Have you ever wished your brain was an etch-a-sketch, where you could simply shake your head and your mind would once again be blank? There are some things you simply can't un-see, un-hear, or un-know. This week we received some troubling news about the health of my mom. While we're all suspended in the limbo of waiting to hear the diagnostics results, there's been a flurry of future-tripping thoughts clogging the synapses. At the same time that dang Taylor Swift song keeps replaying in my head, reminding me to "Shake it Off". When life shakes us up, it's important to draw on these simple techniques to keep from getting knocked off our axis:
1. Breathe! A shaman healer once told me that every breath is like a prayer. Our breath becomes shallow with increased anxiety so it's important to draw the breath from the belly so it nourishes and calms the parasympathetic nervous system.
2. No Future-tripping: Our minds love to problem-solve, but solving issues that don't yet exist do nothing but give us unnecessary headaches. Instead focus on what's true, what is definitive and process only the information you have. This will help from feeling overwhelmed when new information arrives.
3. Grounding: Feeling your feet on the floor, and feeling the floor supporting your feet is an instant grounding activation and can help you from feeling carried away.
4. Feel the emotion and move on: Did you know the body only takes 90 seconds to process emotions? We normally attach to a story which drags us into a spiral and replay the emotion over and over. So when you feel a wave of fear, sadness, frustration, etc. Let it pass through you for 90 seconds and see where you are.
5. EFF: Energy Follows Focus. Wherever our focus goes, that's where our energy flows. Rather than letting something ruin your day, focus on something that will take you out of that replay. A goal you wish to attain, a task that needs to be done, etc.
6. Release the old defense mechanisms: Ever notice how something stressful makes us more irritable? It's because we're on edge and feeling something uncomfortable make us feel more exposed and vulnerable. Rather than trying to board it up, feel it, allow yourself to just be with the discomfort. As we surrender to what is, a softening occurs in our mind and spirit which positively affects our body.
7. Pray: This is similar to breathe. Connecting with a higher source of wisdom can provide clarity in quiet moments. What are we sending out is what we may also receive.