5 Tips to Self-Soothe During a Time of TurmoilFeatured

We’ve all seen the headlines. These are indeed challenging, unprecedented, and chaotic times. Most of us are feeling stuck, anxious, hopeless, or just very scared. Scientists now confirm that all of those negative feelings (i.e., stress) can cause inflammation in the body and weaken your immune system. So in times like these, in addition to preventative health practices like sleep, exercise and cleanliness (washing your hands), it’s essential to also harbour an optimistic and positive mindset. A positive mind contributes to a healthy body. My name is Tamar Lucien, I am the Founder of MentalHappy. We are a Y Combinator-backed company that helps humans all over the world build a positive mindset through practical tools and social support. MentalHappy was born out of my own struggle to overcome anxiety and severe panic attacks. After grappling with life’s lows (a recession, a breakup, and a failed career all at once), I vowed never to let my circumstances determine my disposition. Plus, I was “sick-and-tired” of “being sick-and-tired”. The experiences taught me that when I dwell on the mishaps of everyday life (especially things out of my control), I invite more negativity into my reality. In a moment of clarity, and by moment I mean after being down in the dumps emotionally for months, I realized that my struggle was not in vain. In fact, it became a catalyst for wanting to inspire others and promote positivity. Lately, I’ve been reflecting back on what I did to get through my tough times. All of the practices below are still effective and shared within our MentalHappy community. Here are some of those words of encouragement and helpful tips. Now more than ever, we need to leverage our bodies’ natural healing and coping powers to help us through this period of uncertainty and health crisis. 1. Focus On Your Natural Resilience.Resilience, the ability to bounce back, is your birthright. It doesn’t matter your history or personality. Everyone has the capacity for greater resilience. In fact, in a recent research study, guess what the primary factor was for predicting whether or not someone recuperated from a stressor quickly? Whether or not they thought they were resilient. Whoa! Now, that is powerful.2. Feel Your Emotions Fully.This may be the last thing you want to do, but experiencing a wide range of emotions is healthy (not too mention inevitable). With that, it is reasonable to try to avoid, suppress, or numb those painful, uncomfortable, or scary emotions. However, that often only makes things worse and leads to addictive or destructive behaviors. Remember that feelings are temporary. They may pass like a kidney stone, but they will pass.Pro Tip: Don’t make important decisions while in the throes of powerful or negative emotions. Your future self will thank you. 3. Become More Aware of Your Thoughts.Start to notice your frequent trains of thinking. Memory is powerful but also quite fallible. Your memories are not accurate video cameras of events in your past. Just like everyone else, your memories are incredibly biased and can even change over time! Gaining awareness of when your thoughts are on auto-pilot allows you to question and interrupt these disempowering thinking patterns to feel better quicker.**Fire Up Your Coping Muscles: Write down what you are grateful for each day, even if the list only contains “small” things such as eating or getting out of bed. This is proven to increase energy, optimism, and overall happiness & well-being.**Example of a thoughtful gratitude statement: I appreciate having clean water to drink daily because water helps me feel healthy, strong, and refreshed. Always write how what you are grateful for makes you feel. 4. Distraction Is Great Medicine.Stay busy. Get active. Try new activities. Meet new people (virtually for now). Why not take up a new hobby or reignite an old passion like writing, singing, dancing, drawing, or solving puzzles? My personal favorite for getting an emotional boost is helping others. There is so much healing power in doing good for others. Co-author of The Healing Power of Doing Good, Allen Luks concluded after an intensive 3000 person study across 20 organizations that “helping (others) contributes to the maintenance of good health, and it can diminish the effect of diseases and disorders both serious and minor, psychological and physical.” This will move you forward in the healing process and curb depression via “behavioral activation.”5. Be Kind.Throughout time, human beings have faced great adversity, but cultivated learning, growth, and wisdom as a result. Be kind to yourself and patient with the process. There will be days you don’t even want to get out of bed because it feels like the pain will never subside. But you are not alone. Enlist the power of social support. Your built-in psychological immune system is starting to heal you from the inside-out (even though it may not go as fast as you want it to). And remember, your past does not dictate your future. As Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert’s research shows, humans are notoriously bad at predicting the future and also how they will feel in the future.Dear Reader, Day to day things are very uncertain, but what is absolutely certain is that YOU are more resilient than you’ve ever been! You will get through this, and anything else that you encounter along your life’s journey. With gratitude, Tamar
This is great! Btw, thought you might find this gratitude buddy matching platform interesting? Esp. given your Gratitude Meetup Group also.