It's easier to go through the world with a healthier mindset when things are going well. But what do you do when something happens that's upsets, makes us angry or causes us anxiety? It's all too often a patient will come into the office completely stressed out by life circumstances. They are suffering from a whole host of symptoms ranging from adrenal fatigue to exhaustion to weight gain/loss. Stress is often the root cause of it. Life provides us with a great deal of both joyful and stressful situations, but what if I told you there was another way to manage stress? How interested would you be?
The 5 Must Haves when your buttons are being pushed.
1: Notice you've been hit. There may be a burning feeling that comes over you. You may start to sweat. Your heart may race, or you may get the feeling that the world around you has slowed down. Pay attention to what it feels like, but take NO action. Becoming aware is the first step in the direction of change.
2: Breathe. It's funny to me to think that we teach our children this method to help them learn how to manage their emotions, but rarely consider using it ourselves. Taking a moment to breathe can not only stop us from reacting unfavorably, but it can give us just enough time to make another decision. Breathing can be a powerful tool in helping settle down the urge to react rather than respond.
3: Check your emotional reaction scale. Ask yourself, how emotionally reactive am I around this situation? I love the process of scaling for this. Ask yourself, on a scale from 1-10, with ten being very reactive, how reactive am I? I think scaling can be useful because sometimes were very reactive and can let it go, and sometimes we're reactive, and it lingers for a good deal of time before we can make peace with the situation.
4: Learn a new trigger. There are advantages and disadvantages to everything we feel. So, if you don't judge it, you can really figure out what specifically triggered you. Spend some time, perhaps journaling about, not only what was said, but why it upset you. This exercise can be incredibly powerful to the process of change.
5: Create a sustainable change. Finally, if this situation ever arises again, what would I do differently or how would I like to show up differently next time? Teasing this out gives you back the control. Feeling out of control is generally the reason we react rather than respond. In this space, you can actually provide a solution based response. Think about that!!!