When things are going Crazy
Traffic doesn't cooperate, so you are late for an central job interview. Your daughter calls to say the dog has attacked the cat, plus she is on the way to the emergency room with the suffering feline. Your checking account goes negative at the actual time you need to manufacture a large payment for the transmission that just gave out on your vehicle. The latest landlord increases the rent by 50% plus demands that you pay, or move out within thirty days. Your elderly mother hates her novel assisted living lodging and has walked out for the third time - so they threaten to eject her if she does it once more. Your brother enquiries and needs bail money, but doesn't know when he can pay you back.
Seems similar to a television drama, doesn't it? Those are all real-world experiences shared by people dealing with more stress than they believe they can manage. In nearly all cases, they the last-straw situations where other traumatic events have occurred, plus this is just the pile on top of the mess.
There are a number of responses - heart rushing, pulse beating faster, throbbing headache, screaming or crying, looking up at the sky and asking "Why me? What the heck did I do wrong to deserve this?" In nearly all cases, the natural instinct of flight kicks in, and each one wants to flee to the bed plus jump under the covers and hide, or run away - far away - as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, neither of these proves to be a good long-term option and you have to confront the matter at some point. Even when you run and hide, the issue just awaits your return!
Learning how to handle in the center of traumatic conditions is the only means to get better at managing them. You can't control what's out there, and even when you do get things to a calm and ordinary state, you can bet at some point there will be disruption. Being able to handle your physical and emotional responses is key to your health plus happiness over the long term.
Each day, try the subsequent exercises so when the crisis hits or the stress builds up to where you think you can't take it, you'll be ready:
Throughout the day, stop several times and focus on your breathing. It can be helpful to have triggers (yes, triggers can be good things, too!) - as a result, for example, every time you stand up from a sitting position, take a few seconds to experience your breath. You can do it when you sit down to type at your computer, or finish making a phone call, or leave one room to walk into another. Have set times that will trigger your practice. Stop what you are doing and focus on your breath - in through your nose, out through your mouth. Calmly plus evenly. The mind can't focus on two things at one time, as a result this exercise is very helpful to practice being still.
Create a mantra you can use over and over again. Negative self-talk always kicks in when you are under anxiety. You start to imagine all of the terrible things that can happen, that you aren't equipped to deal with things, and so on. Your mantra could be "I am strong plus can deal with anything that comes my way." Or "I get stronger every day and am a capable, competent person." Or "I make good choices even when I am under stress." You will want to create this mantra when you are not in a traumatic situation, and practice using it as much as you can, as a result when you require to employ it, you are ready and can ease into the saying.
Be ready for anything. Being prepared can alleviate stress, too. Practical things similar to keeping flashlights where you can reach them easily, having a medical kit that is filled and easy to access in your car and home, keeping emergency numbers loaded in your cell phone with speed dial codes, having an agreement with a friend or neighbor nearby that you can call upon when you need it, and keeping basic supplies at hand. You do not have to go overboard and assume tragedy will befall you; you now have to take basic steps to know you have easy access if an emergency should strike.
Remain fit. As much as you are able, get physical activity every day. You do not have to run marathons or finish an Iron Man or Woman competition, but you should be able to do basic things without getting winded. Keeping your physical body alert and in basic shape helps to keep your mind alert, too. If you have medical concerns always consult a doctor first, but if you are in reasonable health, try and push yourself now a bit more each day. Being strong helps with overall confidence in dealing with crises.
Will any of these activities prevent the next stressor in your life? Even a large one? No, of course not. Life is still going to thrust negative experiences on you - they happen to everyone. The answer is to be mentally and physically strong enough to deal with them in a proactive and confident manner, instead of devolving to a panic state that both renders you less effective, and impacts your health!
Start now to prepare yourself - practice when you don't require it, so you can call upon these things when you do.
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