Did anyone say farming can be stressful? The multiple uncertainties of the weather, commodity prices, pandemics, insects, supply chains, our health and a myriad of other variables impact farmers like few other professions. This stress, if not dealt with well, can cause anxiety that interferes with the ability to manage the problems causing the stress. This can lead to a vicious cycle unless you find a productive path forward.
Farmers often cannot control the factors that cause stress, but can learn to better manage their response to the stress. When you are calm and thinking clearly, it is easier to find ways to improve the situation at hand. There are many strategies that can help. For example, how we think can have a big impact on how we feel. Sure, if our fields flood that may impact how we feel. But how we think about such events will play a big role in determining how we feel, especially longer term. There are techniques to learn and skills you can develop to be able to change your thinking. It can be hard to learn this on your own. Our specialists can help you learn how. Contact us by clicking on the button in the right side bar.
Research shows that mindfulness can reduce anxiety. Mindfulness is about learning how to respond to stress by focusing our awareness more on what is happening in the present moment, rather than worrying about the future or reflecting on the past. By learning to focus our awareness on our physical and mental state in the moment, mindfulness allows us to become more centered or balanced. Becoming centered may sound like a concept related only to new age practices, but in reality it simply means that you have a reference point or a place to come back to when life’s challenges and emotions push you off balance. Some of our counselors are trained in mindfulness and can help your learn these important skills.
How we act also impacts how we feel. For example, anxiety can lead us to isolate ourselves. And yet, commiserating with and getting support from others, can positively impact how we feel. Just knowing that we're not alone can make a big difference. Research on farmers has shown that those who seek out more social support generally experienced less stress. We can help you sort out what actions and behaviors you can take to help yourself feel better.