Top tips on how to stay calm and manage everyday anxiety

Lots of people describe me as a calm person. It’s a word that comes up time and time again. I find it interesting that people call me calm; those who don’t know me that well along with those who have known me for years. On the outside I probably seem quite calm but just like a swan I’m busy paddling quickly underneath. I guess going through different things have given me a perspective on what I really need to worry or panic about. So as we’re all different, how else is it possible to stay calm? Here’s some top tips on keeping your cool and managing everyday anxieties…

Know yourself…Each of us can feel calmness but at different levels. We also stay calm in different situations. What encourages some one to stay calm but cause another to panic or worry. So know yourself and think about what triggers your calmness or your worries? Also recognise your signs when you start to panic. Is it your heart beating faster? Do you speak faster? Do you get anxiety butterflies in your tummy? Knowing these signs will help you to respond to any panicky moments. It will also help you to prepare for any moments when you know you won’t be feeling calm.

Pause…Sometimes it might feel like we don’t have time to pause. We might be busy juggling work, studies, home life and other things. It only takes a few moments to stop and pause. Taking a short break in your thinking can help you retain a bit of calmness instead of making your brain work overtime. If you need help to pause, try it a bit of practical mindfulness. This isn’t about sitting on loads of cushions in a quiet room away from everyone. Pausing through mindfulness can be practised on the move too. Check out the Transitional Pause developed for busy people (designed by Dr Tamara Russell). Lots of us practiced this at the Lucky Things Meet Up in January. It helps your brain and energy ready for the next space, activity or task.

Find your calm inspiration…Is there anyone you can look up to who seems to stay calm? Is there someone who never loses their cool? How do they approach situations where they need to remain calm and just carry on. Ask them about how they keep their cool. Listen to their experiences and tricks for injecting calmness into their busy lives.

Have your uncalm moment and get it over and done with…There will be times where we can’t control how we initially feel about a situation. You may not be able to be calm and just carry on. So acknowledge how you feel and think about how you’d like to feel. Then do your best to move on so you don’t waste previous energy on negative feelings. Don’t forget to remind yourself it’s going to be OK. Even say these words out loud if you need to. When my little family went through ups and downs last year I kept saying this out loud. I think it reassured me that I can get through the tough moments.

Speak to someone about your everyday worries or anxieties…Staying calm takes practice. In a way it’s a skill. There are lots of things that I may feel calm about like technical hitches at an event. However there are things I don’t always feel calm about, like the fear of my children hurting themselves. Find someone you trust to offload your worries so you can also come up with some ideas on how to stay calm the next time you’re faced with a hectic situation. I often discuss things that make me worry with trusted family members and close friends. When you speak to someone about your uncalm moments, you can also gain perspective on whether you need to worry as much about something similar in the future.

Find your calm tools…There are some tricks to help you stay calm or respond in a calmer way. It might be a motto you pop up on a post it on your mirror. It might be a special thing you wear to remind you of calmness (you assign calmness meaning to your watch, ring or necklace). I learnt this from a career coach years ago. If I started to feel nervous or anxious during interviews, I could just touch my watch as it reminded me everything is going to be OK. It may sound like a trivial approach but it helps to start training our brain into more positive thought patterns. Find other calm prompts. I’ve found loads in the book The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim.

What do you do when you need to feel calmer? Have you any tricks to share? How else can we manage everyday anxieties? Leave a comment below as we’d love to hear what you think too.

Thanks to Sarah at @the_mama_works for introducing me to Haemin Sunim’s book. Sarah is speaking at the London Lucky Things Meet Up on 14 October 2017 in London. Tickets have now sold out for this event, but please get in touch if you’d like to go on the wait list or if you’d like to hear about the extra date for London in November.

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How to stop comparing yourself to others and dealing with comparison culture

Comparing yourself to others is an everyday thing. It’s what I also call comparison culture. Some people spend a few moments; some people spend heaps of time doing this. For some, it feels manageable as they’re just fleeting thoughts. For others, it can feel exhausting or even bring on anxieties. As we talk a lot about looking after your confidence and wellbeing on Lucky Things, it’s important to talk about how we can stop comparing ourselves to others. Continue reading

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How do we explain sad events like bereavement to our children? 

We want our children to grow up in a happy world. We want them to see and appreciate the good in people. We want them to grow up to be good people themselves. Sadly, we are unable to control the outside world. During our own childhoods and lifetimes we would have experienced sad events, whether they were in the news, or closer to our home, our families and our hearts. So how do we explain sad events like bereavement to our children? Continue reading

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Dealing with FOMO – the fear of missing out

The fear of missing out. FOMO contains a big word: fear. None of us want to fear anything do we? It can affect us from childhood, in our teens and in our grown up years. Even my girls have a bit of FOMO. Why end the day and have to go to bed? Last night I heard “I want to come in your room Mummy” a hundred times as Big Munch must have known I was planning my outfits for the week. Coming back to the grown up world, with people more on social media we can see what others are doing, where they’re hanging out and what they’ve been invited to. Here’s some tips on how to deal with FOMO – the fear of missing out.   Continue reading

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Forty ways to look after yourself

