Thank you for joining us in April for guest speaker Mental Health Expert, Kayla White of Health Minds Therapy. Kayla shared several key steps we can all take to better manage our mental and emotional health during challenging times as well as resources we can use to shift our mindset to remain calm and reduce anxiety.
Follow the steps below and the Feelings Wheel to reclaim your peace and inner calm:
1. Name the anxiety.
Putting feelings into words. In a study, the more words people used, the more their anxiety reduced. Words give us control over what we are feeling. WORDS take power away! Physiological testing has proven this.
Write down the way you are feeling when anxious (see The Feelings Wheel).
2. Face the anxiety.
What we avoid has the power to feel threatening and control us, and thus induce fear. Thinking about this anxiety can “trick” your body into actually feeling like it is experiencing anxiety. Sitting in anxiety is actually GOOD for you: It helps your body calm the fear. The more you do this, the more your body will recognize your anxiety and KNOW it is NOTHING to be fearful of.
3. Breathe out the anxiety.
We seek homeostasis. Gulp air. Our bodies need extra oxygen. The parasympathetic nervous system lowers arousal levels. (7-11 breathing)
4. Grade the anxiety.
This is a mindful observing self-state. Pick a number between 1-10. “Breathe down” until this number lowers.
5. Discharge anxiety.
Hard exercise. People who exercise often tend to see their anxiety levels lower. Exercise prescribed: Star jumps. As far as instincts know, we go through fight or flight, activating the sympathetic nervous system, making it easier to get back into PNS.
6. Be aware. AWARE:
- Use index cards, phone, etc.
- Accept that you’re feeling anxious and NAME IT.
- Watch and grade.
- Act normal and breathe as described in step 3.
- Stay in the situation.
- Repeat steps if necessary.
- Expect the best.