How to Build an Ark When Anxiety Floods in

You wake up with a knot in your stomach, waves of anxiety washing over you triggering a flood of emotions.  Dreading the day, you drag yourself out of bed feeling wobbly and exhausted. Caught in your own private thunderstorm it’s hard to keep your head above the water when you feel trapped by a rising tide of panic. You feel like you have only two choices; to sink or swim. Finally your survival instinct kicks in and you reach  for  your computer and start surfing… searching for other survivors…

StormBrewing1426637_85746838

Your Life Line

Ahoy there! Welcome fellow wayfarer you are not alone! Infact you are in very good company. Countless people (including me and some of my clients) have survived their own personal tsunami and made it through since biblical times, the most famous was Noah! I’m not Christian but you don’t need to be to have heard of Noah and be inspired by his story.Movie Get Out (2017)Roblox HackBigo Live Beans HackYUGIOH DUEL LINKS HACKPokemon Duel HackRoblox HackPixel Gun 3d HackGrowtopia HackClash Royale Hackmy cafe recipes stories hackMobile Legends HackMobile Strike Hack

So what did Noah do when the Great Flood hit? He built an Ark. And what made him respond differently from his neighbours who were also threatened by the rising flood? He didn’t stay trapped by his fear or waste his time blaming the Great Weather Forecaster in the Sky. He didn’t think he was damned for some misdeed in a past life or that the Universe had forsaken him. He looked around at what resources he had to hand, got creative and found a solution; he built an Ark.

Noahs’ lifeline was his capacity to focus on the positive and use his resourcefulness.

This can be yours too.

Let the Light Guide You

LightHouse84070_2543

Like a mariner lost on a dark night in a stormy sea search for the light to guide you home. Start by soothing your anxious mind by giving it something else to think about, something pleasant, something hopeful, and something constructive.

I love watching feel good films to pick me when I am feeling low. A few years ago I decided I was going to limit my film and tv watching to uplifting, inspiring and light viewing to help me focus and retrain my mind toward the positive. As I write this post a song from The Sound of Music comes to mind and makes me smile. It’s the one that Maria sang to the children during the thunderstorm.

‘Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favourite things…When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favourite things and then I don’t feel so bad.’

Just thinking about that scene in the film and singing the song made me smile.

Get Creative

It’s easy when life is challenging to focus on all the difficult stuff and ignore the good stuff. Now I am not suggesting you burying your head in the sand and go into a happy clappy denial about the tough stuff by putting a positive spin on it all. Of course the reality is that crap happens and you can’t avoid it, or change it, but you can respond in away that can make it all less stressful. Like Maria and the kids couldn’t stop the thunder storm but they could choose to be creative and make up a game of naming all their favourite things instead of just hiding under the blanket in a panic till the storm passed.

Practice New Skills

That’s what mindfulness is all about really, having the presence of mind to choose how to respond to life in a way that is helpful. Now the crux of reducing your stress response in a challenging situation is in having strategies to question your negative beliefs (which I will look at in a future post) and refocus your mind. It’s important to practice these strategies (The Ark wasn’t built in a day) to create new good habits of mind to replace the unhealthy ones. The same imagination that can create a tsunami out of downpour can be put to good use to create inventive solutions to help us steer through challenges in our lives.

Thank Your Lucky Stars

So one strategy you can cultivate, like Maria, is to bring to mind some of your favourite things or the good things that have happened in your life at the end of each day to take your mind off the difficulties you are experiencing. I have a gratitude journal that I like to write in at night and even on a bad day I can be grateful that I have got through the day, that I have a warm bed to snuggle in, and a roof over my head.

Take a Deep Breath

Simple breathing exercises that focus and calm the mind, as well as the tension in your diaphragm, help reduce anxiety – actually singing or chanting is excellent for this so Maria’s strategy worked on multiple levels. When your thoughts go off in a spin giving the mind something else to do is very effective. If you sign up for my email inspiration you will get a free, guided relaxation, which includes a breathing, and vocal exercise plus a visualisation that helps you do just that.

Share Your Ark

Noah didn’t build his Ark in a day nor did he build it alone. And most importantly he didn’t build it just for himself. A hugely important part of my journey through life’s stormy seas has been the inspiration and support I have had from others and the relationships I continue to cultivate. One unhelpful mindset I have had to shift was my belief that I needed to battle through everything on my own. For me being ill can create a ‘thunder storm’ moment that requires me reach out for support quickly before anxiety springs a leak that could cause me to sink.

