Doing this one thing for 2 minutes will lower your anxiety

No one feels great all of the time. But you don’t have to let the bad days take over and turn into bad weeks and bad jobs.

There are always so many days were it just feels so overwhelming. There’s too much to do, nothing is going according to plan, and you are worried about what’s going to backfire because things are falling through the cracks.

I’ve been there.  

Feeling that constant hum of anxiety is the worst. It’s why so many of us dread Sunday nights. It’s why getting out of bed in the morning is a challenge.

We all try to deal with the stress and anxiety by eating junk food, drinking, taking a day off or even just pretending everything is fine.

But everything is not fine.

There’s a better way to deal with the stress, but it’s going to feel a bit counter intuitive so stay with me.

Instead of trying to push away the stress and frustration with alcohol, social media, and donuts, try actually feeling the stress and anxiety.

Get out of your head and into your body.

What are they physical symptoms you have when you feel anxious? Where do you feel it?  What does it feel like? Does it move? Does it come and go? What color is it? Does it change your body temperature?

We are wired to believe feeling these negative emotions is bad so we try to do everything we can to avoid them.  But trying to avoid them just makes them worse and more intense.

Stop pretending they are not there or like your only options are numbing out and just be willing to feel it. I promise you it’s so much better than you think.

The more you are willing to feel stressed and actually know when you are literally feeling stress and when it’s actually anxiety, the less intense it’s going to become.

Remember that feelings are just chemicals in your body caused by your thoughts so the more you feel them, the faster your body literally breaks them down and processes them out of your system.

Here’s what it looked like for me this week.

We had a Sev 2 escalation and I was on point to drive the communications company wide including to a few L11’s. Additionally, the message I needed to communicate was not only bad news that impacted their work, but we were not able to solve it for them. They had to resolve the problem on their own with a 3rd party.

I was stressed out. I did not want to screw this up, but also had a tight timeline and multiple other projects being dropped due to the escalation. So on the status call, I just sat there and felt the stress.

It felt like a pit in my stomach and tightness in my chest. It made me hot and antsy. It was green and orange and was like a slimy sludge that moved around my chest making it tight. I started to breath deeper and had a hard time focusing. It came and went, but after about 3 minutes of noticing how else it felt, it passed.

I still had to write the communication, but now when it came time to talk about it, I asked better questions, confidently outlined the plan, and delivered multiple messages that exceeded the teams expectations.

So, the next time you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, try turning into it and literally feel it in your body and it will go away.

You got this.

P.S. Want help applying this? Let’s jump on the phone and figure it out together. Grab time on my calendar here.