Reflection: In a recent Pause message, Could You Be A More Reassuring Presence, I shared a few ideas for supporting others when things go sideways in their lives.
But what if it’s an event in your own life that’s giving you grief? How can you avoid getting unnecessarily bent out of shape when life sends a mind-bending challenge your way? How do you handle your own reactions when things go wrong?
Action: Here’s a five-step approach to bring relief and help you find your way back to a more even keel.
1. Pause To Be Present
Though you may be tempted to push on through, shrug it off, and tough it out, that’s not a good long-term strategy. Buried emotions just build up a head of steam only to erupt later at the most inopportune times.
Step back and create some space in which to cool off and tune in. Be present with your pain or confusion – without jumping into problem solving mode. Name the emotions you feel and own them.
In the throes of emotional upset, your lizard brain takes control and fires up the troops to defend the castle. You’re on high alert – adrenalin and cortisol swirling through your system, with no way to access the rational thinking part of your brain.
Breathe until you settle. It’s the only way through.
3. Process The Pain
Experiment to find what works best for you. Some combination of these approaches often helps: talk it out, write it out, walk it out. When all else fails, you might opt for a bit more drama and scream it out or cry it out.
4. Let It Go
Don’t take everything personally. Many events that spark strong emotions in us may not be our ‘stuff’. We just happen to be present when others are having their own tough moments. When it’s not about you – when it’s ‘their stuff’ – let others own it. Don’t shoulder extraneous burdens and carry them around indefinitely.
And whether or not it is your issue, once you’ve processed the experience and done what you can, learn how to brush it off. Literally, dust off your shoulders, or wipe your shoes on the mat and leave the fallout where it settles.
5. Be Grateful
You may be accustomed to taking your vitamins to stay physically healthy. But, don’t short yourself on Vitamin G, the gratitude that fortifies a healthy mind.
It’s all but impossible to stay upset and feel grateful at the same time. Start moving on and moving forward by creating a list of things you appreciate. Keep on writing until you feel that emotional shift inside, and take that place of calm with you to deal with whatever lurks around the corner.
Quotes Of The Week: When you’re dealing with stress, the problem may not be the stressful situation, as much as the effort to avoid that situation and the feelings it arouses. – Ted Grossbart
Don’t let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries. – Terri Guillemets
Resource Of The Week: Here’s an article that offers a few more coping ideas: 8 Things To Remember When Everything Goes Wrong.
Readers Write: In response to last week’s message, What’s Waiting For You, Pause reader PT writes: I look forward to saying goodbye to being an employee when I retire in December. I don’t want to wish my life away but I have been working 37.5 years and there are lots of things I want to do.
I just started piano lessons this year so I look forward to having lots of time to practice, among other things like volunteering at Hope for Wildlife, riding my custom Harley Davidson and rowing my boat every morning the lake has no ice.
Pause Shop Duo Special: Spring is just around the corner. To mark the turn of the season, Press Pause…Press On and Press Pause…Think Again are on offer at a special combo price.
Each book features 64 of the most impactful messages from the early years of the weekly Pause e-zines, along with related quotes and anecdotes, and a sketch to reinforce the main point.
The Press Pause books are an easy read and make great additions to your office waiting area, staff coffee room, kitchen table, or bedside nightstand. They’re great gifts, too.
This link will take you to more complete info on the books, including sample excerpts. The Duo Deal #1 link on that page will let you place your order.