Searching for Ease during Challenging Times
Have you been feeling a collective sense of overwhelm, along with higher-than-usual levels of “resting anxiety” ?
With the recent disruption to routine, if I’m not careful, the past practices I depended on for instilling calm throughout my day can fall to the bottom of the list.
Sometimes they’re skipped or forgotten altogether.
Maybe you’ve noticed that some of your healthy habits have gone by the wayside too. If so, this could be the perfect time to steer yourself back toward better health.
Stress and anxiety can leave us feeling stuck. And feeling stuck often affects whether we remain on track with balanced, healthy habits or not.
As someone who lives with anxiety, for me to remain energetically strong, emotionally calm and in control, and healthy in my body--ESPECIALLY during challenging times--I need to pay close attention to what I’m thinking.
Thought awareness is a critical part of my self-care practice, offering certainty and calm, even when the rest of the world seems chaotic.
You see, the brain is also a bit chaotic when it is not well-managed. Our brains produce over 60,000 thoughts a day. We get to choose those to believe.
When we to adopt self-critical, discouraging thoughts (or perhaps it has been our unexamined, default thinking) we become stuck.
It’s time to stop fighting with our own brains and actually get on with living the lives we truly want.
So how do we consciously curate our thoughts and calm the inner overwhelm?
A powerful tool I use is to bring awareness to my thoughts, and question them. I ask these questions, adopted from Byron Katie’s The Work (thework.com).
The first question is:
“Is it true?”
Often, the answer to that question is No.
My simple “No” instantly shifts my energy, disrupting my thoughts and opening my mind up to other possibilities.
Sometimes I follow up my first question with this second one:
“Who would I be without the thought?”
I look forward to this second inquiry because of the relief it assuredly delivers as I answer.
I used this inquiry recently when I found myself feeling anxious for not getting enough work done.
Upon questioning the truth of “I’m not getting enough done”, I found it to be false. Could I 100% know that the work I had done wasn't enough? Without the thought, I felt peaceful and light.
My mind shifted from overwhelm and shame for being lazy to self-compassion. I permitted myself to slow down, to take my foot off the gas.
If you’re searching for more ease in your life, then begin by noticing the recurring thoughts that are keeping you stuck. You can even record them in a journal. Then question them.
A healthy mind is vital to our wellbeing. And while there are many circumstances that remain out of our control, our health and outlook remain 100% within it.
Your brain may be telling you that now is not the time to work on yourself, that there is too much going on around you, and that there are more important things to tend to.
But I’m here to remind you that tending to your health is EVERYTHING.
Your health has always been worth the effort, and will always be worth it.
Let’s call a truce on your inner war and get back to caring for yourself.
With you on the journey,
P.S.- Are you interested in moving from Stressed Out and Stuck to more Ease and Energy? Comment below and let me know where you are feeling stressed or stuck.