Our weekly Team NLP blog where you’ll find inspiration and actionable advice on how to build healthy habits, resilience, and connections in our unprecedented times.
How have you been this week? I have found myself wondering how I will keep going if a second lockdown hits. At Team NLP we are based in Kent, Nottingham, London as well as Norway and Cyprus too. All of us experiencing different approaches to a possible second lockdown period. We are all determined to stay as positive as ever and we are all noticing that even the most enduring of us are feeling more fatigued and anxious than usual. So, as we move into a second period of uncertainty, I thought it would be useful to explore how to keep going.
Focus on what you can control not what you cannot
The single most important practice in Stoic philosophy is differentiating between what we can change and what we can’t. What we have influence over and what we do not. A flight is delayed because of weather— no amount of yelling at an airline representative will end a storm. No amount of wishing will make you taller or shorter or born in a different country. And on top of that, time spent hurling yourself at these immovable objects is time not spent on the things we can change.
I suggest that you return to this question daily—in each and every trying situation. Reflect on it constantly. If you can focus on making clear what parts of your day are within your control and what parts are not, you will not only be happier, you will have a distinct advantage over other people who fail to realise they are fighting an unwinnable battle.
Reducing Anxiety through Distraction Activities
If your mind continues to spiral with unhelpful thoughts, distraction can be an effective tool for nipping it in the bud. It is important to note that a distraction activity must be very attention absorbing to effectively reduce anxiety. When an activity is not working well, spend some time reflecting on why this could be and how you could make it more attention grabbing in future. Distraction activities have the added benefit of helping you feel happier, more motivated, and more energised, as well as combatting feelings of boredom. Low activity and social disconnection are the two most fundamental maintaining factors of low mood, motivation, and energy.
Here is a tick list of positive distractions. Which appeal to you? Tick them and plan to make them happen.
- Browse free online courses (I love yoga with Adrienne)
- Write a poem or short story
- Make a cookbook of your favourite recipes
- Make a list of things you are looking forward to when the pandemic is over
- Become a volunteer listener (or chat to one) on 7Cups.com
- Watch a live stream gig
- Watch TED Talks
- Use the Netflix Party extension to watch Netflix with your friends online
- Do a home improvement project
- Do some gardening
- Make a list of topics you are curious about and research them online
Developing a Regular Exercise Routine
“Walking is man’s best medicine.” – Hippocrates
Exercise reduces the overall activation of your amygdala and sympathetic nervous system – the parts of your brain and body that generate your stress response.
Research suggests that aerobic exercise (such as walking, cycling, and jogging) provides the same benefits as non-aerobic exercise (such as yoga and Pilates).
Studies also suggest you need around 21 minutes three times a week to experience the benefits. So, you do not have to spend hours doing it – it’s something most of us can fit in to our lives when it becomes a priority.
It is important to find something that you enjoy when it comes to building an exercise habit. Now more people than ever are interested in fitness, you have endless options.
What are you waiting for? Are you ready now to take the next step?
To your success
Lindsey and all at Team NLP
And, for those of you already qualified as NLP Practitioner or Master Practitioners or want to add NLP skills to your coaching tool-kit, we are also launching our fully online accredited NLP Practitioner coaching qualification on the 11th and 18th October for £450 all in.