NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — We all experience stress at some point, but it’s a manageable condition that shouldn’t have to follow you into the new year.
Let’s start by saying, we won’t blame you for thinking the worst. 2021 had its moments for the better and some times where it seemed like whatever could go wrong — well you know the rest.
We spoke to Dr. Justin Briggs, a licensed therapist and president of The Briggs Institute who says it starts with perspective.
“When we focus on possibilities, we tend to do what’s called catastrophic thinking,” Briggs said.
While it’s normal to experience stress, he reminds his clients that some things are just out of our control. What matters is what we can control.
“Learning how to take slow, comfortable, deep breaths in those stressful moments, gets your mind in the right space,” Briggs said.
How we think and how we feel are the same. That means exercising 30 minutes a day, getting at least 7 hours of sleep, and eating healthy are more than just food for thought.
Briggs also recommends all his clients take a five senses to check, by asking themselves the following:
- What do you hear?
- What do you feel?
- What do you taste?
- What do you smell?
- What do you see?
When we ground ourselves in what’s real at the moment, things like what someone else is posting on social media may not matter as much.
“Don’t compare your life to somebody else’s highlight reel. Most people's social media lives are the highlights. When you’re comparing your dark to somebody else’s light, you’re going to feel like you’re sitting in the shadows. That’s stressful,” Briggs said.
Instead, Briggs suggests you set a timer each day and at that time, you show gratitude for something in your life.
“If you’re a praying person, give prayers of thanks. If you’re a meditating person, meditate on gratitude,” Briggs said.
This is how we manufacture good thoughts and these are just as genuine as the negative thoughts we create in our minds. So we won’t blame you for thinking the worst of this past year, but a new you in the new year may just require a new way of thinking.