The COVID-19 pandemic (or Corona-coaster) brought forth many intense emotional concerns and anxieties
It’s World Mental Health Day on 10 October, and in the spirit of this very important day to normalize mental wellbeing, these five steps can support you when you are feeling anxious:
Step 1 – Do you listen to your body?
Our body is an excellent indicator that something might be out of balance. Are you aware and attuned to signs like headaches/migraines, tight shoulders and knots or chest pain when breathing? Paying attention to these cues can be helpful and an early indicator that something is not right.
Step 2 – Give it a name
Transform your anxiety into fear by giving it a name. Our brain needs an aspect of certainty and the worst thing is not knowing your fears. To label, your fear and emotion is a vital first step. A good example is: perhaps you feel anxious because the meeting you were preparing for, didn’t go as planned and you feel like a failure.
Step 3 – Remain in your time zone
Do you constantly worry about every, single, thing? The world, your kids, their future, your family’s health, tomorrow’s meeting, tonight’s dinner, tomorrow morning’s schedule, the upcoming school holidays and if your leave will be approved, and the list goes on. Instead of worrying about what is going to happen, bring back your thinking to what’s currently in your control. The now.
Step 4 – Notice your limiting mental models
Mental models refer to the firmly established beliefs, assumptions and stories we have about the world, others and ourselves. Become aware of and be curious about which mental models inform your behaviours and thoughts. You might be surprised to start noticing a common theme or pattern emerging when you are curious about this.
Step 5 – Response, permission and choice
When you are responding to the situations that make you anxious, consider what about the situation do you judge or you are attached to? Give yourself permission to choose a different response. By doing this you inevitably commit to responding consciously because your head and heart are in alignment.
Anja is a Talent Strategist, Leadership Expert and Executive Coach. Anja was one of the first to be authorised as an Agile People professional and facilitator. The ex-Sage HR Director now consults with leaders and HR teams on all people-related aspects with a specific focus on integrating agile principles and practices. She is a leadership coach and an expert in supporting teams to remain relevant and thrive in the future of work. She also works for various companies as a facilitator focusing on leadership development, mentoring and change management. : www.anjavanbeek.co.za
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