I like to keep busy when I am stressed and I am stressed because I keep busy! Anyone else on this not-so-merry-go-round?
The uncertain tends to stress me out a great deal…not knowing what is going to happen or waiting for something to happen or results makes me anxious out of my mind. And, although I recognize it (a good thing) and can begin to do some deep breathing (another good thing), I can’t seem to prevent it from causing me stress to begin with (a not so good thing). You would think that after all these years of not dealing well with uncertainty I could be a bit more proactive and head it off at the pass. After all uncertainty is a given in life and most of the time I know when it is coming.
Such a conundrum.
Another conundrum happens when I get blindsided by my emotions and instead of slowing down and feeling what I am feeling, taking an inventory and processing what I am feeling, I move faster and get busier. Thus creating stress on top of these emotions. I don’t know about you but I find that if I try to accomplish things without dealing with my emotions I create all kinds of stress for myself.
I know that if I just stop and take some time for myself I will be much more able to cope and deal with the stressors that are now keeping me feeling tense, scared, angry, sad, overwhelmed, etc. However, instead of doing that I keep doing what I am doing because I don’t want to acknowledge those feelings as real and just too intimidating to handle.
Am I the only one who does this? Sigh…
Here are 3 steps I am learning to take to deal with those feelings before they become the fodder for more stress.
1. As soon as I find myself getting short with people (a sure sign I am anxious), I stop and take 36 deep breaths. Yes, 36. I count each one and let my primitive brain get some good oxygen and allow myself the time to not react.
2. After those 36 breaths I write down every emotion I am feeling – every one. And connect those emotions to why I am anxious. I do not sweep them under the rug in my mind and I do not rationalize them away. I look at them directly, in the eye and find out why they are swirling in my heart and soul.
3. Then, I let the strongest one rise to the top and deal with it. Do I need to cry? Do I need to go beat a pillow or take a walk? Do I need to talk to someone? Do I need to take an uncomfortable action? Do I need to sleep? Do I need to set a boundary? Whatever it is I need to do, I do it. No matter how scary it is. It is amazing how much stress is released and how much energy is restored.
So that’s my plan…what’s yours?