Whether it's dealing with a global pandemic or getting fired from your job, the fear of not knowing can become consuming if it isn't controlled. Below are some easy ways to take back control and establish a peace of mind.
1. Practice breathing exercises
If you're anything like me, you know that breathing doesn't always come easily. The technique I personally like the best is to inhale for four seconds, hold that for seven seconds, then exhale for eight seconds. Not only does this take your mind away from any stressors, but it's also beneficial for anger management and better sleep. I recommend trying this technique anywhere — however, there are many other breathing habits you can adopt for stress relief.
2. Get in touch with your spiritual side
No matter what your belief system is, spending time talking to your higher power or tapping into nature's healing powers can provide instant peace. Try to catch yourself before you start panicking and turn towards what you know and trust. If you're agnostic, meditation and using your mind to travel to your happy place are two great ways to remove yourself from stress.
3. Make a list of your assurances
Like millions of other bored teenagers, I find myself on TikTok at least once every few days, yet the app has many hidden secrets for building your mind's strength. Recently, users have been suggesting writing down positive assurances about yourself in order to promote positivity and peace. This list will be unique to you, so write anything you want, as long as it's uplifting or educational to you. Once you're finished, leave it in a place you can easily read and be reminded of what you wrote, or continue adding on to the list.
4. FaceTime your therapist
Luckily, we live in an age where mental health is being prioritized by many individuals, making it easier than ever to seek help. If you already have a therapist, reach out to them and set up an appointment at either a social distance or online. If you don't have a therapist, I encourage you to do some research about therapists in your area and different websites you can virtually talk to someone. The most important aspects of therapy are transparency and both sides of communication. Let whoever you're speaking with know your concerns and take what they have to say to heart.
5. Make a list of things you can control
This is a tactic I've been using for years and I can swear by its success. After I learned that stressing over things I cannot control was a waste of time, I started focusing on things I could control — this greatly decreases my anxiety. In life, things will be thrown at us that we simply have to accept. The sooner we accept the things we can't change, the quicker we can move on and decide our next move.
6. Remember that you're not alone
2020 has been the year from hell for everyone in the world — literally. Billions of people have been left wondering what's coming next because of coronavirus and the impact it has on society. So, the next time you're scared of what the future holds, remind yourself that this is new to everyone and we all have to depend on each other to make it through. Give those around you grace when they make a mistake and be as patient as possible.
If your uncertainties are not related to COVID-19, keep the same philosophy in mind. Reach out to your friends and family and tell them what's up — they most likely have similar fears in their life. Discussing fears can provide a sense of comfort through relatability, but also bring to light new solutions you hadn't thought of on your own.
All of these tactics have one thing in common: Don't focus on your anxieties and fears. Although life can be messy and unpredictable, we all have the ability to determine our thought process and choose to put a positive spin on any setback that might come our way. Trust in yourself and remember that your mind is a very powerful tool that can get you through anything.