There’s a lot of uncertainty in our world right now.
With the uncertainty is a lot of information, worry, + panic.
Our brains are quickly processing all the information and we have thousands upon thousands of thoughts running through our brain.
Many of us are experiencing anxiety.
According to Dr. Harriet Lerner, we deal with anxiety in one of two ways:
- We underfunction. We don’t want to feel it. We try to outrun it. We try to numb it. It’s uncomfortable to feel so we try desperately to dim the feeling.
- We overunction. We take on more. We busy ourselves. We become responsible for others. We push ourselves really hard so we don’t feel the feeling either.
And you may be both an underfunctioner and overfunctioner depending on the circumstances you are going through.
Unfortunately neither of these ways of being get rid of anxiety. It’s more like putting a lid on boiling water. It will stay contained for a bit before it starts shooting steam out.
But there is a way out that is way better than not feeling, busying from it or numbing it.
The way out of this anxiety is to feel your feelings.
I realize that’s not what you wanted to learn.
You want the feeling to go away.
My friend, the pathway to reduce anxiety (or any painful feeling) is to:
- Give yourself permission to feel your feelings.
- Acknowledge what you are feeling right now (trust me, it won’t be here forever).
- Then own the story that’s dialing up the feeling.
- Reflect on the story by asking if it’s absolutely true?
- When the answer is NO, realize that you’ve been lying to yourself.
- Stop telling yourself lies about whatever tragedy your brain is fantastic at telling you.
- Start telling yourself the truth.
- Be grateful right now. Find the gratitude in your life in this moment.
- Focus on what you do have control over – the stories you tell yourself, taking care of yourself by sleeping, washing your hands, limiting exposure, taking care of your loved ones.
These are definitely uncertain times. And we will experience all sorts of emotions. Process your emotions so you can move through them by following the steps above to reduce anxiety or or any painful feeling.
P.S. Visit our new store to order a Mindset Journal: a tool I use with my clients to teach them how to move through their feelings. CLICK HERE.