Jenn Tomko, a licensed clinical psychotherapist specializing in treating trauma and anxiety and owner of Clarity Health Solutions in Jupiter, discusses practical ways to help increase positivity and set yourself up to thrive during anxious times.
Today, more than ever before, we are looking for practical ways to help take control of our emotions. The past six months have brought changes to nearly every aspect of our daily lives but Tomko suggests there are some small and easy ways to help refocus and harness our power:
Take a tourist tour of your neighborhood.
By now you have heard every expert explain why fresh air and exercise are good for your mental health. Try to make the most out of every walk (especially if you’ve been treading the same exercise path in your neighborhood for months now) by narrowing your focus. Try to see your surroundings in a way you have never seen them before- like a tourist! Pretend that is the first time you have ever been outside. Even just focusing on a specific blade of grass or the veining of a leaf for a moment in time will shift your perspective
Incorporate meditation into your day and don’t be intimidated by it. You have probably been meditating for years!
Meditation is actually really easy! People complicate the concept by forgetting that all meditation really consists of is mindfulness. Going for a run and focused on your breathing? That is meditation. Spending time in the morning or evening praying? That is meditation. Hyper-focused on a wave at the beach? That is meditation too! An easy way to start meditating regularly can be as simple as lighting a candle and paying attention to the flickering while being present in that moment.
Reframe how you think and experience stress.
We have been conditioned to think of stress as our enemy but oftentimes stress is actually our friend, spurring us onto creativity and action. Stress can be a positive force to help us overcome procrastination and seize opportunities. When you feel yourself getting stressed don’t succumb to negativity and try to fight it, instead, accept the stress as an old friend helping you move forward into the place of action
Set hidden positivity reminders for yourself
Set an alarm for yourself later this week that says “be kind to myself today.” Sometimes just a silly thing like a reminder to give yourself some kindness can help center you. Set an alert for a time of day you are usually busy and maybe even include a favorite quote or compliment in the body of the reminder. Find other covert ways to ‘bomb’ yourself with reminders to stay positive. Even changing parts of your passwords can help remind you every time you type it in to be kind to yourself.
Fuel yourself with goodness.
It’s easy to fall into a slump. Put the effort into feeling good. Some ways to do this are by creating gratitude lists. You could even ask the people in your life three things they liked about their day. At the dinner table, have every family member say one thing each person likes about all the others.
Text by Emily Pantelides