Hi, I’m Kris Stokes from Custom Fitness Personal Training Studio, and I’ve had several meetings today by phone or Zoom, of course, but over just general life coaching and health coaching. The one common denominator between all of them as that people are feeling anxious. I’m right there with you. Anxiety is something that I’ve dealt with my whole life and had to find ways to cope through it. I know that the circumstances of right now are causing a lot of people to feel that anxiety, whether they’re showing it in the form of typical anxiety or they’re showing it more in say emotional eating or in mood swings or in just wanting to hibernate and go to bed. We all show anxiety in our own ways. We all show stress in our own ways.

Right now the circumstances that we’re experiencing, we have very little control over a lot of things. I want to share with you some ideas on how you can help to lower your anxiety levels, lower your stress levels, things that you can be in control of and kind of how to navigate that just a little bit. What I like to talk to people about is, first of all, we try to make a list, at least in our mind, if not on paper, of the things that we do have control over versus the things that we don’t have control of. There’s a lot of things that we don’t have control of, the way that our work is scheduling us or not scheduling us, whether or not our kids have to come home and learn, at home while you teach them. There’s so many things out there. What’s available at the stores when you go?

There’s no end. But there is also a very hefty list of the things that you are in control of. You are in control of your attitude for the day. You are in control of being able to bring yourself back into a powerful state of being so that you can go forward and do things from a good place rather than a stressed out place. You’re in control of what you have for dinner, for lunch, for breakfast. You’re in control of whether you exercise or not for the day. You’re in control of whether you take breaks or you don’t take breaks. These are things that we have control of. Again, the list can go on and on, but oftentimes in hard times, we don’t look at those pieces. We just look at the pieces that we don’t have control over and it really starts to flip us out.

What I’d like you to do is just take some time and think about that. Make your two lists. As I said, it can be mental, it can be on paper. For me, I find that getting things out on paper actually eases my mind a little bit more. When things are in your head, the list just builds and builds and builds. It may only be six things, but over a course of time, it starts to feel like more. If you put it on paper, it helps you to visually see it, helps your mind to recognize that you’ve written it down, which helps you to be calmer, and then you can move forward from there. That’s step number one.

Step number two is to find some good coping mechanisms and things that will actually turn on your relaxation response, so that you can start to think and create and make decisions from a more powerful state of being, being more happy and joy and peace instead of from frustration, anger, and anxiety. One of those things we can do is actually drinking a cup of herbal tea. Sounds easy enough, right? If we actually sit down for about five minutes and allow ourselves to calmly drink a cup of warm herbal tea, that will turn on the body’s relaxed response and it’ll help our body to just kind of flip the switch. It’s important that you’re not having a bunch of stressors in front of you while you’re doing that.

You’re not sitting at a computer trying to work and having screaming people running around you or anything. Just find a quiet place and sit for five minutes. Maybe it’s out on your back porch, maybe it’s in the bathroom, I don’t know, but just drink some tea for a few minutes and that will help. Another thing you can do is work on your breathing response. We’ve worked on this in other videos. But just to remind you, one of the best breaths for this is called a relaxing breath, and it’s where we breathe in for four counts. Don’t go four seconds. Just four of your counts. We’re going to hold that breath for seven counts and then we’re going to slowly exhale it out for eight counts.

If you practice this for a few minutes, say like anywhere from three to 10 minutes, and just be still afterwards, take just a minute or two to just be still and appreciate what you’ve just done for your body, you’re going to feel that relaxation response turned on. You’re going to feel a lot more powerful whenever you’re done and less out of control. Another thing I like to do is to use guided meditation, and there are some great apps out there for you of this. I recently found Smiling Mind, a mindfulness and meditation app, and there are all a lot of great guided meditations on there. They have them for all sorts of situations for adults and for kids, as well as for things like emotional eating, which a lot of people I know are having happen to them right now.
That might be a great app to look into. It’s a free app and just helps you to kind of recenter yourself. There’s also some great brain apps that will affect your brain waves in a way. They basically help with beta waves so that you can relax more, change the delta waves if you’re trying to focus more, and things like that. Those are kind of cool apps as well. Now, this last one is something that I always thought was the silliest thing and a good friend of mine kept on and kept on and kept on trying to get me to do it. I kept telling her it was ridiculous and I didn’t want to do it. But then I started trying it during times of high stress and it really did make a difference. It might be something to look into for you.

I personally have done a lot of research into Chinese medicine, Eastern medicine over the last 15 years, and I do believe that there’s a lot to all of that, to the energy surrounding our bodies, to the Meridian lines, to acupuncture, to all these things. This last one is called the tapping solution, and you can actually find it at thetappingsolution.com. There’s a little link on it that says getting started, and it teaches you how to do it, but you’re basically tapping the meridians of your body to help induce relaxation. Now, none of these things are going to work if you are just hellbent against it.

If you are focused on, “It’s going to be terrible. It’s never going to work,” nothing you do is going to fix that because your mind is still in a state of anxiety. But if you will take a moment to just breathe and kind of let go of your expectations of what could happen and just try it out and see how it goes, that’s one of the best things you could do. You’re going to see some benefits from this almost immediately. The more that you practice it, the easier to get to do and the easier it will get to magnify those results. If I can be of help to you on health coaching, life coaching, nutrition coaching, on personal training, we do a little bit of everything. Right now we do it all online. Feel free to give us a call. 806 322-3188. But before you go, I have to tell you about this amazing thing.

You’ve probably seen it on our Facebook page and maybe even on our website. What we’re doing right now is we are offering a program, it’s 21-day program, called Stronger You. We are waiving our normal enrollment fee for this. We are taking donations for this. These donations are not for Custom Fitness. We are going to take 100% of the money donated and use it to help small businesses in Amarillo to maintain cashflow by buying gift cards from them. Then whoever’s in the Stronger You program and has donated, we give those gift cards out as prizes. The donation is a minimum of $10. You can get the 21-day program for as little as $10 basically. But if you have more to share, please feel free to enter in the amount that you feel comfortable with.

I know that many small businesses in town have been affected by the COVID-19, and I would love to be a part of helping them. If you would like that as well, I’ll put a link below this in the comments. Feel free to just click on that link. You can sign up for the Stronger You program or you can just choose to donate, whichever you’d like to do. But we do hope that you’ll help us out with that. We are hoping to be able to raise Amarillo back to its amazing state of strength. I hope that you have an amazing weekend in a little calmer state. I’ll talk to you soon.