465: Experience the Power of Daily Steps for Anxiety Relief
This week we are discussing the healing power of daily steps to create big change in your life and why these small steps make so much sense when we're dealing with something as overwhelming in our lives as anxiety.
Notes from this week’s show:
Ananga asks Shann why small steps are so important when we’re dealing with something as big and overwhelming as anxiety in our lives.
Small steps allow us the opportunity to feel like we are succeeding toward that bigger issue when we don’t pile on these massive expectations of ourselves, but we chunk it down into smaller pieces.
Small steps help us make a start without feeling like we have to be in control, or we have to have all the answers, and feeling like this just is too much.
How to pick a starting point when dealing with something as overwhelming as anxiety
Shann: “What I normally recommend is to get all of your thoughts written down, or keyed into your computer, whatever’s most comfortable for you so that you can purge your mind of everything that you’re thinking about.
I tend to pile on and before I know it, my mind is racing with this needs to be done and that needs to be done, but when I allow myself to just purge all of that out, then I’ve got something to work with. Now I can look at that list and prioritize and then I know where to begin.
Once you’ve purged all of the information and organized and prioritized what it is you need to do, then there it is. You can tackle it any way you wish to.”
Pick something that resonates and feels easy
Shann: “If you find yourself in a state of overwhelm, sometimes it’s really hard to know what’s going to be in your best interest. Everything might feel like too much. If you have a list of resources or tools or ideas or tried and true methods that help you, I feel like you can gain some control and some relief while overlooking a particular method or idea doesn’t resonate with you right now. Then move down the line to one that does - it might be something as simple as just giving yourself permission to get up from your chair and get outside and get a deep breath of fresh air or take a walk. It might be something as simple as just really needing to clean your body and taking a good hot shower, or a warm bath, or something that’s going to reset your mind and body. Starting with something very simple that helps us feel a little bit more calm, a little bit more comfortable, and then asking what do I know that I need next?”
Ananga: “Do you have a recommendation for checking in with yourself and monitoring your progress - a way of acknowledging what you’ve achieved, no matter how small you may feel it is?”
Shann: “I do and it’s something that I really don’t see enough people doing and highly recommend that each of us make time to take a look at all of the generosity that what we give to the world each day; to our friends and our family and our clients and everybody that we touch as well as the projects that we create. Whatever it is you do for a living, to give yourself a moment to itemize that and give yourself credit for what transpired today.
Maybe it’s being mindful of your generous nature. Maybe it’s just making a quick list of what you accomplished today. And that accomplishment might be being kind to somebody who normally drives you batty. That accomplishment might be that you took a breath and allowed yourself to find some inner peace in a moment where you normally might have spun out. It could be being mindful of choosing that healthy, nutritious piece of fruit over a handful of chips. It could be just about anything, but my point is to dial in because nothing is too small. There’s nothing insignificant when you allow yourself to be mindful about the healthy choices that you make.”
Check-in and see how you’re doing. And if you find that there are some choices or some things that you’ve experienced that don’t fit well, then just acknowledge that without judgment, then when it comes around again, you can make a different choice.
“Even to acknowledge our learning, if something didn’t pan out as we thought, then to acknowledge that as a lesson learned. And in the future, we can make a better choice, which is all a healthy part of the adjustment process. An example of that would be raising a child and wanting to show up for your child in the healthiest form possible in the most positive light and supportive place possible, but yet knowing that you’re going to make some mistakes along the way. We need to learn to consciously and compassionately parent ourselves”
Ananga: “We all have difficult days where we might lose sight of where we’re going or we feel low and we don’t believe that we can achieve anything because you just feel too flat out. How do you recommend dealing with those times?”
Shann: “I think the first thing to mention is that those days happen to everyone and that you’re not alone. If you can identify and understand and even reflect back on a time where you may have felt like that before, but you came through it okay, and know that this too shall pass, that’s a start. The second part is please allow yourself to reach out to a loved one, to a good friend, to somebody who you trust that is willing to be a witness for you or is just willing to give you a hug. These very simple acts of loving-kindness can often improve how we’re feeling about those setbacks.”
Catch our full conversation Experiencing The Power of Daily Steps for Anxiety Relief on the podcast.
Today's Anxiety Slayer podcast is brought to you by our brand new course, Small Steps to Big Change - Little things you can do to feel better on even the most challenging days.
Anxiety is such a big issue that we sometimes forget the power of the little things - little things like your breath, meditation, and other different ways to relax. Yet, small though they are, the difference these little things can make in managing stress and anxiety is huge.
The intention of this offering is to support you in doing one small thing every day for 30 days to help you increase your sense of personal peace while you move forward with Slaying Your Anxiety.