Stressful times, family fights, heated discussions…oh the joys of life! These things will not go away – ever! You can pretty much count on them always happening. So the key is, how do you make these unfortunate parts of life less painful and difficult? Well I have some solutions.
The other day my husband and I were arguing. Our voices were elevating and tension was filling the room. As he was saying his piece, I felt my jaw clenching and my body on fire. I felt like I was going to explode any minute. And then I did something that really pissed him off – I closed my eyes. He stopped in mid-sentence and furiously said, “What are you doing?!”
I opened my eyes and said, “I am centering”. He understood and walked out of the room.
You see, what started out as some simple miscommunication had elevated to full on hostile warfare. We didn’t even know what we were fighting about anymore. All I knew is that nothing about it felt good. We both recognized that it had gotten out of hand and it was time to take a break and reset.
The discussion between my husband and I hadn’t started from a balanced place, hence why it elevated so quickly. We each had our own “stuff” going on. My husband had his own stress going on and I had some of my own issues. We both brought our negative energy and other “crap” into the conversation.
When we are stressed, scattered, and overwhelmed we lose our “center”. Our minds and bodies become disconnected. My body was present but my mind was racing in many different directions. My jaw clenching and muscles tightening were signals that I was out of alignment.
After some time, my husband returned to the room to resolve our issue. We were both in a more relaxed and balanced state. Whatever we were arguing about wasn’t so “BIG” anymore. We had both taken some time to center and balance ourselves. When you do this, you can look at life situations with more clarity and understanding. Things don’t seem so difficult, so scary, and so traumatic. When we are in a place of stress than everything will feel like it is falling apart.
Tips to get through stress and difficult times:
When we are stressed, overwhelmed, and fueled by fear we are robbed our the present moment. Our minds start racing with catastrophic thoughts. We create destructive scenarios in our minds that haven’t happened. Our thoughts brings us to scary, unknown places and rob us of our peace, comfort, and joy. Getting grounded is a great way to bring you back to reality. To get grounded, close your eyes and place your feet flat on the floor. Focus on your breathing and feel every part of your body touching whatever you are sitting or standing on. Feel your feet on the floor and/or the chair you are sitting in. Use your senses to help bring you right into the moment you are in. Visually take in all that is around you. Notice every object in the room, hear every sound, smell every scent, and really feel your feet on the floor.
You can do this anytime and anywhere. You can take as little or as long as you want. You may only have a minute if you are in the heat of the moment and pressed for time. Simply close your eyes and imagine a beam of bright, white light and energy coming down from the sky above you. Imagine that the light is coming through the top of your head, traveling through your body, and out the bottom of your feet into the ground. Imagine the light and good energy filling every part of your body and pushing all the negative stuff out of you. Take deep breaths and let the energy fill you. Remember how this feels as you begin to feel calmer so you can always return to this place at a later time when you need to.
It’s amazing how many of us forget to breathe or we breathe from our chests. I was a notorious breath holder in times of stress. Deep belly breathing is one of the greatest ways to help you heal and relax. Breathing fuels our body with more oxygen, which makes a lot of good things happen. First our heart rate slows down and then the stress hormones are released. When this happens our fight or flight response decreases and then ultimately stops. Learning diaphragmatic breathing is one of the simplest and easiest stress reducing tools that you can do anytime to quickly and effectively bring your body back into balance.