Often we start to notice ourselves falling into anger, depression, self-pity or other responses to a work or home situation. Here are a few ideas to implement when in situation where a knee-jerk reaction starts to arise.
Remember it is much easier to nip something in the bud then to deal with stress after it flowers into physical symptoms or a bad mood. If you get into a funk some imes it can last for days and it's often hard to break free of it. When you can "catch" the negative moment beginning you have a great shot at stopping it from taking you down. I've found these helpful for myself as well as my clients:
Breaking out of moods:
1) If you feel a certain "mood" beginning (ie depression, anger, discouragement)
try to do something physical such as go
running, swim,or even clean. It's good to do something that will tune up your nervous and glandular system . We
need to break the incarnations that set into our bodies. It is similar to stopping smoking after 1 cigarette rather than
20 years of smoking. Sometimes if you have a shoe and it is worn out on one side you'll see that if you put your
foot in it, it leans in that direction. The mind follows the grooves it previously was tracing out. We have the power
to "change the channel" and watch a different movie.
2) There are two breathing exercises from yoga that are very helpful
to cultivate a neutral mind. One is called "Alternate
nostril breathing" and the other is called "Breath of Fire". These are explained in detail in the booklet I wrote. You can also learn these from a
yoga class or video .
3) Identify and write down the mental tape loops that you finding yourself
repeating. By knowing what these are you can
watch it instead of take it as your own identity. The more you "see" the dramas the less you react from within them.
We all fall into our own melodramas and soap operas and taking a bird's eye view can give us another perspective.
It helps us to not "buy into" our own story. Our inner story is something we repeat to ourselves and others and
gives us our identity. It's good to step back and see which parts of it are beneficial and which are messages from
the past, other people or our old identities. Just as a computer needs to have files deleted in order to operate
more efficiently, so our minds need to have the extra "files" emptied out so we have room for new stories, dreams
4) Keep a notebook of inspiring anectdotes , quotes and tips. This helps
to boost one's spirit and also to feel connected
with others that have dealt with similar feelings. Put some reminders on your refrigerator, desk at work, car dash
board and other places so you can catch you mind and re-direct it in a positive direction.
If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.
~ Marcus Aurelius ~
A hero is no
braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~
Dee Cohen, LCSW is a Licensed Social Worker in Florida. These tips are taken from her booklet "How to Stay Balanced During Stressful Situations" which sells for $3.00. Discounts available for larger purchase for holiday gifts, customer service week and other employee appreciation day. For more information and tips visit Stress Reduction Practical Tips
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