I hope that you, your families and your friends are managing to stay safe and well, and, whatever your circumstances, are surrounded by love.
I know many of us are experiencing heightened levels of anxiety during these unprecedented times. Anxiety arises from fear and uncertainty. During this Covid-19 experience, we know there is and will continue to be uncertainty and it is quite normal to feel the fear. It is easy to say we need the courage to face the fear, even embrace the fear, but we also need tools to support us and calm our anxiety, and maybe even learn from our anxiety.
Answering the question, What has your anxiety taught you about yourself?” Kevin Hines, who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge intending to end it all and yet survived, answered it this way on Twitter: “That I can always survive the pain.” What can we learn from our anxiety and how can we move from surviving to thriving?
For my heightened anxiety, I like to apply Rhonda Magee’s S.T.O.P. Practice:
S — Stop: a moment of mindfulness, a purposeful pause, putting a stop to that negative inner voice
T — Take a conscious breath: just breathe, focusing only on your breathing
O — Observe: notice what’s going on inside of you – become aware of thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations. Bring in self-love and compassion, let go of the tension and anxious thoughts
P — Proceed: with intention, taking the next step consciously and with increasing confidence.
Fear and uncertainty may linger, but the anxiety may subside. Be at peace with yourself. Begin to move from surviving to thriving.