I’m beginning this blog post with a “Thank You!” I’m truly grateful that you’re taking the time to read this, and that you care enough about your well-being and those around you that you’re curious and want to learn how to bring more peace and care into the world…
…a world that is changing quickly around us. Very quickly. Each day, there’s news of a growing number of COVID-19 cases; news of new CDC or state-level measures to help reduce the spread; news of the economic impact, from grocery store shelves to stock market prices.
While I’m hopeful about our shared future, the ride may get bumpy in the coming days and weeks, so I offer you some simple ways to navigate the internal, emotional landscape.
Reaction vs. Response
When humans get scared or anxious, our bodies and our minds quickly ready for action, pushing ourselves to quickly get away from discomfort. Everything inside of you says, “I need to do something to get out of here.” In the moment, you hastily react, with anger, or impulsivity, or press “send” on the email before you have a chance to stop yourself, instead of thoughtfully choosing a response.
A Funny Magic Word: “Stay”
There’s magic in the word, “Stay.” When you’re anxious, see if, in a very (very) kind voice, you can say the word “Stay.” Try it right now, as you read this. Whisper it to yourself gently and softly and slowly, “Stay.” Repeat it a few times, slowing it down each time, until it feels comforting and soothing.
Whenever you feel anxious and scared, pull this magic word out of your pocket and let it become your mantra, your phrase to create internal peace.
The Magic Continues
As you say “Stay” with kindness, or say it a few times until it internally sounds kind to you, you’ll automatically start to do other magic things that create calm:
* Your breathing will deepen and slow, which will relax you. If you’re someone who would have an easier time breathing deeply than inviting yourself with the word “Stay,” take long, cleansing breaths first then say “Stay.”
* Once your body and your mind have begun to slow down, you can begin to move out of reaction mode and toward intentionally responding with care. You can now ask yourself, “What do I know about what’s going on around me and what am I assuming?” That’s a great way to face what’s really in front of you instead of what you’re afraid might be there.
*Next, you’ll want to ask yourself, “What is the small next right step I can take?” You’ll want to move forward one small step at a time, because each small step will inform what you’ll want to do next. You’ll be surprised at the relief you feel taking small steps in the right direction. We sometimes imagine life will only feel better when we “arrive,” but taking slow, steady steps in the right direction goes a long way to feeling relief.
Thank you, again, for taking the time to read this, and taking your next “right” step to helping you finding balance in changing times.
Learn More At: https://carlscounseling.com/