Intentional Living — How To Not Panic In the PANIC

Intentional Living — How To Not Panic In the PANIC

Intentional Living — How To Not Panic In the PANIC

Living Intentional 

As an online therapist and life coach, and strong proponent of intentional living, I am keenly aware that we all are being greatly impacted by COVID-19 and feeling the collective stress all around us. This may be a good time to take heed of our own behavior and how we choose to engage this unsettling reality unfolding daily, without spiraling into a panic. 

The Antidote To A Panicked Mind Is An Intentional Mind

1. Be intentional with what you allow in.

 As a therapist, I like to encourage my clients to stay informed yes, but try limiting the amount of time that you spend on social media sites. The antidote to a panicked mind is an intentional mind.

Before checking the latest coronavirus pandemic updates, doing this one thing can make all the difference in keeping your stress at healthy, manageable levels. Set the intention to answer the “why” before you start spending an inordinate amount of time scrolling through your newsfeed.

I have clients, for example, who tell me that they find themselves frantically reading articles streaming across their computer screen, hoping to assuage their fears. Mindlessly reading distressing information can produce even more anxiety.

When we let our minds fall into a fear trap, without us even realizing it, we are giving our power away. We are relinquishing control over our choices, which can leave us feeling even more helpless. We do have control over our minds and how we take care of our mental diets. 

2. Set An Intention That Helps You To Be Clear About Your Choices

Set an intention that helps you to be clear about your choices, such as why you are choosing to read “this” article, so that you aren’t unconsciously engaging with a worry-mind from the outset. (Here are more tips for managing coronavirus anxiety.) Otherwise, you may be making yourself vulnerable to “downloading” insurmountable amounts of stressful information with no protective self-care parameters in place. 

By setting an intention, this can help you make deliberate choices that serve your overall wellbeing. Your intention may be: I am taking the necessary precautions to keep myself, loved ones, and others safe. 

Then determine a healthy time-limit for watching or reading news, maybe it’s no more than 30-minutes (your vagus nerve will thank you; more on this in a minute.) And be intentional about deciding what information is helpful and what information is not helpful, so that you are not causing unnecessary stress, as this has been shown to weaken the immune system, which is not what you want.  

3. Emotionally Regulate Yourself

Now let’s talk about the vagus nerve as I mentioned above. This nerve plays such a huge role in our stress response, as it is connected to the parasympathetic system, the part of the nervous system working synergistically to allow for optimal and harmonious functioning – essentially the queen “regulator” influencing your stress response. Which is to say that it is important to take care of your vagus nerve so that it takes care of you! One way you can do this is to start your day with an intentional, mindfulness breathing meditation. 

Deep breathing helps us to calm and regulate our “emotional control center,” so to speak. And the more we emotionally regulate ourselves, the more we can respond to stress – something a panicked heart simply can’t do. 

4. Check-and-Balance Yourself Often

So intention setting is like having a “superpowered” way to check-and-balance yourself often. You can ask yourself:  Am I acting from a place of fear? You can start doing this with every activity, like eating. If you think: I have to eat more whole foods or I’m going to get sick! This can actually work against your well-meaning intention and bring on added stress.

Practice setting pure intentions and affirming when you eat healthy foods, for instance, I am nourishing and replenishing my body and supporting my body’s innate desire to take care of me. (Check out: Developing a Healthy Relationship With Food)

5. Get Into The Habit Of “Intentionalizing” Your Day To Keep Panic At Bay

Now is a really good time to focus inwardly, establish self-reflecting routines, act more consciously, accept the as-is showing up in your life right now, so that you can navigate the isness of your present situation while allowing a new context to emerge. 

As you practice calm and acceptance, you are inviting the wherewithal to adapt into your life. It may mean establishing new routines, discovering new ways to stay connected and relevant. 

This is all made possible when we start by quarantining ourselves for any “emotional viruses” that are keeping us from being the superpowered, creative shapeshifters that we are – and that is so essential to cultivate into our lives right now.  

I hope that you read this and start “intentionalizing” your day. 

