Well, it’s Monday, and I am sending out my Sunday Self-Care tip, and last week well I missed posting one entirely. We have had some major hiccups with our site the past few weeks, and it has made posting a nightmare. In the past this would drive me NUTS; I would be shouting at tech people, and spending hours trying to figure out how to fix it. (mind you I am in NO WAY a tech wizard) But, that’s the old me; the new me doesn’t sweat the small stuff nor do I try to control situations that I cannot.
Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness can be a useful strategy for reflection. When we are aware of our thoughts and acknowledge them in a nonconfrontational way, we can condition ourselves to pause and examine them before we are reacting to them.
So, what does that mean exactly and how can we start to do this today?
- Take a DEEP breath! I know when someone says this to me when I am pissed, I want to hit them with a right hook, but in all honesty, it is the perfect solution when we feel ourselves getting aggravated. Breathe in hold for 30 seconds and blow it all out (the BS that is).
- Smile-When a smile flashes across your face; dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin are all released into your bloodstream, making not only your body relax but also works to lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
- Walk Away- Sometimes it is best just to walk away and let things resolve themselves. If you can’t do that leave it there for awhile and come back when your head is clear, and your blood pressure is lower.
- See your problem or struggles as a lesson, not a nightmare. What can you learn from this? How can you approach it differently the next time?
- Dance- (insert eye-roll) I use this technique when I encounter people in a bad mood. When my teenage daughter is going full Lindsey Lohan, I bust out my 80’s breakdance moves, and she can’t stay mad. Now, this doesn’t always work I have gotten a slammed door right in the middle of my moonwalk but the odds are in my favor that she cracks a smile before I am done with my routine.
- Lastly, concentrate on the things that matter most. Leave the BS stuff you can’t control behind; trust me it will always be there you just don’t have to own or carry it.
When you are feeling stressed, choose one of my of coping methods above. I know this is easier said than done. So, when you catch yourself going off the rails, acknowledge the emotion and consciously choose to stop that behavior. Replace the hold reaction with a newer healthier one; you may have to do this several times before it becomes a habit. That’s ok we are all works in progress, and as long as we are doing the work we are headed in the right direction!