Got Hang ups?
Got Hang Ups?
Tim Peckham is making light of what many call, ” first world problems.” All jokes aside, most of our hang-ups come, and then they go. But for some of us, our hang-ups are like waves in the ocean, rising and relenting, but seldom receding completely. By hang-ups I’m talking about everything from; daily stressors like your teen dissing you for breathing, to being cut off by a road rager, to suffering from anxiety, fear, or an inner voice telling you you’re a loser, or stupid, to traumatic life events like losing a loved one, getting divorced, or hearing a scary medical diagnosis.
It’s about being human. Non of us are immune. And yes, we live in the USA and these are first world problems. That does not mean they aren’t real. Many are traumatic, and all are painful. The human condition includes suffering regardless of where you live, how much money you make, or how resilient you are.
And, it’s not just about “bucking up” and dealing with it. Bucking up is important, but not the complete story. It’s a combination of feeling and thinking at the same time. It’s riding these daily stressors and larger life events like a wave, and at the same time self regulating, or mood state changing (AKA bucking up) in order to function throughout your day. That duality is not an easy task for many of us. Feel and think at the same time? I do already, some say. Or, what does that mean?
I’m going to write a series about feeling and thinking at the same time. Until then, here are a few Tips from the Trail to keep you keepin’ on.
1. Make a point of belly laughing every day. That’s a deep, wet your pants kind of laugh. Some adults forgot how to laugh hard, and laugh at ourselves. In a kind way of course. Watch Chris Flemming’s video here about a crazed woman needing her house “company ready.” If you can’t laugh at this, call me.
2. When a strong emotion like fear, anxiety, anger, or sadness over comes you during the day, ride it like a wave.
Step one: Notice where you feel it in your body. Take a few slow, deep breaths and just notice it.
Step two: Kindly say to yourself, “this is a perceived threat. I am safe. No tiger is chasing me.”
Step three: In your mind’s eye, envelop the emotion in a balloon or cloud, and watch it float away. Keep your eyes open if you’re driving. :-).
Step four: Visualize yourself in a warm ocean riding a swell of a wave – it rises and relents just like your slow, deep breaths you continue taking.
Step five: Keep this up while you feel the emotion as long as you can tolerate it, and then look at your watch and say, ” OK, time to self regulate. time to compartmentalize this feeling and carry on.”
Step six: Go to your calm place if you know what I mean, listen to a funny podcast, watch a SNL skit, call a friend and offer an encouraging word, or do some other random act of kindness.
Now take on the day as if it’s your last. Life is daily. Enjoy this one.
Happy trails to you and yours, Allison.