Spiraling Out of Control? Think Again

It’s safe to say that 2020 has been an unprecedented year. With so much uncertainty in the world around us, it’s hard to stay grounded and feel in control of our own lives. One of the easiest ways to remain focused and emotionally stable, is to be mindful of the way in which we are speaking to ourselves. That’s right, it’s healthy to talk to yourself.
The widely used therapeutic modality, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, promotes that what we think affects how we feel which affects what we do. Therefore, if we think that we are spiraling out of control, we are most likely feeling insecure and anxious, and we will do things to reflect that.

So, what can we do? One proven helpful tool is to come up with a positive mantra or phrase that you can use throughout the day when feeling distressed. Plan specific times throughout your day when you repeat your mantra to yourself at least 3 times in a row. For example, in the shower, in the car, while washing dishes, and whenever you feel stress building up.

Here are some examples of mantras that can help you to shift from a negative to positive mindset:

“This too will pass.”
This is a great reminder that every moment and every emotion is temporary. If we can utilize effective coping skills in those moments, we will move through them much easier.

“I am bigger than this moment.” 
Another reminder that even though parts of the day can feel completely overwhelming, we are always in control of our own reactions. We are bigger and stronger than any stressful moment.

“Inhale, exhale”
When we start to feel physical symptoms of anxiety or stress, it’s so important to go back to basics. Simply reminding yourself to breathe is utilizing mindfulness skills to ground you back into your body. Regaining physical control is crucial to maintaining mental control.

These are only a few mantras that can help you shift your mindset and build resilience. Try out this technique a few times each day as we finish 2020. And see if you can come up with some of your own! It’s truly amazing what our minds can do.

Here’s to Your Well Being,
Kendall Klas, LCSW