Hazel Gale is a cognitive hypnotherapist and has recorded our newest session for Clementine app & youtube ‘letting go in tricky times’. Here, she shares a few ideas on how we can feel less out of control right now.
1. Focus only on what you have the power to control
Here’s the thing: we can never control what happens around us in life, only how we respond to it.
At times like these, it’s essential to hold boundaries around our energy. We have to consciously decide on what we give our attention to. And what we don’t. Ultimately, just because there’s a lot we could be worrying about right now doesn’t mean we have to worry about it. Instead, we can choose which thoughts to entertain and which to let go of. Here’s how:
If you find yourself feeling anxious about something, ask yourself this question:
“Is there anything I can do about this right now?”
If the answer is “yes”, go ahead and do the thing. Your fear will have served a purpose.
If it’s “no”, however (and it is more often than not), then your worrying serves no purpose other than to stress you the hell out. In that case, you have every permission to let it go.
2. Do what brings you joy
These are uncertain times, yes. But that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to smile. Be kind to yourself and do what makes you feel good. Laugh, joke, stretch, play games, talk to your friends… These are days of your life, just like all the other days. Make them good ones by filling them with activities that will feed a positive, resourceful and connected mindset.
Just imagine how tomorrow could go differently if you did the following:
- Instead of googling Coronavirus stats, you listen to an insightful podcast
- Instead of watching the news headlines on repeat, you reach out to old friends and reconnect
- Instead of wondering if you’ve panic-bought enough food, you come up with creative ways to eat those three-year old tins of tuna
Tomorrow night, I have a virtual game of Trivial Pursuit planned with buddies who’ll meet over videoconference, and I can’t wait. So much better than hiding under my duvet with a bottle of Dettol.
3. For the love of god, breathe!
Deep, slow controlled breathing can help you regulate your anxiety. It’s easy to forget that we have this incredible tool at our disposal — maybe because it seems to good to be true — but it’s available at every moment of every day. Let’s use it.
Breath work as a means to calm your nerves does, however, require a little consistency. Start practicing once per day while you feel calm, as well as at any time you notice your anxiety spiking. With a little repetition, it can become a friend for life.
Here’s a simple protocol to follow:
- Breathe in through the nose for a count of four
- Breathe out through the mouth, slowly, for a count of six or eight (whichever feels most comfortable for you)
- As you exhale, gently encourage your muscles to relax
- Repeat for five minutes
4. Finally, stay true to yourself
Panic can make us do things we wouldn’t usually. We can snap at loved ones, act selfishly and make choices we later regret. These things are normal, so don’t beat yourself up about them, but remember that you do have a choice – you, and only you, are the master of your own behaviour. Guys, if there’s one way to make all of this ten times worse, it’s to forget our own values and start acting like ar*sholes. Stay true to yourself, treat others with the respect and support that you’d want to receive from them, and remember what’s really important to you. Wouldn’t it be good to come out of this without the added burden of residual guilt? I think so.
Download Clementine app here and listen to our latest session ‘letting go during tricky times’. Or listen to the session on youtube here.