Warmly, 

Amy-Noelle Shih, M.A., LPC

PS. Connect with me and join the conversation on Instagram @growing_self! Also, my colleague Dr. Lisa created a short video demo-ing a great breathing technique to help lower stress available for you on Instagram too.

Amy-Noelle Shih, M.A., LPC is a powerful, dynamic, couples counselor, individual therapist and life coach with a direct, authentic approach to personal growth. Her style is as affirming and positive as it is effective, and all about helping you create alignment and joy in yourself and in your relationships.

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Burnout Prevention + Recovery

Burnout Prevention + Recovery

Burnout can happen to anyone and right now, it’s happening to a lot of us. There are so many people who are feeling the pressure and overwhelm of work, relationships, and life in general. Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is talking with Eileen McDargh, executive coach and CEO (Chief Energy Officer) of the Resilience Group on the Podcast to discuss why burnout happens and how you can create a burnout prevention plan for your own life. Listen here…

Moving Forward

Moving Forward

Moving forward and achieving authentic personal growth happens when you know how to turn what feels like a breakdown into a breakthrough. Learn how, on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.

Signs of Low Self Esteem

Signs of Low Self Esteem

Do you feel good about YOU? In this podcast, we’ll explore the signs of low self esteem, and effective strategies to raise your self esteem and feel good again.

So You’re Burned Out, What Now? — With Lois Melkonian

So You’re Burned Out, What Now? — With Lois Melkonian

Are you always on the go-go-go? Are you feeling SO tired that no amount of rest seems to refresh you? Is it hard to focus? Have you been feeling numb / irritable / joyless / stressed all at the same time? If so, you may be struggling with burnout.

If that is the case, you are not alone my friend. It’s burnout season — that time of year when everyone seems to be working their butts off, and suffering the mental, physical, and emotional consequences of chronic stress and burnout.

I had the opportunity to talk about how to recover from chronic stress and burnout with Lois Melkonian of Denver’s Fox31 News the other day on her show “Living Through It.” Watch her segment and read her blog post “So You’re Burned Out, What Now?” to lean more about how to recover and start feeling like yourself again:

Lois tackles a new subject every Monday morning at 8:45am on her segment on Good Day Colorado. Catch her on Denver’s Fox31. Also, be sure to check out her blog: Living Through It, which is fantastic. She highlights current social issues, and gives you great advice on how to solve problems and live at a higher level.

For even more specific information on how to recover from chronic stress and burnout, you might also want to check out a recent episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I devoted to the subject: “How to Deal With Chronic Stress and Burnout.”

Hope it helps!

Lisa Marie

How to Deal With Stress and Burnout

How to Deal With Stress and Burnout

“I’m so stressed!”

Have you ever heard the story about how to boil a frog? (Horrible to think of, I know). If you drop a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will jump out immediately. But if you put it in a pot and turn up the heat slowly, it will stay. It becomes accustomed to the new reality… until it’s too late.

Becoming burned out is kind of like that — we often don’t even realize how bad it is until we put the pieces together: “Irritable?” Check. “Joyless and Exhausted?” Check. “Constantly On Edge?” Check. “Can’t Sleep?” Uh huh. “Can’t remember a thing?” Yes.

Helloooo burnout.

We toss around phrases like “I’m totally burned out” or “I’m so stressed” easily, glibly, like they are of small consequence. But, as you know if you’ve been coping with chronic stress, it’s kind of a big deal.

“Burning out” is the layperson’s term for the physical, emotional, and cognitive consequences of chronic stress. It can affect everything in your life, from the way you think, to the way you feel physically and emotionally, to your relationships.

Understanding what stress really does to you, and why it’s important to change, can help motivate you to reclaim your life.

This episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast Denver Therapist and Life Coach Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby will teach you what chronic stress and burnout is, whether you might be suffering with it, and most importantly — what to do to help yourself recover from chronic stress and burnout.

You’ll learn not just stress management techniques, but a new way of thinking and taking care of yourself that will help you become  more resilient, more peaceful, and ultimately more effective.

How to Deal With Stress and Burnout: Listen Now

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