Lockdown has brought a lot of pressure in so many different ways. There may now be some light at the end of the tunnel with an estimated end date to lockdown. However, have you been left feeling under pressure to have ‘achieved’ something whilst you’ve been stuck at home?
Please remember that you have all achieved something! For some it’s been balancing home schooling and work. For others just simply keeping going and getting dressed or stepping outside has been a challenge.
With potential new changes on the way it’s perfectly ok to feel nervous or scared, remember that all your emotions are valid. However, don’t let them stop you going for what it is you want to accomplish.
If you want to go for something but are perhaps struggling with the confidence or are feeling anxious in taking that first step, here are some things you can try.
These are helpful statements that you have chosen yourself that will help you overcome negative thought patterns. Repeat your statements over and over again to help create new pathways in your brain to amend your thinking and actions.
Statements must be in the first person and present tense. For example “I am excellent at staying calm under pressure” or “I am excited about trying new things”.
There are lots of different breathing techniques to try but a simple one is just to practise breathing consciously.
Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth for a count of 5 seconds each way if you can. Focus on the movements of your body expanding and contracting. Repeat several times and you will start to feel more in control of your emotions.
Practice grounding techniques
When we believe a threat is present is a chain of events is triggered by our amygdala, the area of a brain responsible for our emotional responses. This results in physical changes taking place, such as an increase in our heartbeat and us breathing quicker. Consequently, our brain believes there is a threat, the cycle continues and we get more emotionally overwhelmed.
Grounding techniques are a useful way to change your focus to the present moment and can be utilised in order to break this cycle.
Try wriggling your toes, this can be done discretely so it’s a great tip to try when you’re out and about. Focus on the movement of each toe and what they can feel. Are the hot/cold? Touching something soft or hard?
Alternatively try the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. List five things you can see, four you can touch, three you can hear, two you can smell and one you can taste.
If you want to find out more about the various techniques I used to keep calm and composed check out the full composure toolkit that is available to download now.