Posted in Life in the Canadian Rockies

Dealing with our Worries, Anxieties, and Fears — Don’t Lose Hope

“What worries you controls you.” – Unknown Some of those worries are legitimate fears, and it’s important to take them seriously. Other worries are more vague, or they’re less likely to occur. And yet we ruminate, and turn them over in our minds. So what can you do when worries grip and torture us? 1. […]

Dealing with our Worries, Anxieties, and Fears — Don’t Lose Hope
Posted in Uncategorized

Practical Tips for Coping with Anxiety

According to Dr T.A. Richards, we can stop thoughts that lead to anxiety by consciously replacing them by more rational thoughts like the following:

When anxiety is near:

1. I’m going to be all right. My feelings are not always rational. I’m just going to relax, calm down, and everything will be all right.

2. Anxiety is not dangerous — it’s just uncomfortable. I am fine; I’ll just continue with what I’m doing or find something more active to do.

3. Right now I have some feelings I don’t like. They are really just phantoms, however, because they are disappearing. I will be fine.

4. Right now I have feelings I don’t like. They will be over with soon and I’ll be fine. For now, I am going to focus on doing something else around me.

5. That picture (image) in my head is not a healthy or rational picture. Instead, I’m going to focus on something healthy like _________________________.

6. I’ve stopped my negative thoughts before and I’m going to do it again now. I am becoming better and better at deflecting these automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) and that makes me happy.

7. So I feel a little anxiety now, SO WHAT? It’s not like it’s the first time. I am going to take some nice deep breaths and keep on going. This will help me continue to get better.”

When preparing for a stressful situation

1. I’ve done this before so I know I can do it again.

2. When this is over, I’ll be glad that I did it.

3. The feeling I have about this trip doesn’t make much sense. This anxiety is like a mirage in the desert. I’ll just continue to walk forward until I pass right through it.

4. This may seem hard now, but it will become easier and easier over time.

5. I think I have more control over these thoughts and feelings than I once imagined. I am very gently going to turn away from my old feelings and move in a new, better direction.

When feeling overwhelmed

1. I can be anxious and still focus on the task at hand. As I focus on the task, my anxiety will go down.

2. Anxiety is a old habit pattern that my body responds to. I am going to calmly and nicely change this old habit. I feel a little bit of peace, despite my anxiety, and this peace is going to grow and grow. As my peace and security grow, then anxiety and panic will have to shrink.

3. At first, my anxiety was powerful and scary, but as time goes by it doesn’t have the hold on me that I once thought it had. I am moving forward gently and nicely all the time.

4. I don’t need to fight my feelings. I realize that these feelings won’t be allowed to stay around very much longer. I just accept my new feelings of peace, contentment, security, and confidence.

5. All these things that are happening to me seem overwhelming. But I’ve caught myself this time and I refuse to focus on these things. Instead, I’m going to talk slowly to myself, focus away from my problem, and continue with what I have to do. In this way, my anxiety will have to shrink away and disappear.


Posted in Uncategorized

Tips for Overcoming Fear and Anxiety

courage is doing what is right for you

1. Start small; take the first step; and remember it’s a journey. This is just the beginning. You only have to make a start.

2. Have faith in yourself. At least you’re brave enough to try. If you’re patient and keep trying you’ll get there eventually.

3. Make a list of all your fears so they’re not formless and vague. It is easier to fight them if you know what your fears are.

4. Accept that life is often hard, and fear is natural and normal. Every person who succeeds will have to face and deal with fear.

5. Remind yourself of your successes and the ways in which you’ve changed. You have triumphed and succeeded over obstacles before.

6. Remind yourself that others are convinced that you can make it. You know they’re rooting for you, so derive some strength from them.

7. Imagine how you’ll look and how you’ll feel when you’ve succeed. It’s worth making the effort. Don’t give up: you’ll reach your goal!

Posted in Uncategorized

Stress-Relief Strategies

it's a moment of stillness

There’s no one-size-fits-us-all when it comes to stress relief. Below are some suggestions of strategies to try.

Short-Term Strategies

  1. Guided Imagery – This can feel like a mini vacation. It involves imaging yourself somewhere peaceful and relaxing – in a forest, on a beach, by a waterfall, and so on. It can take the form of listening to a recording where someone else walks you through the relaxing scene. Alternatively, it is something you can practice and do by yourself.
  2. Meditation – This encourages us to bring our focus into the here-and-now. The goal is to stop you ruminating over either past or future events, or difficult and painful relationships. You are paying attention to what you can see, hear, taste, touch, and smell in the present moment.
  3. Progressive Muscle Relaxation – This strategy teaches you how to tighten and relax all the different muscles groups in your body. You start at your head, and move down to your toes.
  4. Breathing Techniques – These can calm your body and your mind in minutes. Usually you breathe in very slowly through your mouth, counting slowly as you inhale. You then hold your breath for a few seconds, and exhale slowly through your mouth.
  5. Going for a stroll – Exercise releases the feel-good hormones (endorphins). Also, a change of scenery can dissipate the stress and tension. It can change and renew our state of mind.
  6. Asking for a hug – Touch releases oxytocin (the “cuddle hormone”). This helps us to relax, and reduces our blood pressure.
  7. Aromatherapy – Recent research seems to show that certain scents can have a marked positive effect on our mood and stress levels. They alter brain wave activity, and help decrease the release of stress hormones in the body. This can be achieved through the use of scented candles, sceneted diffusers, scented oils or even certain body products,
  8. Getting in Touch with your Creative Side – There are good reasons why coloring has become so popular: creativity and art are known to be great stress relievers. Also, they’ve been shown to have a meditative effect.

Long-Term Strategies

Stress is part of life; hence it’s crucial we create a lifestyle that enables us to deal with challenges. There are habits that can make us more resilient to stress, and increase our sense of wellness, and the feeling we can cope. They include:

  1. Eating a Balanced Diet – Emotional eating tends to be unhealthy eating. Yet we generally feel better if we eat food that is wholesome. Try to avoid refined carbs that cause blood sugar crashes, and leave you feeling tired, agitated and more anxious. In contrast, a balanced diet provides energy and regulates your mood.
  2. Participating in Regular Exercise – Physical exercise is one the best stress relievers, and one of the best ways of maintaining physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. The options here are almost unlimited – from walking, running, cycling, swimming, rowing, dancing, participating in team sports – to exercising and training at the gym. Find out what you enjoy, and try to fit it in your schedule.
  3. Make Time for Leisure Activities – Don’t fall into the trap of believing you’re too busy. The pay off for investing in self-care is really worth it! You’ll perform your tasks much better, and your mood will improve.
  4. Get into the Habit of Using Positive SelfTalk – How you talk to yourself, and especially when you’re stressed, can make a massive difference to how you cope with problems. If you criticize yourself, lack compassion, are unkind, or sound like a slave driver with impossible high standards then you’ll just end up depressed, and you’ll have no energy.
  5. Expressing Gratitude – Research indicates being grateful can change the way we feel. It helps reduce stress levels, and it gives a sense of hope. Expressing gratitude can take the form of writing in a journal, or it can be a daily mental exercise. What matters is the conscious effort we make to notice the good in our lives, and in the world.
  6. Reviewing your To-Do List – Sometimes our expectations for what we can achieve are unrealistic, and are, therefore, doomed to fail. Remember you are human, and you have your limitations. It’s OK to say “no” and to leave margin in life.
  7. Get Support from Others – We’re made for community; we can’t do life alone. Hence, there’s no shame in admitting you need to get support. So ask for help you need – or even join an online group.