The mind cannot hold a negative and a positive emotion simultaneously. When you start feeling anxious shift your focus to gratitude and appreciation
The secret to be able to make this shift is to have built the mental musculature to do so. How do you do this? By practicing gratitude and appreciation every day
I know that this may feel mundane and monotonous for some but if this is happening to you I suspect that you could be digging deeper with your gratefulness .When doing your daily gratitude practice focus on the feeling as you come up with the things, people and events your are grateful for. The feeling is the same you get when someone helps you, when you receive a gift or a complement and when you feel appreciated. Go there. How does it feel? Stay there for as long as you can.
Use whatever image or idea that works. For me the ocean does it. I’m so grateful for the time I get to spend at the beach that I shift quickly. My parents, my little niece and nephew also bring me there. The idea is to go there everyday. The idea is to practice so when you feel anxious and need to shift “on demand” there is a sense of ease because you do it often. Burnout repair requires building many new mental habits. This is one of them. Be aware, shift and notice.
The other mental habit is to appreciate yourself and what you are doing now.
I got a little help from God doing this for myself recently. Signs show up everywhere to help you stop what I call the Glorification of busy you just have to stay aware. Yesterday morning while doing my “feelinization”, a practice where I use words to evoke positive emotions, the word “Appreciated” kept coming up. It is common for those that work helping others to wonder about the impact they have. There’s often a nagging feeling that you could be doing more, be better and such. And although we are called to greatness and expansion we MUST acknowledge the importance of our work and service first to feel appreciation. So I kept going to that place where I could feel that I was indeed making a difference and elicited emotions of self confidence seeing me shine bright like a light.
Regardless of the work you do, whether you are a busy mom, a career person, business owner or a student, if you feel under appreciated look within. It is YOU who needs to start appreciating all that you already do. Just like in the gratitude example the way to practice this is to give yourself appreciation and accolades and allow your heart to feel those good emotions. Be as cheesy as you like! I normally speak to myself like I remember my Dad would when I did something good as a child and then things get rolling. Maybe that’s not your case but if you need to picture someone that has been a cheerleader for you, emulate them…with practice you’ll get better.
After that morning practice I went to teach my class. Here is the best part, and why I said that we all get signs. After class, not one, but two people expressed how impactful my yoga and breathing lessons have been to them. One told me I was on her morning gratitude list. I was so touched and immediately thought about my own morning practice. I soaked all the Love and felt the mystical power of my connection to my students, clients and beyond. I need not to do more than follow my mission. There’s no stress there.
Whatever you do when you do with clarity, love and respect, it will create appreciation. This will prevent you from using force, hustling, over-doing or manipulating…all trying to get accolades or prestige. Those things will stress you to the point of burnout. Appreciate yourself first so you can see it and recognize it. That was my sign, I hope it helps you too.
Be aware of the first signs of anxiety and shift to gratitude or appreciation. Remember that in order to get good at this shift you must practice daily, and when you are not anxious. Try mornings or evenings and tell me how that feels. Soon enough you’ll have strong mental muscles to hold these habits.
Coach Maria Marcano