These last couple of years have truly been quite a wild ride for all of us. As we approach the end of this year, how are you feeling? Are you feeling anxious? Take the time to think about how you are really feeling and how the inside of your mental consciousness is doing. Sometimes we are on auto pilot and we can be full of masses of stress and anxiety and might not even know it because it has really become the “norm”. High anxiety seems to be the “norm” for everyone, and everyone has high stress with all the unknown of this year. Whichever year it is, when you come to this time of the year, most people are just full of anxiety. Everything is rushed, and you must hit the deadlines in your job before you take your time off. Your anxiety may already be heightened and then the last couple months of every single year can turn it up another notch. Do you have a plan? How can you manage all this extra stress and anxiety? Julie will be sharing her three top tips for managing heightened anxiety during this time of year. These tips apply to anytime in your life when you know you will up against additional stress and applies to every year in this point of the year. Let us jump right into these lovely tips!
Tip #1- Take care of your health. Try to understand and remember that every time your body is under stress, difficult things can happen. When the amygdala takes over, that whole flight or fight stress response kicks in. You can also experience heightened cortisol and lower activity in your immune and digestive system. Understand that when you are running on autopilot you may not always know this is happening. Taking care of your health does not just involve taking your vitamins or your green drink, it involves the emotional and mental health as well. Make sure that you set and protect your boundaries. What is your plan emotionally to deal with what is going to be happening this time of year? First and foremost, prepare! Prepare before your plans, take a deep breath, and prepare and create those emotional and mental boundaries that you need to have that will protect you. Realize that you are always going to have people that disagree with you. Set those boundaries and let your brain know what those boundaries are. Write them down and say them out loud. Writing them down is great because you can easily return to them, perhaps every day. What is your thought process and how does that thought process affect the neurochemistry in your brain and in affect, the body? Make sure that your thought process is all incredibly positive, your brain knows what your boundaries are. Be cautious about using words like “don’t” or “not”. The problem with using those negative words is that your brain processes it in a negative way. You want to always try to remain on the positive. There is a difference when they scan the brain when you are using negative words versus positive words. Did you use a lot of positive terminology or is it mostly negative terminology? Think about how you can reframe them into something positive. You can train your brain ahead of time and it will make a difference! If you write your boundaries down in a journal, you can take it with you wherever you are and read it and remind yourself what your boundaries are so you can protect yourself emotionally and physically. Be aware of allowing other people to get under your skin.
Tip #2- Try to understand those different perspectives that people have. Other people literally have different wiring in their brains. Their DNA codes can be quite different than yours. Combine the code of their DNA with their Brain Personality Connection, their nurture and life experience, and this complex mix can be extremely different than yours. Just because it is different does not mean that it is bad though. This year everyone’s nerves are on edge and therefore they can be quicker to express their opinion or to criticize you for your opinion. There is no problem in people expressing their opinion or perspective, try to honor that. Everyone has something to say and that is alright, let them say it. Their opinion does not need to be your own opinion as well. Honor their own boundaries, feelings, and opinions, even if they are different than yours. Different does not mean better or worse or right or wrong, there can truly be two perspectives.
Tip #3- Physically create for yourself, not just a mental safe place, but also a safe place for you where you can recharge and shut off the white noise of life and just breathe. A place where you can just relax and become connected to your body and what you are feeling and walk through those relaxation techniques to release any tension you are feeling. You are most likely tense since this year has been a tough year, so try to create a physical place that you can retreat to that will give you the ability to tune out the rest of the world and relax the brain. Calm down that amygdala and bring back those thought processes and oxygen into your prefrontal cortex. Literally create that place for yourself if you can, either indoors or outdoors or both! Give yourself credit to relax and remind others to do the same if they can.
Take into consideration your own health and set and protect your own boundaries. Keep your thought processes as positive as possible. Understand that everyone’s brain is wired differently and therefore, they have their own feelings and opinions and boundaries that need to be honored. If you are able, create and own a physical place that you can retreat to so you can relax and breathe. We can get through this time of the year with a happy and positive enjoyment as opposed to the stresses that come along with it!
Want more life-changing brain tips that you can put into place to help you in all aspects of your life? We would love if you joined us in Anaheim, CA, February 24-25, 2023 for my Mind-Blowing Life-Transforming Event. Click here for all the details for this event.
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Written by Rebecca Younger | Staff blog writer