Dr. Seth Gillihan wrote a timely and wonderful article on Psychology Today about 5 practices we can do to feel less anxious and stressed: 5 Things You Can Do Daily to Feel Less Stressed and Anxious | Psychology Today
Here’s a brief overview:
- Tell Yourself Good Morning
- Check Your Mind Reading
- Go Outside at Lunchtime
- Feel Water (or be more mindful)
- Celebrate Your Wins
I appreciate this article because it hones in on practices we can do to get our brains out of stress and anxiety cycles. When our brain senses a threat and feels on edge, it can often be stuck in a loop where we overly notice the bad and simultaneously forget to appreciate and revel in the good.
Dr. Gillihan’s article does a great job of reminding us that it’s important to see the good and to challenge our negative assumptions (i.e. mind reading or assuming others are thinking or feeling badly towards us). Especially in a time with heightened social anxiety, it’s important to protect our minds from getting stuck in negative mode. Practicing also taking in the good amongst our fears ensures that we are seeing a more accurate picture of the world. Yes, things may be stressful, but what else is good? Where am I in this moment? Am I running from a lion? Or am I at my keyboard or enjoying the fresh air during lunch? It’s a good practice for us to build in good moments and positive thinking throughout our day, celebrating the small victories and being grateful for what’s going well.
If I had any practices I’d add to this list it would be:
- Add joyful movement into your day (a walk, exercise, dancing, hula hooping, anything that gets your body moving)
- Practice taking note of what’s going well and being thankful
- Add in hugs (4 hugs a day is the minimum according to Charlotte Harmond
- Laugh – intake things that get you out of your head and into a space of creativity and humor
Do you have any practices you’d add that help you feel less anxious or stressed?