5 ACTIONABLE STRATEGIES FOR GRIEF & ANXIETY MANAGEMENT (INTJ-STYLE)

There will always be times in our lives where we will hit rough spots. They are never pretty, and most of the time, you will feel that you don’t even recognize yourself. However, I also believe that these are the times where you learn the most about how to lead a better life because you have the most motivation to improve your current lifestyle and routines.

For me, mental and emotional peace is incredibly important. I cannot tolerate delaying issues and letting them fester inside of me. Part of me figures it is because I am an INTJ type, which means I am not used to holding onto loads of emotions within me.

Another thing most INTJs are not used to is managing these bad emotions, which then led me to create this blog. Of course, these strategies are potentially applicable to anyone. But I would also like to acknowledge that strategies that work for some may not necessarily work for others. Also, there is probably a chance that these strategies work better for people who are more like me, such as introverts.

Before I go into the actionable strategies, I would also like to point out that all of these are also acts of self-love, which is the best medicine for grief.


1) Listen to music without lyrics

While I can appreciate music like most people, but I have a tendency to get distracted by lyrics, especially if I can understand them. Therefore, when I am trying to set a calming mood, I tend to go for songs that do not have lyrics and have a slow beat. If you are an RPG gamer like me, you will probably appreciate songs like these:

Zelda: Breath of the Wild OSTs: 1, 2, 3

The Kalimba is also excellent for getting yourself into a calming mood:

April Yang’s Kalimba Playlist

And last but not least, Studio Ghlibi Music (always live radio)

2) Drink something hot (while under covers)

Heat is comforting. A warm sensation in your tummy is especially so. As for what to drink exactly, I’ll recommend chamomile tea…or something without caffeine. Chamomile is known to have a long list of benefits, including putting you to sleep. While doing this, I like to get under some covers. I learnt from an occupational therapist once that by adding pressure to your body, it gives you a sense of comfort. It is also why people find hugs so incredibly relaxing. Now, if you are a book lover and/or an introvert, wouldn’t you agree this is the best way to enjoy a good book?

3) Exercise

Since this is a universal suggestion, I won’t bother going into details. But here are some youtube links you can take a look at if you need further recommendations:

Sarah Beth’s Yoga Channel

Wim Hof’s Youtube Channel for Breathing Exercises

4) Talk to friends or close loved ones and/or CRY

Now, this is a tricky one for INTJs. We instinctively avoid talking about emotions because of several reasons. When I was young, I felt that emotions make me come off as weak. And this is despite the fact that I am a girl, who are expected to be emotional. (I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like for guys.) For the longest time, I didn’t even bother understanding my emotions and simply let them pass through me when they get ‘too much’. It worked, up until it didn’t. Following that, I started talking to anyone and everyone willing to lend a listening ear. It was then I realised it is an immensely useful way to get your anxious or grief-stricken thoughts back into order. When you are an emotional mess, what you need is a good dose of objectivity and evidence that you are not alone. How can you expect to feel like you are NOT alone when you are the one who chose to close themselves off? Yes, being vulnerable to someone is always a risk. However, it is one of those risks that I believe is worth taking.

Once I started to talk about my thoughts and emotions, it also triggered an immense amount of growth in me, which then provided a sense of achievement. So, to those who think being stoic and what-not is ‘cool’, I would advise you to consider just what made you think that way. Is it because of what society or your friends say? If so, then you are doing yourself a great disservice.

Crying is also similar. Again, I used to think crying is an act of weakness. But I have since learnt that it is actually an act of strength. You are BRAVE to cry because it means you are trying to get what you need (emotional peace) regardless of what (Asian) society thinks. If you are a male and deploy this tactic to manage your emotions, please know that you are amazing for that. It is, in my opinion, the healthiest way to get any kind of emotion out.

5) Write out your plan for the day or week

I am a future-oriented person…and it seems most INTJs are the same. Knowing what lies ahead of us gives us a great sense of comfort.

I know I get the most anxious about work when I have no idea what my next step is. Hence, I invest a bit of time every day into thinking about what I want to do and when I want to do them. A small list, which takes about five minutes to think up, is generally good enough.

Not only does it keep you on track for your goals, it also ensures that you have all the reminders you need for the things you need to do, reducing chances of you panicking when you realise you have forgotten them. And then, if you are dealing with grief, checking off items on your list gives you that constant reminder that time is passing and one day, you WILL be okay.

And that’s all for now! Now it is your turn – what stress-relieving tactics do YOU have? Don’t hesitate to let me know!  

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