Recently a friend relayed this experience:
She was visiting her sibling and enjoys his company very much. However, there were many other family members to visit and some of them display inappropriate behavior, and have done so for years. She told me that nothing has changed over the years and by the time she was leaving to go home from an otherwise enjoyable visit, she was sick to her stomach.
When I think about her report of her entire visit, I would say about eighty percent of her visit was great, yet the disturbing experiences are overshadowing the positive experiences. I venture to say, this is pretty typical of the human condition.
In my book, I have a few suggestions that can help:
- I always begin with centering techniques while the situation is going on, but many of us get so caught up in the moment that we forget to take care of ourselves.
If that has happened, I would suggest the following:
- It is helpful to review what happened so you can gain some insight. Some questions to ask might be: “What could I have done differently?” “Is there another way to look at the situation?” While reviewing and experience, don’t neglect the fact that there might have been some uplifting moments as well, no matter how insignificant. While the sweet, small events we engaged in are often overshadowed by our upsetting memories, make sure you include them in your review, and then move forward. Even forgiveness is a choice.
It is empowering to realize that you have the ability to shift your perspective. This review is for you, so go out and enjoy your day—with no indigestion!
Let me know in the comments below how this can apply to your situation. Are you able to change your focus to the positive experiences or do you get stuck?
There are times when we feel stressed or upset and we need to calm down quickly. There is a meeting, test, or some other task that needs us at our best and time is of the essence.
Try this simple calming and centering technique to use when you need to quickly be calm and focused:
1. Stand with your feet side by side.
- Imagine a plum- line dropping down from above:
- It goes though the center of your skull
- It moves down through the center of your body, following the front of your spine
- It continues down between your hips and drops through your pelvic floor
- It moves down between your legs
- It lands right between the arches of your feet.
2. Keep your awareness on the plum line and feel your feet planted in the ground.
3. Take a few easy breaths
You are ready to face the day!
Let me know if the comments below how this worked for you. Were you able to use this to help with a challenging situation? If it did not help, what do you think happened?
Un-Hook from Reaction with 5 Simple Tools
Relationships can be wonderful and rich, but they also often challenge us.
Those we care about the most can easily frustrate us. Our significant other, our children or parents hook us and we react.
Many times the feelings are justified, but the problem arises when we respond with inappropriate behavior. Yelling, stomping and name calling is harmful to both you and those around you, and your frustrations can lead to these behaviors in a flash. It is like being blindsided by a car. You did not see it coming until it is too late, but the damage is already done.
How can you step on the breaks instantly?
Here are some simple tools that can help:
1. Take a breath
2. Feel your feet on the ground
3. Put a visual Stop Sign in your mind
4. Walk away and talk later
5. Bring to mind someone you care about (it might be the person you are reacting to)
What do all of these tools have in common? They bring you back to the moment.
Try one or all of these tools and see if it makes a difference. If you react to others in emotionally harmful ways, and later realize that you should have used one of the above techniques, you are already on your way to change. Please share what worked or did not work for you in the comments below. Feel free to contact me with any questions.
Today’s technique relieves stress in nearly any situation and can be used at any time.
Sit in a comfortable position, somewhere that your spine can sit upright.
Take a moment and check in on how you are feeling.
You are going to sigh – a total of three times. You want to start by inhaling and exhaling the first breath with an audible sound. After the first sigh, momentarily stay with the pause at the end.
You are not holding your breath; you are simply noticing the space at the end of the sigh.
Think of a swing. After it goes up, there is a moment of stillness before it comes back down. That is your breath – and you observing it.
Do this a total of three times, each time staying with the pause a few moments longer, without straining. Check in on your state and let me know what you noticed.
You can use this simple tool anytime you feel stressed.
After doing so, please report back and let me know how it went in the comments below. Did it help with your stress level in the moment? If not, why do you think that was? If you have any questions, please ask.