Warning: naughty language ahead!
I beg your pardon my dear, your crazy is showing and you may want to tuck it back in.
Having trouble learning to chill, keeping your game tight, relaxing, letting go, releasing emotion or otherwise holding it down?
Meh. No biggie. It happens, even to the chillest of chill. Like, even yogis get mad. I swear—I’ve seen it. In person. It’s legit.
Humans experience emotion. Sometimes we respond well, sometimes we don’t. In the event we don’t, aren’t, or are struggling to do so, some pretty smart people have come up with some kickass solutions, ideas and exercises to help you save face, keep your cool and otherwise offer support in loss prevention (you know, for your shit).
Presented below are some of my favorite strategies. Bear in mind, however, that they only work as well as I allow them to. So, you know, take some accountability for effectiveness when trying them yourself.
How to C.T.F.D.
Step one: fix.
Step two: it.
Step three: fix it.
Just kidding. Try these instead.
1. Notice your emotion(s).
Don’t fight them, just observe. How do you feel? Where are you experiencing tension? Where are you holding injury? How does your chest feel; is it tight? Your throat; is there a frog in it? How about your arms; what are they doing? Don’t resist what you discover, or take up residence at Camp Pain. Simply notice what your body is doing, observe your reaction, and move on.
Take no action until you have taken deep cleansing breaths. My go-to strategy is Ujjayi Pranayama breaths. By the time I get to 10 I usually feel about 1,000 times better and my head is quite a bit closer to being on straight again.
Control your breath, control your mind.
3. Change your perspective. Get upside down, literally.
Any one of these poses will work to bring back blood flow to the brain and give you a new perspective. Sidenote—you will probably also fall over at some point. Try to give yourself permission to laugh, crankypants. It’s supposed to be fun.
4. Change the scenery (and your point of view).
Put your situation in perspective. Is this really a big deal? Is the sky falling? Will the world stop turning in the next hour? Remember, everything is impermanent. Likewise, everything is connected. How you do anything is how you do everything. Get outside (or at least in a new space) and get mobile. Take at least 10 minutes to sort through your thoughts, check in with your self-talk and say “buh-bye” to your scarcity mentality.
5. Tune out.
Put on some music. Have some go-to playlists that will assist in changing your mood and energy. Feeling extra spunky? Channel your inner Beyonce and sing along. Really feeling like getting down with your bad self? Go ahead and shake it (like a polaroid picture…).
6. Show some gratitude.
List some things you are grateful for, and why. The first one or two are going to be hard, as you are probably resembling Oscar the Grouch more than, say, Elmo. However, once you move past forcing yourself to write a sarcastic and begrudged “I am grateful for this day” line item, you’ll find the next few are more genuine. You know, like, “I am grateful to have children with healthy lungs,” “I have gratitude for having a giant house to clean.” No, wait. No. Be authentic. List things that you are fortunate to have in your life. Need inspiration? Google some pictures of third world countries and then write yourself a reality check.
We must give gratitude before we can receive it. Be a big spender in this venture.
7. Journal it.
Write it down, purge it, brain dump it, then let it go. Do not re-read it. Do not share it with others. Do not validate it through reinforcement. It is now in the past. Leave it there.
Remember, you only get this day once. It’s up to you to choose how to spend it; it’s your conscious decision to create the space in which you reside.
Be here, be present, choose peace, be happy.
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Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Ruth Hartnup/Flickr