Updated: Apr 7, 2020
Stress, Anxiety, Fear, and Overwhelm are all-too familiar states of being for the average person. Millions of adults experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives and many more are experiencing anxiety due to recent developments with the coronavirus pandemic.
In this article, I share with you how to release stress, anxiety, fear, and overwhelm with my CALM Method.
What do you do when you feel stressed, anxious, fearful or overwhelmed? Do you have a surefire way to de-stress? Or do you repress and push harder or try to distract yourself, just hoping the storm on the inside will all end soon?
Many people I come into contact with on a daily basis regularly feel like they have too much on their plates. I know I certainly do. Sometimes there just seems to be way too little of me to go around and way too many demands and responsibilities.
So today, I want to share with you what you can do to quickly release stress and anxiety, all without struggle. My CALM method is so powerful that it can instantly help you relieve or eliminate anxiety, fear, or stress, and will help you get back into your optimal state before you know it. But first, a little backstory on how I discovered this powerful method...
Not too long ago, I was driving my daughter to school one morning. The night before, I drank a bunch of coffee so I could stay up and study for an exam I needed to take the next day. Currently, I’m in college, wrapping up my bachelor’s in psychology. I LOVE LOVE LOVE psychology, but man, being a single mom with three kids, all the while going to school full-time and trying to build my business can at times feel overwhelming. Ok, back to my story… I studied until midnight, then decided to go to bed because quite frankly, I was brain-dead. However, when my head hit the pillow and I closed my eyes, I couldn’t for the life of me go to sleep.
In fact, I tossed and turned and stayed awake until well past 2 am… The next morning, I was exhausted. My brain was still fried from studying and my body felt like it had been run over by a few dozen semis. As I was driving my daughter to school the next morning, I started to spiral downward. Thoughts like, “This isn’t fair. I’m going to bomb the test. My grades will suffer. I need more help from others. Woe is me...” started to whirl around in my mind.
I even started becoming agitated with my daughter. She had forgotten to eat breakfast, which made me feel guilty that I wasn’t being the good mom I wanted to be. Then I thought, “It’s overwhelming being a single mom, going to school full time, writing my books, building my business…”
It wasn’t until I felt completely overwhelmed that I became aware of the thoughts that were racing through my head. It was then I realized I had reverted to my victim mode. I have a couple of default modes that don’t serve me, and one of them is the mode of victim. In fact, each of us has a go-to default mode…. What’s yours? The way to discover this is to ask: “Who do I become when things don’t go my way? When life gets hard? When it’s all too much?” Victim? Aggressor? Fixer?
I realized in this moment that I was starting to blame everyone else for my exhaustion, for the stressful life I had, for the fear I was experiencing, for everything. I was blaming my parents, my ex, even my kids. Unconsciously, I had placed myself as the victim and started to blame everyone else for how hard my life was.
Fortunately, I had learned enough about myself, about psychology and mindset, about my nature, and how fear can jump in at any time and rule my life. So I didn’t get sucked into my story. In addition, I had learned enough about what NOT to do if I felt stressed, anxious, fearful, or overwhelmed. However, I was about to discover a way for releasing stress, overwhelm, and fear that was so easy, yet so powerful that I created a method so I could share this with you.
After I dropped my daughter off, and while driving back home, I allowed myself to let my thoughts and feelings surface. I accepted them FULLY. I didn’t judge them, and I even welcomed them. I acknowledged the thoughts and feelings, and spoke directly to them. “It’s true,” I said. “I am tired. I feel overwhelmed.”
After I had listened fully and had heard the thoughts and feelings, I made how I felt completely 100% ok. “I acknowledge how I feel and what I am thinking, and it’s ok to be tired and to feel overwhelmed,” I said. “Stress is just a part of life and it’s ok. I don’t have to feel on top of my game 24/7. That’s unreasonable to expect from anyone. Today is just one day in the many days of my life. It’s ok that you feel this way, Evelyn. It’s ok. It’s ok. It’s ok. Just feel it and let it be.”
Minutes later, I felt my stress, anxiety, fear, and overwhelm start to loosen their grips. I started to feel calmer because I didn’t resist the truth of how I felt. I felt heard. I created space for what was. I felt at peace.