So what strategies do you have for your Thunder Storm moments? Be great if you could share them with us here, as they could be inspiration for someone else struggling right now.

In the meantime if you would like regular soulful inspiration and insights delivered to your inbox please leave your email address in the sign up box at the top of this page in the right hand side bar. To start with you will receive a guided relaxation audio download to help you calm your mind and sleep peacefully.

And if your would like some one to one support to help you re-balance and connect with your inner calm you can book yourself a 30min free  Sanctuary Session consultation. The Soulo Sanctuary Packages are designed to help you to move forward with greater clarity and equanimity. 

12 Comments

  • Hey Kamini – beautiful post. I’ve found The Work (by Byron Katie) to be a powerful Ark for me in my thunderstorm moments. I write my stressful thoughts onto paper and then inquire into them; I drop the stories that are stressing me and am left with a far greater sense of calm. Hope that helps others. :-)

    • Kamini

      Reply Reply June 20, 2014

      Hey Corrina, yes The Work is really powerful and very much aligned with Buddhist inquiry that I practice. I too find writing my thoughts down really helpful.

      Thanks for sharing x

  • Stella

    Reply Reply June 24, 2014

    Beautiful post. And I feel so relaxed and safe looking around your site! You have a deep vibe of calmness and understanding – lovely :)

    My ark is yoga – when I feel tense or stressed or fed-up I find that moving my body, breathing and relaxing (although that can be struggle sometimes) gives me a place of safety where I can let go of the emotions without judgement.
    Stella x

    • kamini

      Reply Reply June 24, 2014

      Thank you for sharing Stella :-)

      Oh yes, like you, my weekly Yoga class is very much part of my Ark and my ‘medicine cabinet’. Moving is so good to get the stuck fear energy shifted isn’t it! I often recommend it to clients.

  • giusi

    Reply Reply June 24, 2014

    Inspiring post Kamini! The older I am getting and the bigger my Ark…i like the variety and having different tools such as yoga, a gratitude diary, chanting and so on. One important point you raise is the feeling of having to fight everything on our own…i think i take on that role quite often…I will be more mindful of it. Thank you and also to Corrina for mentioning the WorK. It keeps popping into my life. Time to read it! Gx

    • Kāmini

      Reply Reply June 26, 2014

      Thanks Giusi for your valuable insight that it’s important to keep expanding your Ark with your changing needs and circumstances. Kx

  • Jessica

    Reply Reply July 2, 2014

    Very thoughtful and inspirational post Kamini! I feel it is so important to share experiences, so that others realize there is hope and they are not alone.

    When I suffered from anxiety several years back, there were a number components that went into my Ark. Constantly diverting my attention, knowing that I had the power to manifest symptoms so I could cause them to disappear, relaxation/meditation, eliminating caffeine and fatty foods and the list goes on.

    The Ark that continues to carry me today is more one of adopting an attitude of gratitude. I focus on being grateful for everything and focusing on others rather than myself.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Jessica recently posted…Does the Linden Method Work For Eliminating Anxiety?

    • Kamini

      Reply Reply July 3, 2014

      Thanks for commenting and sharing Jessica. :-)

      Yes developing an attitude of gratitude is very effective in managing anxiety isn’t it? And realising that since our thoughts have the power to make us feel low and anxious, they also have the power to do the exact opposit!

      Empowering stuff!

  • Rav

    Reply Reply July 3, 2014

    Beautiful post! I describe mindfulness and meditation as exercise and practice for the mind. Everyone could benefit from mindfulness just like everyone could benefit from physical exercise everyday. I have a number of Arks – swimming, RC model flying, sailing…

    When I swim I often focus on counting laps or strokes to stop ruminating, stop working myself up, focus, clear my mind and calm down (when required).

    Maybe you could provide us with a simple checklist or form to fill-out everyday which could help us focus on the positive, be mindful of our day and remind us of strategies to follow. This may work for some of us who like goals and structure.

    • Kamini

      Reply Reply July 3, 2014

      Thanks Rav :-)

      I appreciate your comments and the strategies you use as your ‘Ark’.

      Thanks for the suggestion to create a checklist I will certainly consider this!

      Kamini

    • Kāmini

      Reply Reply July 15, 2014

      Apologies for the flood of SPAM comments yesterday! Hopefully a change of settings and a plug in will have it sorted.

      Best wishes
      Kamini

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field

CommentLuv badge