With so much unknown in the world right now it’s easy to get sucked into the stress of the situation, the growing anxiety of not feeling in control, and looking ahead into a future that we can’t predict.
Here are some principles and mental skills you can use to get you through each day.
Focusing on the uncontrollable causes more stress and does nothing for us. Direct your focus on what you can do right now to help your situation. The past is done, the future hasn’t happened yet, get into what’s happening now.
Take Action: Write two lists, one titled “In my control” and one “Out of my control”. Take action on what’s in my control list. Do this to build your awareness.
If you’re feeling uncomfortable, allow it to happen. Uncomfortable feelings are normal and a requirement for any type of growth. This does not mean allow yourself to be in true danger!
Check in with yourself. Take a breath. This is where the work of focusing on what’s in your control begins.
Take Action: Understand and describe the experience you are going through without judgement. You can write it down or talk through with others. This will help bring more awareness to you about yourself.
Start your day off with meditation. “But I’ve tried it and it does’t work for me!”. This takes practice, meditation is a skill that is developed over time.
By practicing meditation you are strengthening your brain, like building muscle for your mind. It will help your focus, your ability to refocus back to the present moment, and will reduce anxiety.
Try Box breathing (Commonly used by Navy Seals and high performers)
-4 seconds in through your nose, breathing into your belly first like you’re filling up a balloon, then up to your chest.
-Hold that for 4 seconds.
-Let it out for 4 seconds.
-Hold for 4 seconds.
Take Action: Take 5 minutes every morning to get in a good space. Set a timer and breathe.
-Sit up with good posture.
-Feet flat on the floor.
-Close your eyes.
-Deep breathing through the nose, into the belly, out through the mouth (you can use box breathing).
When facing uncertainty and the unknown, these steps can help us navigate the day.
There’s one particular exercise Clair Steele will never forget from UPB. And that’s Packie’s famous five-minute plank that would be thrown in at the end of workouts. Clair Steele used to dread those planks.