At the London Lucky Things Meet Up in January, the theme was looking after yourself. Not only did we hear tips from one of the UK’s leading mindfulness experts Dr.Tamara Russell, we also heard each other’s ideas for taking care of ourselves. I encouraged the attendees to think of a nurture wish they would like to pursue during the following month. I didn’t suggest something for the whole year as sometimes you just need to try things out. It had to be something that would be good for them as individuals. So what better way to kick off my 40th year with a list of 40 ways to look after yourself. These are just 40 of the nurture wishes people shared with me at the Lucky Things Meet Up. Enjoy this list and hope it also offers a bit of self-care inspiration…

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Why failure can be a good thing

Failure. It’s not a word a lot us like to hear is it? It’s viewed as the opposite of success. But is it always a negative thing? As a word, it gets a raw deal. It makes us feel bad, when we can try and take away the good bits out of it. The word failure can even scare people. It can stop people from trying things out that might go well. What will people think of us if we fail? How are we going to move on after a bit of failure? In some situations, I think there are lots of things we can learn from failure. It can actually help us out. So here’s seven things that are good about failure.

  1. It’s going to happen whether we like it or not…We are not super-beings. Yes we’re masters at juggling all kinds of things and winging it through life. But we can’t do everything. So accept that failure is going to crop up here and there.
  2. It teaches us something we didn’t know before…When something doesn’t go to plan, it’s always a chance to learn something. Failure teaches us about ourselves but also about things that are beyond our control.img_5914
  3. We know for next time!..Ever experienced a failure and then afterwards saying to yourself “That won’t happen again!”? Sometimes it shows us what we’re not comfortable doing. It also hows us what we can try differently next time. So don’t let failure put you off trying out things again. Failure can happen for a number of reasons, some might not affect things next time.
  4. It’s part of the journey…Whatever we’re trying to do or work on, dealing with a bit of failure on the way is part of moving closer to success.
  5. It doesn’t mean we are complete failures as human beings…Just because something goes wrong it doesn’t mean we are failures or incapable. It also doesn’t mean that things won’t go right next time.
  6. It happens to everyone…It really does. Anyone you admire – bet they’ve experienced some kind of failure. At some point everyone has failed in their life. Not everything can be plain sailing. Some people are better at hiding at managing their failures than others. Some people are more comfortable about experiencing failures. Some don’t realise they’ve failed and keep going anyway. Failure doesn’t discriminate so it can affect all of us at any point.
  7. It actually makes us stronger…When you’ve experienced things going wrong, the experience makes us more resilient and more importantly more aware.

Check out next week’s blog on top tips on how to deal with failure.

Over to you…What do you think about the word failure? How does it make you feel? How do you deal with failures?

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Top tips on looking after yourself

Where are the weeks going? There is always lots to do so it’s important we take time to look after ourselves. If we look after ourselves then I believe we’re also able to feel more confident and focused.

It was pretty cool sharing my top tips for looking after yourself to an inspiring crowd at the Lucky Things Meet Up in January. I wrote these top tips especially for the event. As promised, I wanted to share these on the blog too. I know I’ll be looking back at this list throughout the year! Here you go… Continue reading

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Mindful shopping – guest post by Antonia, Tinker Tailor Online

This weekend we have the first Lucky Things Meet Up of 2017 where Dr Tamara Russell is chatting about mindfulness. I didn’t realise that we could practice a bit of mindfulness to so many everyday things. As Tamara says, it’s not about going off and meditating on a mountain. So I asked Antonia from the lovely lifestyle blog Tinker Tailor Online for her views on how we can be mindful when we’re shopping. The sales are still on so I’m sure a few of us are still on the look out for some last minute bargains. So over to Antonia…

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Mindful shopping

I really enjoyed catching up blogs and social media over the Christmas holidays and I spotted a common thread: to buy better, to support small businesses and to make more considered purchases. It got me thinking about my own shopping habits and how January is traditionally a month when we all tighten our financial belts.

Since we’re talking shopping habits, resolutions and money I’ll come right out and tell you that I am a compulsive shopper, I am extremely suggestible and delighted to be swept up in any retail experience. It gives me a real buzz!

Shopping is a very physical thing for me. I feel a heady excitement when I enter certain shops or spot an item that I love, I make snap decisions then gleefully head to the cash desk without giving my shopping list or my budget a second thought. If you are anything like me the festive season can leave you with a bit of a financial hangover come the new year.

Those of you who regularly read my blog Tinker Tailor Online will know that I took my first steps towards practicing mindfulness this year and whilst I am no expert, I do believe that the practice helps to improve your quality of life so I do my best to spend a few minutes a day with my mindfulness app. Mindfulness helps you to experience the moment, to be aware of what is actually going on and to see the bigger picture. It is the opposite of being on autopilot which incidentally, is exactly how I shop.

There is some evidence to suggest that mindfulness training can be an effective tool in combating the compulsive shopping behaviours that lead to overspending. I would definitely benefit from being more in control of my emotional shopping habits so I spoke to mindfulness expert and founder of No More Shoulds, Amy Malloy who identified being on autopilot as the principle cause for some of the challenges that lead to overspending. Between us we put together some simple and helpful tips on how to be more mindful when shopping and how to make considered purchases that will help you to stay on budget and potentially save you money.

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Ways to practice mindfulness tips in your daily routine

We’re hearing more and more about mindfulness. Life is getting more complicated, with and without the use of technology. Lots of people spend time living online. I’m looking forward to hearing Dr Tamara Russell chat about mindfulness at the next Lucky Things Meet Up at the end of January. So I thought I’d share a few tips on how you can use mindfulness in everyday life and weave it into your daily routine. Continue reading

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