the idea, video chats are becoming more and more important in my life. For me it is a new way to stay connected with my loved ones in a “virus-proof” way, to do sports together and have café dates. I am increasingly successful in spreading my vibes digitally. And if I look at my reach (especially from an ecological point of view) it is definitely a step forward.
My advice for you: Take care of yourself and network – together we will defeat our fear! Do what you can do in this moment and don’t doubt yourself, you and what you create right now is good as it is!
CHEN, H.-Y & YANG, HSIANG & CHI, H.-J & CHEN, H.-M. (2013). PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF DEEP TOUCH PRESSURE ON ANXIETY ALLEVIATION: THE WEIGHTED BLANKET APPROACH. JOURNAL OF MEDICAL AND BIOLOGICAL ENGINEERING. 33. 463-470. 10.5405/JMBE.1043.
ACKERLEY R, BADRE G, OLAUSSON H (2015) POSITIVE EFFECTS OF A WEIGHTED BLANKET ON INSOMNIA. J SLEEP MED DISORD 2(3): 1022.
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DEPRESS ANXIETY. 2018 SEP;35(9):830-843. DOI: 10.1002/DA.22762. EPUB 2018 APR 26. YOGA FOR ANXIETY: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND META-ANALYSIS OF RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIALS. CRAMER H, LAUCHE R, ANHEYER D, PILKINGTON K, DE MANINCOR M4, DOBOS G, WARD L
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