The unknown is the new normal. There are two aspects of the unknown that we have to face in the present world. The unknown of the outside and the unknown of our inside. When our mind becomes fixated on the unknown of the outside, we can feel helpless, out of control, and overwhelmed. The good news is if we turn our attention to the unknown of the inside, we can gain empowerment, a sense of control and an action plan that can reduce our stress, worry, and anxiety.

There are four easy letters to remember when we want to shift/transform our stress into a calm, centered and creative mindset. These are the ABCD of stress shifting, and they correspond with the four steps that are taught in our Stress Shifter Skills CE Course (14 CE Contact Hours)..

Awareness. To be able to shift from stress and worry, we first need to be aware that we've entered stress and worried thinking. In Awareness, we're able to face our own feelings, stress reactions, and thoughts. If we're not Aware of what we're doing, how can we do it differently?

Breath. Once we are able to face our stressors, we have the ability to calmly understand where they originated. The second step is taking a Breath to bring us back to our center where we can feel calm instead of being in a fight/flight/freeze reaction. By taking a breath, we can bring ourselves to balance and Focus on why we've had a stress reaction.

Choice. After being able to Face our stressors and Focus on our internal thinking, we have the ability to make a Choice that gives us Freedom. When we have a Choice, we don't feel trapped by our fears, shoulds, shame or blame. Having the ability to make a Choice fosters insight and curiosity and gives us more ability to take positive action.

Doing. Stagnation is a fight/flight/freeze response. It is often triggered with fear of the unknown. To counterbalance fear, the act of Doing is required. When one enters the Doing stage, the energy within ourselves begins to Flow. From this creative stage of Flow, new ideas, new empowerment, courage and compassion come with greater ease.

As we face this unknown territory of the world today, we can either be consumed by our fear or we can learn, grow and become part of the solution. Awareness, Breath, Choice, and Doing are the ABCD of stress shifting that can reduce stress and worry. The ABCD steps are easy to remember. They help us Face our stressors, Focus on why they have captured our thinking, become Free to make a positive choice, and then enter the Flow of taking positive action.

What we do in this time of uncertainty is our choice. So join me in making a positive choice one moment at a time. Moment by moment, we can handle the unknown which is the new normal. By doing this, we can become stronger and healthier today and into the future.

To learn more about using mindfulness to transform your response to stress and become more calm, centered and creative, see our Stress Shifter Skills CE Course (14 CE Contact Hours).