Whether you know it or not, you are a superhero. Every last cell in your body is the product of a long line of generational adaptations – each one of them to make you a better machine for your environment. You were designed to thrive, and today you’re going to feel it for yourself.
Blast Through Overwhelm and Dissolve Anxiety
The exercises in this program are designed to cut through even the most overwhelmed mind – each exercise peels back a layer of stress. By the end, you will be free from your usual agitated mental chatter and experience what life is like in your natural state:
– Calm – Confident – Clear –
There are four stages in the program. Each one takes about 15 minutes, so the whole process fits nicely into a 1-hour block. The stages in their proper order are:
- A movement exercise to get your joints moving and your blood flowing.
- Breathwork to pump you full of fresh oxygen and stabilize your nervous system.
- A writing exercise to sort out the clutter in your mind and put it where it belongs.
- Meditation to free you from running away with your thoughts and give your mind some space.
This program awakens your natural superpowers by calming and recalibrating your nervous system. Your mind, your body, your emotions, are fantastically capable when they work together.
Let’s get right into it. Keep scrolling to kick things off with a movement exercise.
Exercise #1 – Movement
We’ll kick this off with a movement exercise. It’s important to start with the body to make sure it’s awake, relaxed, and refreshed. You’re here because your brain just won’t calm down, and the latest research shows that the brain is part of the body.Click here to select your movement exercise
There are three options for your movement exercise. They are all appropriate for all levels of fitness, all you have to do is choose the one that seems most interesting to you:
- Yoga is particularly beneficial for a frazzled mind. Since yoga ties breath and movement together, the calming effect on your nervous system is profound.
- Cardio is always a great option to get that blood flowing and those feel-good endorphins pumping. This is just a light routine, but it’s more than enough to deliver the results you need.
- Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. Maybe you haven’t done these since your last gym class, but it’s a piece of cake.
Stretch and ReleaseClick here for Stretching
Great work! Now that you got your body moving, let’s pump it full of fresh oxygen.
Exercise #2 – Breathwork
Now let’s focus on your breath. The respiratory system does more than just exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide, it tells your nerves whether they should panic or relax.
The foundation of breathwork is diaphragmatic breathing, also called belly breathing. Before you proceed, make sure you’re familiar with this:Click here if you need to learn diaphragmatic breathing
Got your belly breathing down pat? Great! Now let’s put it to use:Click here to select your breathing exercise
Your choices for breathwork are:
- Box breathing: this is the simplest of the three. Inhale for a count of four, hold for four, exhale for four, hold for four. Not only does it calm you, but it helps your mind to focus on the exercise.
The Box Breathing Technique
- 4-7-8 breathing: this exercise is still straightforward, but the focus on a longer exhale provides a deeper calming effect. This is good if your anxiety is particularly unbalanced at the moment.
The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
- Wim Hof breathing: this exercise is intense. It’s still appropriate for everyone, but it’s more engaged than the hter two. It involves deep breathing for 30 breaths, exhale and hold for 60-90 seconds, then inhale and hold for 10 seconds. This exercise will produce the biggest impact of the three.
The Wim Hof Breathing Technique
Excellent! Now let’s clear your mind.
Exercise #3 – Writing
Your body is primed, your nerves are soothed, and your blood is full of fresh oxygen. Let’s take a few minutes to take all that clutter that’s sifting around on top of your mind and put it where it belongs.
This section is a writing exercise that will help you to get your thoughts sorted and put away. Pen and paper are recommended to provide the most benefit.Click here to select your writing exercise
What kind of decluttering does your mind need today? Do you need to release your fear? Plan your day? Or maybe you just need to let your pen run wild. Choose from one of the following for your 15-minute writing exercise:
- Fears and resentements: this is an excercise taken from Anna Runkle – The Crappy Childhood Fairy. This practice helps to remove the negative thoughts that are floating around the surface of your mind. Most of our fears just need a little attention to help them calm down. You will feel your fearful thoughts loosen their grip as you move them from your mind to the paper.
Fears and Resentments Writing
Write down every fear that you have bubbling around the surface of your mind. “I fear that…” Don’t dig too deep – you’re only concerned about clearing the thoughts that are right at the surface.
Also write down your personal resentments, but remember that these also come from fear. For example, you might write: “I resent John’s comments because I fear that I will never feel confident.”
Sign off the exercise by connecting to something bigger than you. If you’re religious, this could be you asking God for the strength to live without fear. Or you could give yourself permission to let go. “I grant you the power to release these fears and connect with my true self.”
Once you’re ready, hit play on the 15 minute YouTube timer video and write until the timer dings!”
- Visualize your day: a constant source of stress is not knowing what’s waiting to surprise you each day. It’s impossible to predict everything that can happen, but you can cover quite a lot of ground just by taking a few minutes to plan it out.
