Hit Pause To Reset
In the 1950s a few highly trained Air Force pilots were given a life or death task, to fly at altitudes higher than ever before attempted. They found that going beyond the Earth's denser atmosphere, the ordinary laws of aerodynamics no longer existed. A plane could skid into a flat spin and then start tumbling end over end, not spinning or diving. The first pilots to face this challenge responded by frantically trying to stabilize their planes, applying correction after correction. The harder they tried to manipulate the controls the wilder the ride became, until they would plunge to their deaths. This occurred several times. When Chuck Yeager attempted this feat he was jostled around the cockpit and knocked out. When he came to, the plane was back in the Earth's denser atmosphere, he was able to apply his regular tactics to correct the plane and was able to land successfully. He had discovered that not doing anything, taking your hands off of the controls was the only thing that worked.
In life we often find ourselves in circumstances that we aren't able to control, in which none of our strategies work. Scenarios like: finding out our child has been lying to us about who they are hanging out with, what they are doing, and their grades, someone says something hurtful to us, we miss the mark at work, or something we really wanted and tried for didn't go our way. How do we respond to this? We over compensate, beat ourselves up, scramble to make it right, raise our voice, slam on our horn, feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders, hide out, over indulge, lose ourselves in media, and so many other things.
What should we do instead? Pause. I know this sounds counterintuitive, but that is because we are conditioned to think that. We are taught to seek solutions in action, externally. I'm not saying that there aren't some solutions that you can find externally, but the solution to not feeling bad is not in action. See, if you keep going outside to find the solution then you will keep having the challenges. However, if you learn how to go inside and heal the thing that's causing the pain, then you get to stop feeling it!
So how do you pause? When you don't feel good (anxiety, stress, overwhelm, sad, afraid, anything that doesn't feel good) stop and intentionally breath. Focus on your breath, count to 3 on the inhale and exhale, then count to 4, 5, 6. Only do this comfortably, don't strain. After you have done that for 6 rounds your autonomic nervous system will kick in and automatically relax you. Then see how you feel about the challenge. Likely, the challenge will still be there, but your feelings about it will be less charged.
If you want to learn other strategies to feeling better and learning how to heal and grow, let's hop on a chat next week so I can share other techniques to feeling good, now! What works for you?
Erin "full of hot air" Mac