Stress and anxiety are a common symptom in everyday life for many, without the added uncertainty of our wellbeing and finances through COVID 19 pandemic.
I have been very busy in the clinic with online consultations, distance therapy and imprinting chips and have found almost every person is suffering with a feeling of being overwhelmed in some shape or form.
The non emotional contract is one of the many tools I use for clients who feel mentally and emotionally burdened, it has always been found very useful, so I feel this is the time to share with all.
The Non Emotional Contract
Emotions are essential for social interaction and the foundation of relationships, however when they are paired with work, family, financial and mental stress they can lead to irrational thinking, stress and raise anxiety. The non emotional contract is a practice to enable logic, once you remove the emotion for the particular strain it gives clarity in how to best cope and deal.
Get into the habit every night to write down the specific things that are bothering you – you can section things off into work, partner, family, finances, kids etc – remember there are no emotions attached to this, it should not be a diary exert but bullets point of particular stressors. When it comes to a family member we tend to attach guilt, disloyalty and betrayal and by placing bullet points it relieves us of these anchors.
So for example, if you write things to do with your boss or partner – write down what the issue is, just literally a sentence, now think are you in control of this? If the answer yes then write down a flow chart with a few steps in how you will achieve it, without guilt or responsibility attached, just logical steps you are able to perform.
Make this a routine every night, you do not have to spend hours doing so and it can be about mundane daily things, the point is training your thought process. If you look at the things you have written and they are out of your control then just put a line through it – this includes other peoples behaviour and do not worry about the after effects, (this is not you going out of your way to hurt people, this is you taking control of situations that bring the best outcome for your life, mental and emotional wellbeing) being assertive is not a negative thing. Do not go out of your way to attach other peoples monkeys on your back!
A perfect book to do the above is the Circle Planner
(I personally use these and highly recommend)
What is in your bag of ‘crap’?
Before you rush out of bed each morning place both feet on the floor and just take a few breaths, being mindful of the sensation under your feet. Then visualise a bag – what would your bag look like? Open it and ask yourself what you are prepared to carry today (remember you would have done the non-emotional contract the night before so this has prepped your actions of any worries or anxieties) focus on these things in your bag and take out the things you cant deal with or have no control over. Close the bag and breathe again.
The unwanted gift
If someone you knew very well, either related to , married to or worked with over many years gave you a beautifully wrapped gift that looked very expensive, but you knew that inside the gift there was a toxic poison that would cause pain and make you feel so unwell. Would you accept it? You may do in fear of offending this person, many of us do when we accept behaviour that compounds our own psyche. Let me tell you, when people say or do these things that annoy, irritate, hurt or anger us we are in fact accepting these unwanted gifts – we are in control of our actions. Even say out load – ‘That is an unwanted gift and you can keep that to yourself’ – I have said it many times and it stops people in their tracks! No aggression, swearing and more importantly no taking on others negativity! Always bear in mind that people often act defensively or put others down to elevate their own self, it is a reflection of their own weaknesses and insecurities.
Being mindful in bite sized chunks
Start doing smaller mindful techniques during the day, this will help that analytical brain to calm, especially when you are feeling anxious. Talk to yourself internally while you’re doing the smallest of things. You can do this with anything, preparing food, eating food, doing your cleaning routine – anything , just do it a few times throughout the day for a few minutes.
Think of a time you was most happiest, capture that moment and relive it mentally describing, as through you are narrating to a blind person, every single detail. Was it inside – of so look around and describe the decor, the chairs, what you were wearing and visualise the tiny detail of the clothes. Who you were with? what they were wearing?
If outside, think of the weather, can you feel it on your skin – the breeze or the warmth of the sun. Play this memory through your minds eye and if your head takes you else where begin the film again. Just spend a few minutes doing so and if the mind is to busy stop.
Get mobile phones and iPads out of the bedroom – especially for those who have difficulty getting to sleep or suffer with anxiety. This can impact sleep and also crucial rest and repair needed when we sleep.
Download Wim Hoff Method App and practise the breathing every day. Start with one round then increase to four.
Focus on you
Lockdown is a time when we can think out of the box – think of what we want. Try to look at ways to grow your interests, start a blog post or an Instagram page of what your interests are. Be it cooking, interior design, make up. The beauty of social media is you can actually be your own blogger! If you are thinking of starting your own business, or even if you would love to start but can’t find a way this is a time to begin your dream! Start collecting and making a mood board on Pinterest.
Supplements to help anxiety: