Before you can decrease stress, you must recognize it.
Many times people don’t recognize the need to decrease stress in their lives. They are so accustomed to living in a fast-paced, do-do-do world that they don’t even realize they are stressed until they feel bad.
The realities of stress
Stress! No one is exempt from it and it influences many aspects of life and business.
We are influenced by so many factors that can increase stress.
You have the power within you to do at least 50% of the work to heal yourself.
When you take a deep breath in, if the breath stops short in your chest, you are stressed. If your breath flows down to your belly button, you aren’t stressed.
High-stress levels may also make you jumpy or irritable.
Gratitude helps decrease stress
When you wake up put your hand on your heart and feel your heartbeat and take a deep breath. Since health is wealth, you’ll realize how blessed you are to be healthy and feel gratitude. When you feel gratitude, you realize how you can achieve so much more.
Breath is your wealth. One shouldn’t take breathing for granted. Your relationship with yourself and your faith is key to success.
How to manage and decrease stress
First, identify if the stress is yours or if you are taking on stress from others. What is the cause of the stress?
Once you recognize the stress, pause. It takes 30 seconds for your brain to catch a command to relax.
If it isn’t your stress, detach from it. Understand that it isn’t yours and your being stressed about it won’t help.
Next, find your way of meditation. Is it walking, dancing, sitting in silence, or being in nature? Take 5 to 30 minutes a day and do one or more of these things.
The most common excuse not to work to decrease stress is “I don’t have time.” That is not true, you have 5 minutes a day to meditate and start your day with gratitude. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to build your business.
How to breathe to decrease stress
Take 5 to 8 breaths in, hold for 5 to 8 seconds, then exhale. Do these 3 to 5 times.
Breath is so important for our body. It is cleansing and energy-providing.
Breathing also helps you discover more about yourself.
Journaling is another alternative to meditating. It is a stress release.
In summary, there are five ways to decrease or relieve stress:
Shake off your body, give your whole body a shake, and take a deep breath. You’ll feel the stress melt off of you.
Diet and exercise to balance out the cortisol.
Don’t take exercise for granted. At a minimum exercise 3 times per week. If you physically can’t exercise, do brain exercises that can influence your body too.
Cut down on sugar because it depletes you. Add vegetables to your diet because they give you a lot of natural energy.
Moderation is important to avoid high levels of stress
The best way to manage stress and remain healthy is to do everything in moderation.
Have fun to relieve and manage stress
No matter what your to-do list is, having fun and laughing will help tremendously. Care for yourself, so that you can then care for others. When others feel your stress, they will sense your sense.
Destressing is a commitment, and you need to be disciplined to decrease your stress.
About Tsikki Thau
Tsikki Thau is an Internationally acclaimed Author, Meditation, and Stress Management expert, with over 30 years of experience worldwide. A featured expert on Fox 5 ‘The More Show”, Channel 13, Channel 3, Live to Give TV, Edutainment TV, The Ed Bernstein Show, Spotlight on Vegas Business, P.O.W.E.R. Magazine, MyVegas Magazine, and Real Vegas Magazine. Tsikki Thau is considered a foremost authority in mind-over-body techniques, merging science with holistic methods in order to overcome stress-related obstacles.
Whether it’s you or someone you know and care about who has anxiety, it is imperative to navigate it.
When you employ strategies to navigate anxiety, you and your loved ones will be able to enjoy life, see the blessings you have, and enjoy the life you have.
The overthinking hurts
“Are you busy being busy? Do people come to you for everything because they know you will find a way? Does your mind race at night with thoughts you cannot control as soon as your head hits the pillow? How many hours do you spend ruminating on your actions and words to see if you sounded stupid, offended someone, or said something you can’t take back? When you look at your phone, are you overthinking why they have not responded or why they responded the way they did?”
Childhood experiences can lead to significant mental health challenges
Melanie had several experiences during her formative years that resulted in significant mental health challenges. Some of the experiences resulted in her believing that she needed to be silent. Therefore she never had the opportunity to express her thoughts and feelings. She held them all in which resulted in more mental health challenges. When Melanie sought help for anxiety she was given medication and sent on her way. Melanie discovered that when she mixed medications, she felt that her mind was quieted and that she now had a sense of control intrinsically that she never had extrinsically. The result was an opioid addiction.
Satan wants us to stay ended, to say submerged in hurt, pain, and suffering. In that space is where resentment, humiliation, frustration, and embarrassment consume you. The wounds are spiritual, mental, and emotional, but also become physical. And when the physical body isn’t functioning, we can’t carry out our calling and walk in our purpose. Satan is so sneaky that he has us convinced that God wouldn’t create us with all of the beautiful gifts He’s given us.
When Melanie surrendered everything at Jesus’ feet, she finally had a glimmer of hope. Take ownership of your responsibility to equip them to be able to help you.
The truth about mental health
Your mental health will influence so many aspects of your life, overall health, relationships, happiness levels, and success. Mental health is not something you put on the back burner and let simmer. Anxiety and depression must be addressed.
When you execute the pause in your daily life, you’ll take back power and authority in your life. There are three steps.
Pause. No matter what you are doing, stop and pause. Feel your feet on the ground. And breath.
Breathe. Your breath is an indicator that you are living. Breathe with intention. Inhale for a count of 4 or 5, hold for 4 or 5 counts, then exhale for 4 to 5.
“I am” statement. Repeat your “I am” statement. It must come from a place of love. In addition, it needs to be rooted in truth. For example, I am here, I am strong, I am capable.
This exercise will bring you back to a sense of grounding. It will help you recognize what you feel, choose to stop the escalation, and breathe with intention, speak truth over yourself to be grounded in a rational state of mind to be able to choose what’s next. You will no longer be in a reactive state of mind but an abundant, confident mindset.
Flipping the script
Robyn referenced her 5 Cs for navigating anxiety. Catch, Challenge, and Change the thoughts for more Control and Confidence. She also referenced Romans 12:2, which reads: Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
Melanie’s flipping the script model
This begins with a validating statement followed by a statement that is counteractive to it. For example, “I feel anxious” – validate it. And, a counteractive statement would be “I feel anxious but I’m capable of remaining calm. Another way to flip the script is to use the word yet. For example, I can’t read a book yet. This gives possibility and opportunity.
This method is a reminder that we can hold a thought captive but we have the power to control it through the help of Christ. You can deescalate your response to an event by following this method.
Have a safe person
Your safe person doesn’t have to be someone in close proximity. It is someone you can go to raw, honest, and vulnerable. And they will give you compassionate action but will not tolerate inappropriate behaviors or talk. Your safe person may say, “Okay, I understand you are anxious. I’m here for you and will help you walk through this.” Also, know your love language.
You don’t want a safe person who will enable you to stay stuck in the funk. They also won’t allow you to make your thoughts bigger than they are. God says, be slow to speak, slow to anger, and fast to listen. You want these characteristics in your safe person.
Sometimes hearing the safe person repeat back to you, helps you see how untrue your thoughts are.
As humans, we are quick to accept the lies or the negative things we’ve experienced – what we’ve done or what’s been done to us. We don’t hesitate to let experiences or thoughts define us. Instead, own your belovedness. You are worthy, loved, and a masterpiece. Your truth brings you back to your center, but it must be based on the truth, the Bible. Truth statements are based on God’s word and bring us back into alignment. Your truth statements are not circumstantial and things you’ve done or that have been done to you do not change the statements.
Scripture is the inerrant word of God. It is not to be misconstrued for our benefit.
He is always there to help you employ strategies to navigate anxiety
God is always alongside us, even in the muck and mire. It often takes getting still and reviewing our lives to see it, but He’s had a hand in everything we’ve experienced.
Community can help you stick to strategies to navigate anxiety
Evaluate from a place of genuine, authentic truth, who the people are that you need in your circle. There is a saying, “You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with.” When you begin to evaluate who you are surrounding yourself with, are they able to challenge you and pour into you to keep you moving forward or are they keeping you stuck?
The church is made up of humans. We are to try to be Christ-like, but we are sinful humans. Mistakes will be made. People will mess up. But don’t lose the thirst you have for Christ and don’t let humans who have hurt you cause you to not attend church or be in a church community. Find your church to fuel your soul. Your gut will tell you when you are in the right place.
Church is not about a building but about people who love Jesus and want other people to experience the love of Jesus.
The reality is, we all thrive in community, but when we have a community of like-minded Jesus-loving people we will feel more secure and be able to stay secure in our faith journey.
Scripture to refer to in times of need
Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Sometimes, God will halt you because there are lessons to be learned before he launches you into what He’s prepared for you. But he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Jeremiah 29:11 is another verse that is great to reflect on. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God is a keeper of promises. He always works things out for His good.
Find a verse that constantly reminds you of a truth God is stating to you that you can refer to when things feel impossible.
About Melanie Wilson
Melanie’s mission is to create a safe, supportive environment to heal and rise up strong. She is the mother of two adult women and lives in Florida with her husband and emotional support dog. Melanie also raises and cares for horses. In addition, in 2022 she received the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
If anxiety has a grip on you, you may feel flustered and frustrated. Learn your anxiety style and start managing it effectively.
When you recognize your anxiety style, you’ll understand yourself and your reactions better. In addition, you’ll be able to implement transformative strategies and improve relationships.
Go from flustered to flourishing
Are you ready to go from flustered to flourishing? Whether you’ve had anxiety in your life or you know someone who has, there are certain styles of anxiety that result in how people react to, and experience, anxiety. Likewise, there are certain strategies that you can practice at the moment and apply to your daily life to better navigate anxiety. By applying the strategies, you can avoid spiraling out of control, damaging relationships, or hurting other people as a result of your anxiety building.
Much of the work Amber Trublood does is about helping you understand your motivational style and your super sense. What visceral sense are you most attuned to? When you understand that, you can better match your strategies for navigating anxiety and life in general. What is your anxiety style, what really drives you and your reactions?
Ask yourself, what reactions aren’t serving you, for example, when anxiety is building, and what do you feel when you are flourishing? Much like having two sides of a coin, you have an anxiety style and superhero traits.
Different anxiety styles for different people
You are attuned to different things in a different way than somebody with a different anxiety style. Where can you celebrate those differences and your uniqueness? Let’s acknowledge and celebrate the amazing things about you. For example, if you are good at being tuned into the present moment, celebrate your ability to do so. Because not everyone can do it.
Or, another example, some people are super tuned into the needs of others, or super focused on planning and organizing and can collect a lot of details in their heads. Note what skills and abilities you have that maybe other people don’t have and celebrate those. Maybe through this process, you can elicit a little bit more compassion.
Not only have compassion for other people in your life who maybe aren’t skilled in those ways but have more compassion for yourself.
Amber believes that when you spend a lot of time in self-judgment and shame and being unkind to yourself, it’s a waste of your time.
Understanding your specific anxiety style and what may be contributed to that, can help you elicit some self-kindness.
The 5 Anxiety Styles
The five styles of anxiety are based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Four of the styles directly correlate with the needs.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is fundamental needs we have as humans. Everyone has different needs and experiences life and triggers differently. Even siblings have different responses to how they were raised or the experiences surrounding their needs being met. One sibling may be more deeply and profoundly influenced by experiences than another sibling.
Similarly, everyone is their own person. Therefore, you’re the best judge of your own self-care and what’s going to work for you. And often, you know, more about yourself and your needs than you give yourself credit for.
Recognizing your anxiety style and implementing strategies to navigate it
Once you recognize your anxiety style, implement one strategy at a time to manage it and build from there. Also, know that you may have one primary anxiety style and a secondary style. Understanding the five anxiety styles will help you feel more connected and compassionate toward others.
The Dynamo Anxiety Style
Someone with the dynamo anxiety style is very connected with, and driven by, a sense of achievement, a sense of acknowledgment.
In addition, they are doers. And they like to get things done right. You might be a dynamo if you have a to-do list, but not only that, you add something to your to-do list just so that you can check it off. Doing so gives you a sense of satisfaction and a little adrenaline rush, dopamine high from checking the item off the list.
But if you are a dynamo, you truly feed off the sense of acknowledgment, appreciation, and achievement. Not only from within but from the outside, from others. In some ways, this has served you well in life. And in other ways, it may be hindering you. Acknowledging and celebrating where it’s serving you instead of only focusing on the negative, will help you navigate the emotions that accompany the anxiety.
Recognize where it isn’t serving you
Also important is to notice where this is not serving you and what you can do to release that and move through it into a healthier environment. As a dynamo, it is important that you feel valued as a human regardless of your accomplishments.
You are always gonna be somebody who accomplishes a lot because it’s fun and you enjoy it. However, it is important to know deep in your soul, in your heart, that you’re enough already without doing the next thing, without writing the next book. This is a process and won’t change overnight.
Dynamos are also more in their heads than in their hearts or their guts. Amber shared that this is something that she personally works on a lot. She’s always thinking, planning, and deciding. She spends time on her thoughts in the future. And that doesn’t always serve her. It doesn’t always serve relationships, connection with other people in her life, or her ability to find joy in the present moment.
When this happens, pull your thoughts back to the present and allow yourself to feel gratitude in the moment, for the little things you have or that are going on in the moment.
The Lover Anxiety Style
Lovers are people who are very driven by their relationships with the people in their life, their loved ones. They need to feel wanted, they need a sense of belonging, and they want to be appreciated by people in their life.
In addition, lovers tend to be more in their hearts, obviously and in the present moment, or in the past more than in the future. So that’s another differentiating factor. They make decisions based on feelings instead of a logical sequence of pluses and minuses and things.
An example of a Dynamo is when you see a post on social media and all of your friends or colleagues are together at a place near your home. But you weren’t invited. And instead of experiencing a very natural response of disappointment or confusion, Lovers tend to take it to a much deeper level. A lover might ask herself, oh my gosh, is she mad at me? Or, did I say something to offend her?
From there, the lover thinks I can’t stand her. I don’t wanna be around her. The lover’s brain spirals to the worst-case scenario.
One of the strategies for people who are lovers or who have lovers close in their lives, which I would say almost everybody does, is to explain your trigger and ask them to tell you when they might have to work late, or are going out, etc.
Ultimately, it’s about explaining in a little bit more detail. Could be two more sentences. But the expectations change and the lover isn’t frustrated or hurt and you can connect and have an enjoyable time together.
The Fighter Anxiety Style
Fighters tend to be the people in your life who, when there is conflict or injustice, even if it has nothing to do with them, will move toward it. They will get involved and have a propensity, or urge, to help the underdog.
Lovers see something that’s unfair, it could be in the house, could be in school, it could be in their community, or it could be in the political arena. But they move toward it. Fighters are very comfortable in conflict. They’re very accustomed to chaos and challenge and see themselves as survivors.
In addition, they wear it as a badge of honor. This is a sense of pride. The downside of this is that it comes from having had a lot of trauma or conflict in their childhood where they didn’t feel safe, where there weren’t caring adults that came in to protect them.
Do you have a lot of conflict in your life?
Unfortunately, a lot of fighters have a lot of conflict in their life. They have a lot of ups and downs. And their relationships are tumultuous relationships, not only with people, but with money, or health. They experience a lot of ups and downs.
Fighters are comfortable in the chaos. Something interesting about fighters is that their triggers tend to be almost the opposite of other people’s triggers. When everything seems calm, everything’s going really smoothly, they are happy in their relationships, they often feel uncomfortable, because they do not want to put their guard down out of fear.
How can fighters feel safe in the happy and the calm while still experiencing the adrenaline surge of challenges in their lives?
You might know you’re a fighter if people in your life often say things like why do you keep getting involved with things that have nothing to do with you or your family? Or don’t you have enough problems to worry about?
Strategies for fighters include deep inner child meditations and reparenting. In addition, instead of jumping right in, ask if you have the bandwidth for it. You get to choose not to add more to your plate.
The Executive Anxiety Style
Executives are people who are amazing and tend to do a lot of planning, and organizing. So their goal is to feel emotionally safe and the mechanism they utilize for that is, control and structure.
Executives want to know what’s coming so that they can prepare for it. Once they know, they prepare. People often approach executives to help them plan.
An example of an executive is someone who carries a first aid kit wherever they go.
Executives feel more emotionally safe when they have a sense of control and knowledge. An example of an executive in a relationship with a lover is this, the lover comes home and says, oh my gosh, you’re not gonna believe this. My boss just gave us his beach house for the weekend. The lover will be excited and ready to go. The executive will need a minute to process the change of plans.
Understanding yourself and your own triggers will help you communicate and you can work with others to prepare and make the best plans that work for everyone.
Executives are similar to dynamos. They are in their heads, they are thinking about the future. In addition, they are driven by the need to feel safe, protected, and cared for.
The Visionary Anxiety Style
Visionaries are focused on a grand vision, a grand dream, and a future. They feel a deep sense of purpose for something big. Visionaries who’ve figured out what their grand vision or purpose is, and who have clarity can feel very energized, very focused, and have a hard time slowing down. In addition, they may have a hard time connecting with people who don’t have plans as grand as their own.
Visionaries may not have the attention to detail that dynamos have, likely because they are in a hurry to achieve their grand vision. However, they need attention to detail to make the big dream happen. But they are all over the place, they lack focus.
They might make decisions more from their heart and their gut as opposed to being super regimented and planning out strategies. But they are future and achievement-oriented like dynamos. In some ways, the two are very similar, but their process might be very different.
Visionaries may need to be reminded to allow others into their life as they follow their big dreams and goals. To have mutual respect and acceptance, which will ultimately help them achieve their visions. Having strong relationships may not make sense to them.
Visionaries, however, who haven’t figured out what their dream or grand vision is can feel very frustrated and flustered. They recognize that they are meant for more, but the don’t know what that is yet.
That can be extremely excruciatingly frustrating for visionaries.
The 5 Anxiety Styles Framework
Amber’s framework came from a desire to help people have more insight and self-awareness so that they can be more compassionate with themselves, which ultimately means being more compassionate with others.
The Grace to Do It
This framework is so critical to really dive into it but give yourself the grace to try one thing at a time. The more you adapt the better you will be able to shift the the pattern of negative relationships for yourself and others.
Amber is a licensed therapist and mom of four boys. She is also a writer and author. Amber coaches moms and helps them with being overwhelmed and anxious. Through her coaching, she provides practical strategies that people can use both in the moment and when needed.
Mindset is an integral part of growing a successful business.
Situational mindset modeling is part of Purpose to Results™ – Mindset + Strategy + Action = Results. Purpose to Results™ is my proven marketing method.
Why is mindset modeling an important component of business growth?
Success begins with your beliefs. Your beliefs influence your thoughts. And your emotions are influenced by your thoughts. The emotions you feel, influence the choices you make, the behaviors, and the action steps you choose. Ultimately, the choices you make determine your outcomes.
If you want to grow a successful business, the first part of the formula to success will be mindset modeling.
What do you believe?
Your overall beliefs are determined by what you believe about yourself and others, what you’ve been taught to believe, your life experiences that have influenced your beliefs, and your faith. Negative patterns of belief will result in negative thoughts. In addition, what you believe about your soulmate clients, what they need from you, and what you need them to believe about you, will influence whether you attract them or not.
Your beliefs influence your outcomes.
Negative patterns of belief will result in negative thought patterns. Likewise, negative thought patterns trigger negative emotions. Negative emotions result in poor choices, negative behaviors, and a lack of action. A lack of action means less than ideal outcomes.
Mindset modeling to the rescue
To avoid this negative cycle from negative beliefs to poor outcomes, it’s imperative to do mindset work.
Key strategies for changing your mindset
Journaling – write out the negative beliefs. Write out the thoughts that the negative belief triggered. Next, write out the negative emotions you feel from experiencing the negative thoughts. Then, write out the choices you’ll make because of those negative emotions and feelings. Finally, write out the outcomes you’ll achieve if you stay in this negative pattern. But don’t stop there. Re-write this pattern from a positive belief. Note the difference in the possible outcomes once you have changed the initial belief. Do this journaling practice every day.
This practice is related to my 5C journaling practice – Start by catching the negative belief and negative thoughts. Challenge the negative belief and thought – would someone you know, love, and trust believe and think the same negative way you are? If the answer is no, change the thought and belief to something positive. The more frequently you do this exercise, the faster you’ll be able to get rid of the negative what-ifs and beliefs and the positive ones. Ultimately, you will have more confidence to make decisions.
Both journaling and meditation change the neuropathways in your brain allowing you to go from negative beliefs and thought patterns to positive ones. When you are in a state of belief and positive thoughts, you will make better decisions and take more positive action to grow your business.
Scripture verses you can use in your practice of mindset modeling
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Luke 1:37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” Nothing is impossible with You, God! You see things differently than I do, and so You bring about things in ways I could never conceive—all for our good and Your glory.
Jeremiah 32:17 With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
If your business isn’t growing at the rate you want
Purpose to Results™ is a proven way to get the results you want. Situational mindset modeling is at the forefront of the formula because mindset ultimately determines your ability to create and implement strategies and to take intentional effective action.
If you’d like to grow your business for long-term success using Purpose to Results™, download this free eBook.
And if you’d like to practice the 5C journaling method, download this free eBook.
The prevalence of anxiety is on the rise. In the past two years, the prevalence has increased by 25% – mostly in women and youth.
Anxiety is not an excuse for staying stuck, procrastinating, or making bad choices, whether in life or business.
Let’s look at what anxiety is and is not.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is an abnormal sense of apprehension and fear that is often marked by physical signs and symptoms. When one is anxious, they have self-doubt that they will have the ability to cope with the situation or person making them anxious.
Being nervous is different than anxiety. When you are nervous, you may feel like being anxious, but the difference is that once the situation is past, you have done the thing, and you feel better. With anxiety, doubtful what-if thoughts continue to come into your brain and you don’t have a sense of peace.
Worry is more of a dwelling on negative thoughts, and I believe it’s a choice. It’s possible for worry to lead to anxiety, but the worry is not genetic and despite environmental triggers, worry is something you can choose to stop whereas anxiety may not be without help from a therapist or medication.
It is important to differentiate between the three – anxiety, nervousness, and worry. A pet peeve of mine is hearing people say they are behaving a certain way or making certain choices because they have anxiety. Anxiety is a clinical diagnosis but that doesn’t make it an excuse.
Who has anxiety?
Approximately 31% of adults in the US have anxiety. Women are twice as likely as men, 23% versus 14%.
Only 37 percent of people with anxiety seek treatment.
As I mentioned before, the prevalence of anxiety has increased by 25% over the past two years, most often in women and youth.
Anxiety is not an excuse for not taking action in life and business
Anxiety may increase your level of fear, or it may keep you stuck in a cycle of doubt, overthinking, and indecision. And, anxiety may cause you to think you want to give up.
But you have a choice. You can choose to let anxiety control your thoughts, emotions, choices, and behaviors, or you can choose to take action to navigate anxiety and take control of your thoughts.
How can you recognize anxiety?
Signs and symptoms of anxiety include:
Fatigue due to the inability to sleep
Unexplained stomach aches
Outbursts of anger
Shortness of breath
To navigate anxiety, you must recognize the triggers.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, it is important to pause and evaluate what is going on in your life.
Did you have an argument with someone?
Do you have a presentation or speaking engagement on the horizon?
Are you preparing to travel?
Do you have guests coming to visit?
Maybe you have unexpected expenses piling up.
Or maybe your child is going through a difficult time.
Do you have a sales call or big meetings on the calendar?
What is making you anxious?
The emphasis here is on the mind-body connection.
Once you identify the symptom and what the trigger is, you can create a strategy to navigate the situation without letting anxiety hold you back.
The key is being aware.
Anxiety is not an excuse to stay stuck
There will always be an opportunity to be anxious. It’s part of life especially if you have a genetic predisposition.
There can be an alteration in your DNA and there is epigenetics. . . generational environmental influences such as trauma.
Life is full of experiences, good and bad, that will trigger anxious thoughts whether you have a clinical diagnosis or not.
But it is never an excuse to overthink and stay stuck. God made our brains in such a miraculous way that we can change the neuropathways – from thinking negative what-if thoughts to being grateful and thinking positive thoughts.
Fear accompanies anxiety. What-if thoughts will ebb and flow but with anxiety, they are more likely to overwhelm you and keep you from acting.
Instead of using anxiety as an excuse to not act or to sit in a place of indecision, adopt strategies and tools to navigate the anxiety.
If you have an idea or feel a pull toward something, that is God nudging you toward your calling. When you don’t take action, you are doing a disservice to the people He’s calling you to serve.
It’s a choice.
A reminder from scripture: Romans 12:2 – Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Anxiety is not an excuse for behavior choices
We know from science and scripture that our beliefs trigger our thoughts, and our thoughts influence our emotions and feelings. Emotions and feelings determine our choices and behaviors.
This cycle determines your outcomes because your thoughts produce your results.
Let’s say you are anxious about what steps to take to begin your business. As a result, you think you can’t do it, you don’t have the ability or resources, someone else is already doing it, etc. How do these thoughts make you feel? I’m going to go out on a limb and say that your emotions may be sadness, fear, doubt, helplessness, frustration, being overwhelmed, inadequacy, and maybe even resentment. These emotions make you feel less than motivated, unworthy, sluggish, confused, and hopeless, and you lack confidence.
As a result, you sit on the couch and watch Netflix instead of working on your action steps to start and grow your business. The outcome? You don’t have a solid foundation for your business, and you have minimal, if any, results. And the people God has called you to serve can’t find you and don’t get the help they need.
What if you change your beliefs and thoughts and avoid using anxiety as an excuse?
What you focus on is what you create.
Instead of doubting, now you believe that God is calling you and you have a purpose to fulfill. And you believe that if He’s calling you, he will equip you. He will put the right people and information in your path.
You’ve lived a journey with many experiences that have led you right to where you are today, and you now have the insight that others need.
Positive thoughts that you can do the work, that God is equipping you, and that you’ve already got all you need inside of you lead you to joyful, hopeful, inspired emotions.
As a result, you feel excited and confident.
Now you are motivated to accomplish the right tasks in the right order to bring your business to life and attract your soulmate clients.
You are eager to accept the abundance God has in store for you when you pursue your purpose.
The outcome? You start and grow a business to have a meaningful impact in the world while making money to support your family, live in abundance and joy and give more through charitable giving.
It’s not easy to navigate anxiety.
I just gave an example of how your beliefs and thoughts influence your outcomes. It may seem easy, but it’s not. You must take daily action to navigate anxiety.
I suggest journaling. Write the negative beliefs and thoughts. Document the emotions and feelings they trigger. Then write out the action or lack thereof, that you will take because of those emotions and feelings. What outcomes will follow?
Then, on the same page, write the opposite. Write positive beliefs and thoughts. Document the emotions and feelings they trigger. Then write out the action that you will take. Lastly, document the outcomes you will achieve by taking that action.
The more you catch those negative beliefs and what-if thoughts and challenge them, the faster you will be able to change them. If the what-if thoughts aren’t rational or realistic, if someone you love and respect wouldn’t be thinking them too, then change them. The more you practice this mind modeling method, the more control you’ll have (with God’s help of course) over your thoughts and the more confident you will be to make decisions.
You will become more confident and make decisions that move you to the next level of impact and success.
Another tip to help you navigate anxiety
Stay aligned with your core values. When you align with your core values in every decision that you make, you will overthink less and be able to feel less anxious. If you haven’t already identified your core values, listen to episode 213.
And of course, you can always use Scripture as a resource to navigate anxiety. A couple of go-to verses for me are:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you
Anxiety is a reason to avoid social media when you start your business
The reason I feel so strongly about avoiding social media when you start a business is because of the negative beliefs and thoughts it can trigger.
The distractions of what you “should” be doing, the advice from others who may not be aligned with your values, the pressure to be present and create content that could disappear tomorrow, the comparison, and the doubt. All these things result in more anxiety and worry about your business.
In addition, you might see things on social media that will tempt you to believe things that are not scriptural, like manifesting clients and money, or that the Universe will guide you. Listen, God created the universe, and all good and perfect gifts come from him. If you are confused about manifestation or its legitimacy from a scripture perspective, listen to episode 167.
The best way to start a business
The best way to start your business is to focus on your personal brand, a brand marketing strategy, and systems, tools, and processes to build a solid foundation. Stay aligned with your values.
Once you have built the foundation and your content is on a platform you own and control, you can use social media to build relationships and have fun. But do not attempt to build your business on social media. It will delay your ability to have a meaningful impact and make money.
I want to leave you with this. It is possible to start and grow a business with simplicity, ease, and grace. To follow your God-led calling and purpose to have a meaningful impact and make money – without added anxiety and stress.
Emotional isolation affects everyone, young and old alike. It goes beyond loneliness and influences mental health.
Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States. An immensely significant number. Suicide crosses age groups from youth to the elderly. We are in need of tools and resources to prevent suicide.
In 2020 there were almost 46,000 deaths by suicide and almost 1.2 million suicide attempts reported. The risk of suicide increases with a diagnosis of mental illness such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, drug addiction, schizophrenia, and others. Emotional isolation is also a risk factor.
