Some days I feel like I have everything under control, and some days I feel like I have been sucked into a vortex of everyone else’s problems that have suddenly become mine.
I do three things. Smile, breathe and listen. I know it sounds too simple, but it really helps!
Smile. Just a half smile, so you don’t scare people. The smile releases endorphins and tricks your body into relaxation. It gives a sense of personal control, a feeling of “I’ve got this!”
Breathe. Take a few deep breaths to connect your mind and body. As you breathe in, take your time and feel your belly rise. Allow your lungs to absorb the oxygen, and then exhale fully. Repeat three or four times and scan your body for tension as you breathe.
Breathing pulls you into the present moment and prevents you from dwelling on the past or fearing the unknown future.
Listen. The reason that there is a problem is because you don’t yet have a solution. The solution can only found when you have all the facts and you have listened to all perspectives with an open mind and heart. Listen to a variety of people that you respect so you can hear some non-biased perspectives. We generally listen with a filter or a specific lens due to our innate biases. You have to remove these roadblocks to gain a clearer understanding.
Take some time away from the situation and let your heart and mind get to work without your cognitive influences. Go for a walk, hike, bike ride, swim, lift weights, do yoga or pilates, nap, listen to music or just get a good night’s sleep.
Not all problems can be solved this way, but it is worth a try. It does not cost anything and it will help you build a positive habit that will help you in the future.