Click here for Visualize Your Day writing exercise instructions
Plan Your Day
List out everything you want to get done in your day. This could be first thing in the morning for your coming day, or it could be planning for tomorrow. Just make a list of everything you would like, even if you don’t think it will fit into your schedule.
Next, go through the list and prioritize the items. Choose those which you need to fit into the day first – everything else is a bonus.
Put your highest priority “must-dos” into time slots for your day:
- 9:45: return calls from yesterday’s voicemails
- 10:30: update budget
But wait – we’re not done yet.
Now take some time to visualize yourself actually doing these things on your itinerary. Close your eyes and imagine yourself there. Be sure to include every sense. Even if it’s as simple a task as “make toast,” walk yourself through the experience.
As you go, imagine anything that could get in the way of your success with each task. Think of what could, or would, go wrong. Imagine how you would feel, what you would want to do, and what you should actually do.
Now update your itinerary to adjust for any changes you need to fit your visualization of the day. Add contingencies for problems, adjust time slots, whatever you need. Then you’re be physically and mentally prepared to hit the day running.
Once you’re ready, hit play on the 15 minute YouTube timer video and write and visualize until the timer dings!”
- Free writing: this one’s the easy one – just start writing whatever words are on top of your mind and keep going until time’s up! Even if it’s as simple as “I can’t think of anything to write” over and over, this primes your mind to let your thoughts flow freely from you.
Click here for your Free Writing exercise instructions
The whole purpose of this exercise is to keep writing until the timer dings. No matter what’s coming out, even if it’s nonsense, you want to get your words flowing.
All you have to do is hit start on the timer and write, write, write! If you can’t think of anything, then write “nothing” or “I can’t think of anything” or “rutabaga.” After a minute of this, your brain will get bored and come up with something else.
This exercise primes your brain to allow ideas to flow unimpeded into the world. As you go through this exercise you will notice that your particularly well-developed inner critic has a lot to say about what you’re writing. This is your chance to blow past that critic and let your creative energy flow.
Don’t worry about what you write and how it comes out. In fact, it may help if you choose to throw it away right after you’re finished. That way there’s no pressure to “get it right.”
Once you’re ready, hit play on the 15 minute YouTube timer video and write until the timer dings!”
Alright, great work! Now on to the final segment!
Exercise #4 – Meditation
You’ve done the hard work, now let’s give your mind a little space to stretch out. You have been feeling overwhelmed by a runaway mind without an off switch.
Meditation helps to put some space between you and your thoughts – you can watch them come and go instead of sprinting to keep up with each one.
Even if meditation isn’t your thing, you can just sit and enjoy doing nothing for 15 minutes. Life has become so endlessly engaging that most of us have forgotten what boredom feels like. Give your mind that chance to do a little bit of nothing.Click here to select your meditation exercise
Choose one of the three meditation exercises:
- Mindfulness meditation: this is the term that you’ll hear most often when referring to meditation practice. It is simply the practice of being here in the present moment. Your attention will naturally drift, and you will gently bring it back.
Guided Mindfulness Meditation
- Meditation for overwhelm: this is a guided meditation to help you bring yourself out of a state of overwhelm. Follow along and feel the lightness!
Guided Meditation for Overwhelm
- Just chill out: meditation’s not your thing? No problem, just sit and be here for 15 minutes. Chances are you don’t do this very often, if at all. Most people spend their downtime watching shows or bouncing around social media, but very few people take the time to sit with themselves. If you think this exercise is pointless, that’s great! It’ll be a great chance to challenge your boundaries and practice the patience required to sit through it!
Spend Some “You” TimeClick here to Just Chill Out
‘Aint nothin’ to it. Click play on the timer below and sit in the room with yourself. The key here is to be here in the room. You will get distracted – you will drift off, daydream, and very likely say “this is stupid” and want to get up and leave. Don’t. Just start the timer, sit, and be bored with yourself for 15 minutes.
Awesome. All done with the last section. Great work!
Great work! Self-care is critical to living well, and to our ability to keep up with our demands. Unfortunately, it usually gets bumped to the bottom of the list.
“I’ll have that nap after I catch up on all those emails… oh, then I was going to vacuum…”
But not today – you just completed 60 minutes of pure self-care!
How do you feel? Is your anxiety better? Is it a little easier to think? A little less traffic upstairs?
If you really want to get the most from this program, practice it every day. As you build a consistent practice your body will start to get into the groove and your relaxation will dip deeper each time.
And if you’re looking to turn this into a rocket for your wellbeing, practice the routine first thing in the morning, and again just before you go to bed.
You can come back and use this program any time you need. Have some fun with it and try different options from the list. Remember that each day is different, and your connection with each exercise will be different as well. If something doesn’t work out for you, maybe try it again on another day.
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you again soon!