You may be reeling from emotions, uncertain how to deal with stress and uncertainty over the next few hours – or days to come – and not sure what you can do to help the divided country. to heal.
Stress management expert, Dr. Cynthia Ackrill, an editor of the magazine “Contentment”, produced by the American Institute, said: “The challenge is that this happens amid too much uncertainty in the many areas – health, business, economics, society “by Stress.
“And since uncertainty is stressful for most humans, and all stress is additive, this overwhelms the already tiring coping skills,” Ackrill told CNN.
The tired brain does not function well, she explains, causing less blood flow to the frontal lobe executive functions such as creativity, compassion, emotional regulation, and opinion processing. contradiction and reasonable judgment.
Those are exactly the higher operating functions we need to manage uncertainty, take action and maintain hope, so it̵7;s no wonder you might feel anxious, restless, exhausted. exhausted or depressed right now.
With this “chronic crisis” our need to feel more in control of something, so adding more uncertainty will frustrate and possibly frighten you, Ackrill said. CNN.
“Admit your fear,” said Ackrill. “Like all your emotions, it needs to be dealt with.”
While some fears are justified, “our brains can make the threat seem closer (or) worse,” she said. “Use that fear to push you to find places where you can control, where you can take action, where you can take care of yourself best so you can fit the challenge.”
Here are some steps you can take to combat anxiety, fear, and uncertainty.
Recharge your battery
“First, get access to that resilience toolbox,” said Dr. Tania Maria Caballero, associate professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
“Recharge, re-energize, take a break from social media and take care of yourself. New ideas and positive energy don’t come from a tired mind,” she said.
If your “tribe” on social media supports it, that’s one thing. However, experts say that all stress often flares when we can hide behind the keyboard.
“When I think of the angry expressions of others, especially on virtual platforms, I remind myself that in order to have a flame out of a spark you need to add more sparks. If you do not ignite it. Angry spark, you can’t start a fire, ”said Caballero.
Instead, Caballero offers to go for a walk; pick up the phone and talk to a good friend; and read a favorite poem, prayer or song.
“Think about the choices you make like adding to your energy or subtracting – how can you scale for more energy?” Ackrill said. “Every bit goes up, just like the energy expenditure increases the stress. (Make) small changes, small choices to nurture your best self.”
“Move! You have enough strings to respond to the tension with the action,” said Ackrill.
Exercise will reduce those stress chemicals that build up, especially if outdoors among plants, she said.
“Nature calms your brainwaves,” said Ackrill. “Dance to your favorite music. Music has a great ability to change your mood.”
Try to combine activities into “three play”, suggests Ackrill, where you can combine exercise with mental and natural support.
“Meet a friend for a walk outside – of course six feet apart with the mask!” she speaks. “Do something with your hands that you can immerse yourself in (the flow) while listening to good music.”
Choose healthy snacks
Choose to hydrate with water (not alcohol). Because alcohol is a depressant, drinking alcohol can drown your mood. It might not seem like that while you “remove” your inhibitions, but it’s just the brain-depleting drink we use to control our actions.
Try to relax – even meditate
One solution is to “get curious” and observe your thoughts, according to the presentation. “And here’s the key – don’t try to suppress these thoughts, don’t even try to change them. It gives them more power.”
Then remind yourself that “thoughts are not real. Watch any thoughts that arise as if you were watching some dramatic TV show. … They are not real. . “
If meditation is not your business, then try a mental distraction, Ackrill suggested.
“Think about activities that really boost your mental energy,” she says. “Read novel. Do a puzzle. Mainly take a little break so your brain can restart. Be more deliberate in how you use your brain.”
Get some zzzs
Good quality sleep improves our moods and provides creativity and cognitive function, meaning we’ll be better able to solve problems, make decisions and pay attention.
On the other hand, poor sleep can make it much harder to cope with your emotions.
But don’t stuff your emotions
Emotion is essential data to let you know that you have needs that need to be met, Ackrill says.
“Refusing or cramming them doesn’t work,” she said. “Take space to deal with some of the real feelings: sadness, disappointment, disappointment, anger or guilt.
“Allow yourself to be full of the emotions that make you human,” added Ackrill. “Don’t ‘should’ yourself. You shouldn’t feel and rewrite the story somehow because your fault doesn’t help. Whatever you’re feeling is real to you.”
One way to process your emotions is to write them down until the feelings are recorded on paper and you feel the emotions subside. You can also contact a friend or relative you trust to keep you safe ”and choose carefully. Ackrill suggests asking yourself: “Is this person really helping you deal with the emotional burden?”
Be sure to contact a therapist for help if you feel like you can’t “get rid of your emotions” or the discomfort becomes increasingly uncomfortable.
“Contrary to what our culture may have taught you, helping is not a bad four-letter word,” said Ackrill.
In order to keep us safe, our brain has about “five times the conduit system for negativity, so you have to really practice positivity,” said Ackrill. That means frequent subliminal thoughts are needed to reinforce those positive neural connections.
“When these kinds of mental exercises are taught to people, it actually changes their brain function and structure in ways that we think support these positive qualities,” Davidson said.
Ways to develop your optimism include journaling about the positives and taking a few minutes each day to write down what makes you grateful. Several studies have shown that practicing gratitude improves positive coping skills by disrupting typical negative thinking patterns and replacing them with optimism.
One of Davidson’s favorite mindfulness exercises is cultivating appreciation.
“It is simply to remember the people in our lives, the people for whom we have received some help,” Davidson said. “Remember them and appreciate the care and support or whatever these individuals have provided.”
“You can take a minute every morning and every night to do this,” he said. “And that appreciation is something that can cultivate a sense of optimism about the future.”
CNN’s Faye Chiu, Ryan Prior and Kristen Rogers contributed to this article.