By the time I felt the anxiety and stress start to release, I was back home. I sat on my couch and started to meditate. After a while, and as if by some invisible force, I found myself calibrating to a neutral place. And not only that, the longer I sat in quiet meditation and just allowed what was to be, the more my mood started to rise, up, up, and up. I didn’t force it, just allowed it. I started to feel energy moving inside me again. Good energy. Positive energy. Positive thoughts started to pop into my head. I felt energized. Renewed. Happy, even.
Ten minutes of allowing this upward spiral, and I felt great! I mean like really amazing! I even ended up feeling so good that I put in an entire workout with my favorite gal, Jillian Michaels before I went to school to take my exam. I had never experienced anything like it… the ease… the natural upward spiral of my mood, the sheer euphoria and energy I felt rushing through my body. I was so thrilled by this process that I knew I needed to share it with the wonderful women of this world.
Our natural state is to be in alignment with love and to have energy and joy. Stress, anxiety, and overwhelm wreak major havoc on our bodies, our relationships, our businesses, and our lives in general. That is why it is so important to be able to manage your stress in a healthy way.
Evelyn’s CALM Method to Help Release Stress, Anxiety, Fear, and Overwhelm.
First, find a quiet place where you feel comfortable, a couch or a chair will do. Rest your hands on your knees or in your lap. Pull your shoulders back and relax them. Then, close your eyes and start to breathe in the following way: Inhale for 6 slow counts. Hold for 6 slow counts. Exhale for 8-10 slow counts. Repeat 4-6 times. Next, follow the C.A.L.M. steps:
“C” STEP 1: In step one, your emotions have shifted and you are experiencing stress, anxiety, or some form of fear or emotional distress. Here, you are experiencing the emotional shift in your body and are being called to get calm. “C” stands for “Called.” When you feel anxious, stressed, fearful, or overwhelmed, recognize this as a call to you that you need to move back into balance by releasing negative emotions.
“A” STEP 2: The second step involves becoming aware of your thoughts and feelings. “A” stands for “Aware.” Your thoughts and emotions are trying to tell you something and it is very important to listen. Do this by becoming aware of what is going on inside your mind and in your body. Listen to your thoughts and feel your feelings. Don’t judge your thoughts or feelings and don't reject them. Welcome them by becoming aware. Be present. Don’t fight the feelings or the thoughts or even your fear. That will only make them stronger. Remember, what you resist, persists. Listen to your thoughts and feelings with the utmost care. They are important. They NEED to be heard to be released. So listen, listen, listen and be fully aware.
“L” STEP 3: The third step is to acknowledge your thoughts and feelings, to honor them, and to soothe them with love. “L” stands for “Love.” Our thoughts and feelings are real. They need to be fully heard and to be accepted with love to be released. This is where you make how you feel and what you are thinking 100% ok. Even if you don’t like what you are thinking/how you are feeling, make that ok, too. Say something like, “I don’t like to feel this way, but it’s ok to feel stressed. It’s ok to have that thought… It's ok to feel fear, etc.” Remember, don’t judge your feelings or thoughts. Just accept them and let them BE. Give them love. As you continue, you will start to feel the tension release from your mind and body. If you don’t feel the tension release, this means you are resisting or fearing your thoughts and emotions. Continue to practice acceptance and love until you start to feel the release.
“M” STEP 4: The last step is to let the subtle upward momentum of releasing stress take you upward. The “M” stands for movement. Once you feel the anxiety start to lose its grip, just sit in quiet meditation and listen. See if better thoughts/feelings arise inside you. Usually, they will. And from there, you will start to feel energy moving inside you again.
Most of us think we have to put a ton of effort into feeling good. And this is where so many women go wrong. However, getting to a good-feeling state can be so much easier than we have been taught. You don’t have to force anything to happen. In fact, the more you try to force happiness or joy, the more resistance there will be, and the more stress you will have.
Perhaps some of you are wondering how I did on my exam? Well, I ended up acing it. But more importantly, through the process of coming into my own alignment, I was able to create my CALM Method, which I am so grateful to have shared with you today.
In conclusion, if you try my CALM method, I would LOVE to hear from you. Please let me know if it was beneficial to you. I’d love to hear how it has helped you de-stress, release anxiety, and calibrate to your loving, peaceful natural, joyful state.
***Please feel free to share my CALM Method to family and friends. So many of us are looking to feel better, to feel calmer during this pandemic.
Click the Swan to Download the PDF version of my Release Stress and Anxiety Method