Over the last few years, I’ve had the pleasure to work with a lot of women who struggle with worry, anxiety, and self-criticism. They’re smart, driven, wonderful women who do so many things right.
And you know what I’ve noticed? They are all making the same mistakes that are jeopardizing the most important relationship in their lives, the one with themselves. You spend more time with the voice in your head than anyone else in your life, so you might as well make the relationship a loving one.
So today, I want to discuss the three most common mistakes in the hopes that discussing them will help you recognize the behaviors in your own life! And offer some alternatives that just might feel a whole lot better.
We tend to worry about the future and project all of the “worst case scenarios” playing out in our minds. Instead, imagine how everything could work out better than you ever imagined. Your mind literally doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and imagined, so why not have some fun dreaming up the future you want to create!
When you notice yourself worrying, be curious. Ask yourself, “Is worrying about it helping?” (hint: the answer is almost always no!)
Draw your attention to your breath, and affirm “I am safe in this moment.” Sense your okayness.
While you can’t control circumstances (like COVID, or other people), you choose where you direct your attention. So if worrying about it is not helping, where do you choose to place your attention instead? Perhaps you can shift your attention towards your 5 senses, your breath, or what you are grateful for!
Anxiety is a word we use for some types of fear that are usually to do with the thought of a threat or something going wrong in the future, rather than right now. The word ‘anxiety’ tends to be used to describe worry, or when fear is nagging and persists over time.
Breath and curiosity are great for soothing anxiety!
Your breath is free, always available, and can assist you in anchoring to the present moment. Notice the sensations of your breath, cool as you breathe in, warm as you breathe out. Observe whether your breathing is long and deep or short and constricted.
Be curious… consider “How do I know I am breathing right now? What are the sensations letting me know I’m breathing as I breathe?” Ask “why am I anxious?” Go beneath the surface. “What am I believing?” - the feeling of anxiety is always the result of what we’re thinking and believing…
Pay attention to these changing physical sensations that help you know you’re breathing: Follow your breath and be curious about when the inbreath ends, how long that pause is, and about when your outbreath starts and when it ends. These can be anchor points that help you explore these physical sensations to help you stay present and curious.
Resource yourself - recall words or images that evoke a sense of safety - maybe an image of a pet or loved ones, a beautiful safe space or place, comforting words like “I’m not alone. I’m okay. I’m safe. I trust.”
<<<If you’re experiencing anxiety, here’s a complimentary meditation class I recently offered on anxiety, here you go!>>>
You have the power and ability to control symptoms of anxiety by accepting change.
This starts with taking a step back and noticing things are always changing. Reframe it and notice that things may be really challenging right now, however there was a time before where things were good, and there will be a time again.
Bring non-judgemental awareness to your thoughts and feelings. Be curious “How am I feeling? What am I thinking? Does it feel better to praise myself or beat myself up?”
All feelings are directly related to what you are thinking, and so if you notice you’re “feeling off,” Check in with yourself. Avoid lingering on or reacting to every negative thought. Be curious “Where did this thought come from? Is it true?”
With the anchor of our breath, we can start to see when our mind gets lost in a thought pattern. When we get lost in a thought, we’re sucked into it, we’re identifying with our thought, not seeing ourselves as the observer of our thought.
Thoughts are harmless unless we believe them. We often attach to our thoughts, and believe them without inquiring. Thoughts are like clouds passing through the sky, they come and go. Meet them with understanding, and observe them. The choice is yours whether to believe the thought, to notice it and allow it to pass by without attaching, or to reprogram the thought by turning it around, reframing it, or choose a more supportive thought or affirmation.
Practice self-compassion. Having self compassion means being a kind, supportive, understanding, caring friend to yourself. just noticing when your inner critic or mean girl is tearing you down, and simply bringing your hand to your heart and offering yourself some loving words as if you’re parenting yourself in the way that you needed to be loved and cared for.
Breathe in compassion for yourself. Breath out compassion for the other.
I hope this was helpful. Knowing how our minds work can be incredibly empowering!
10 Live weekly modules where you’ll learn brain science, positive psychology, and mindfulness practices to support you in releasing stressful thoughts and emotions, relaxing into the present moment, and aligning with your highest potential
10 Live unique guided meditations
5 Live group coaching calls
Guidebook with journal prompts, quotes, affirmations, and highlights of each session
Private Facebook Group
Optional Accountability Partner to keep you on track
BONUS: How to Create a Soothing Meditation Space at Home
BONUS: Access to our daily live meditation classes throughout our 10 weeks together