Anxiety and depression often cause emotional isolation, and the breakdown of relationships, and result in suicide attempts. In the US 40 million adults, 19.1% of the population have generalized anxiety disorder. In addition, 8.4%, or 21 million people have depression. Many times anxiety and depression go hand in hand.
How can we improve quality of life and reduce the incidence of emotional isolation? Steve Cunningham has created a solution, WeTree.
The survey that initiated the search for a solution to end emotional isolation
As the founder of Read It For Me, Steve conducted a survey of his users and how they were using the tool to learn and grow. He discovered that every person that took the survey mentioned dealing with fear and anxiety or disclosed that they’d been dealing with depression for a very long time. As the prevalence of anxiety and depression increased throughout the pandemic, Steve decided he needed to do something to help people be comfortable about sharing emotional and mental health struggles.
As Steve did research on mental health, he discovered that everything came back to emotional isolation, also known as loneliness. Interestingly, most people don’t consider themselves lonely. However, when you ask them if they have someone to discuss personal and important subjects with, they say no. Most people do not have anyone to talk to when they are dealing with challenges, or when they have something good to share.
Ultimately, emotional isolation is the cause of drug addiction, the lack of people to talk to.
The three components at the foundation of WeTree
The goals result is better mental health, the problem is emotional isolation, and the result is authentic connection. WeTree is designed to help families and to help people who do not even know each other. There is much intimacy in the app.
Martin Seligman, the grandfather of positive psychology created the field when he was president of the American Psychological Association. His theory of well-being includes PERMAH, Positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, accomplishment, and physical health. Physical health interacts with mental health.
Movement is medicine for the mind.
Steve did more surveys to discover how well people were doing relate to PERMAH. What they discovered, and they aren’t sure, is that people are more likely to respond and share through an app. The important fact isn’t that they want to share within an app, but that they are willing and want to disclose both positive and negative emotions, feelings, and experiences. The survey or app also has two open-ended questions, what are you most grateful for today and what do you need help with today?
An app for all ages
The story of Steve’s daughter
Steve shared the story of his 11-year-old daughter using the app. She reported feeling sad and that one word opened the door for Steve to have a conversation with her about her feelings. He then had the opportunity to tell her how important it was to talk about her feelings.
Steve is finding that people are more comfortable disclosing feelings on the app than in person, often because they don’t have the words to disclose or explain their feelings.
When people are struggling emotionally or with mental health, quite often they can’t put their feelings into words to describe them. This is one of the driving factors for Robyn’s writing You, Me, and Anxiety.
The story of Steve’s father
Not only do people not feel comfortable talking about negative feelings and emotions, but they tend to avoid speaking of positive experiences and feelings as well. This may be because of fear that people will make fun of us, or tell us that what we want to do isn’t possible.
Steve asked his father to complete the survey of the twelve things he wants most in his life. One of the twelve questions was what are your adventure goals? His father responded with Hawaii and France.
Once Steve read this, he asked his father three questions: Can you tell me more about that, why is that important to you, and how can I help?
When we dig into the things that are important to people, we discover that there is a story behind them. And often, the person has been dying to tell the story. The reason no one tells these stories is that no one ever asked. WeTree gives people the opportunity to interact with others in these 12 areas. It allows for connections to develop.
What if you don’t have family on the app
Steve encourages people to invite people they know to join the app too. But sometimes, people want to make friends and connect with new people. Maybe a group of CEOs or a group of retirees, or even widowers. Using this tool is a way to build authentic connections with people quickly. Steve is now working to develop an aspect of the app for people to create groups.
Data on the responsiveness of teens and youth on the app
Steve does not have this data as they do not know exactly who uses the app.
The Logistics of the WeTree App
You can download the IOS app, Android is coming soon. There is a free account that gives you one connection. If you want to unlock unlimited connections is $9.99 per month or $79 per year. This gives you the opportunity to create groups on the app, like a church group, employees, class at school, or family groups.
The opportunities for growth, business improvement, relationship improvement, and overall improvement of mental health are priceless. Ending emotional isolation is powerful and necessary.
About Steve Cunningham
SteSte is the founder of Read It For Me and WeTree. He was a lawyer for one week and an entrepreneur since. He not only reads business books and provides summaries for others to read and learn from, but is on a mission to help end emotional isolation.
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