Here are a few techniques that can help you ease your way through.
- Notice your breath.
You might begin to be aware of when an exhalation becomes an inhalation, or the temperature of your breath on the back of your throat.
Noticing your breathe brings you back to the present moment, this is especially helpful if you find yourself stuck holding on to the past or worrying about the future. When we are worried or overthinking, we are not being in the moment. 99.99% of the time we are OK in the present moment. Our mind drags us into the What if's of life. Bringing yourself back to the Now gives you perspective. After all … all we have is this moment!
Practice this several times a day and you'll find it is easier to stay relaxed and focused on the present moment.
- Quick emotional detox
This is great when you are stuck in some anxiety or worry.
Notice what's going on in your mind and your body. Just sit with the negative feelings and thoughts. Let yourself experience this. When you are really in it, make an easy fist with one of your hands. Breathe in & out count to 10, then open your hand.
Notice your feet for a second or two, this is like a palate cleanser for your neurons. We call it a state breaker or your neutral place.
Now mentally go to a good place, this can be anything that is a positive for you... a great memory, the beach, playing with your animals, somewhere in nature. As you think about this place, make the feeling really strong and make a fist with your other hand. Breathing in and out making the good place bigger and brighter. Count to 10 and open your hand.
Again go to that neutral thought for a moment.
Make a fist with both hands at the same time and just notice your breathe. Count to 10 and open your hands.
As you try to recall the original stress, I think you will find that it's more difficult to find those worrisome thoughts and feelings.
The essence of that technique is that the negative goes first, neutral, positive, neutral, then both at the same time.
- Don't forget to take some time for yourself, even if it is only a few moments of alone time.
- Pretend that you control the volume of the voices around you. What if you could mentally turn them down a notch or fade them into the back round.
- Spend an extra few moments in the bathroom, notice yourself washing your hands, really massaging them.
- Look in the mirror and smile! This actually stimulates good feeling chemicals in your brain.
And last but not least.... Be grateful! Notice what is right rather than what is wrong.
Practice and use these so that when at the dinner table, Great Uncle Ralph starts in on his vastly different political views, you can take care of yourself and move on!