10 ways to learn to live with fear, anxiety, worry and uncertainty, yet still be productive, happy, healthy & thriving:
- Give yourself permission to schedule regular, adult time-outs. During your time-outs, do whatever you like, enjoy, prefer or makes you happy.
- Either as part of the above or otherwise, schedule regular, 10-30 minute mental breaks. During that time do not watch the news or look at your mobile. Instead practice deep breathing and focus only on your thoughts and what’s running through your mind. Become aware of any scary, fear-filled thoughts. Try to mentally replace them by thinking only of your very favorite memory, in detail. Regularly re-live your favorite memory(ies) in your mind.
- Call a trusted and supportive friend, verbalize your feelings & ask for reassurance.
- Start a journal to download all your feelings/emotions in writing. Several studies show that regularly “dumping” your thoughts & feelings into written form reduces stress.
- Remember that what may feel scary, does not mean it is an actual threat or danger to you. Repeat this known maxim to yourself, “80-90% of the things I worry about will never happen.”
- Remember that feelings/emotions are very different from facts/logic. We all have both in our minds at all times, to varying degrees at different times. During highly stressful times, emotion tends to dominate our minds/thinking. Try to avoid making decisions based on emotions/feelings alone, especially when highly stressed.
- Get buried in your work or on a project. Being “in the zone” makes time pass with less mental stress.
- Embrace stress and worry as a natural part of being human, they never fully disappear. Expect some level of stress/worry at all times, but work to minimize the negative impacts on your mental health, family, work and life, especially during tough times.
- Remember: what does not kill you may make you stronger.
- Exercise daily or regularly. Strive to work up a sweat daily or at least three times a week.
What other things work for you to reduce & mange your level of mental stress?