Coping with Emotions in Anxious Times

Adriana Kipper-Smith, PhD, HSP
Natalie Dodd, LCSW

Many of us may be experiencing higher levels of anxiety, exhaustion, and depletion lately. We may feel paralyzed, craving a sense of calm, happiness, and well-being. The rush to turn the switch on our feelings, and/or to not feel anything at all, though very common, may not be the most empowering response. Hurrying to get out of the discomfort may impede the journey to self-discovery, and we may miss what that moment is asking of us.

Whether our anxiety is related to work, relationships, illness, and/or sociocultural, the process of navigating its cycle is key. How might it feel different if you were to have a compassionate conversation with yourself, maybe in the same way you would talk to a close friend or loved one? Take this moment and think to yourself, “How would I support a friend who was in my situation?”. Try to offer that same support to yourself.

If you would like to deepen this practice, place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly and repeat encouraging words to yourself. If it is difficult to identify a phrase, try this: “I am uncomfortable, but I am safe.” Consider bringing the breath into this exercise, repeating this phrase, and breathing for 5 deep inhales and 5 deep exhales, fully filling and emptying the belly.

If you found this helpful and would like additional tools to manage anxiety or to talk to one of our team members, call Work/Life Connections—EAP at 615-936-1327 to schedule your free and confidential appointment.