WEARS YOUR HEAD AT

Mindfully Mindful

perspective

SPACE

Nancy Arnold

Let me start off by saying that I just had half of this blog written out and then I accidentally deleted it. I’m pretty sure that the Universe is testing me with this exact message I’m about to share, and I get to exercise the exact tips that I’m about to share with you! Instead of wanting to either walk away or throw my computer across the room, I now have the tools to be okay with things that really aren’t such a big deal. So, I’m even now more excited to share! Silver lining folks, silver lining. I’m certain that we can really all relate to this message. I’m just gonna go ahead and press save every 5 seconds.

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THE TRIGGER

What does that even mean? Well, I’ll talk about what I had written previously, but this is a great chance to recognize what just happened! I can re-write the message, and I’m actually pretty proud of myself for not reacting how I maybe would of reacted a month ago! But we’ll get into that in a bit. I’m going to use one of my triggers as an example (sorry Dylan but the people need examples)…a dirty kitchen. I’ll start off my saying that I am by no means a super tidy person that always cleans up after myself or does my dishes immediately. I can get home from a busy day/evening and if the kitchen is messy with dishes crowding the counter, I will start doing the dishes before even taking my jacket off…which is pretty silly. Because, big picture, who cares? The dishes will be there in 5 minutes, 5 hours..and even..5 days, but let’s not be silly. So, why does this bother be so much? I’ve broken it down and realized that it comes, actually, from a place of comfort. When I was younger and living with the rents, the kitchen was always cleaned up after dinner. The ambient lights came on, the dishwasher was a low hum and it was just…comforting. So, this has made it’s way into my adult life, and I find joy in this atmosphere. We all have our things, and in all honesty, they are often things that in the big picture, don’t really matter. So, how have I learned to slow my roll, take a minute and realize that some things just really aren’t worth getting so bent out of shape about. Can you recognize your triggers are when they happen? Are you able to stop yourself before you react? If so, bravo! If you’re unsure of what I mean or how to even attempt this…read on! I got some tips for you!

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SPACE

There are a few ways to calm the situation before it escalates and spirals into something unnecessary. Sometimes you can even be having the greatest day, and something ticks you off (ie. dirty dishes, someone cutting you off) ..if you let it. This is key. So, how do you do this?! I’m going to share with you a few tips and one that I learned just the other day in the amazing course I’m currently in about how to deal and regulate emotions. When you recognize these emotions coming on (and you’ll know because it’s usually that comes on quite strong and it happens a lot of the time when it comes up) it’s time to be honest with yourself and control these emotions. Here’s one simple way to deal. The first step is recognizing the trigger. Then you want to stop yourself from reacting immediately in a way that you usually would (this takes practice, and that’s to be expected) and take a step back to observe. What is the big picture here? Does it actually affect your life in such a dis-tasteful way that you’re allowing it to totally ruin your day? Dishes aren’t worth it. You can try a few things, and physically remove yourself if you find that helps. Take 10 deep breathes, slowly and focusing only on that. Breathing with purpose (other than, ya know, staying alive) is proven to calm your nervous system and thoughts. You can also try a method of tapping, which is crossing your arms in front of you like a genie and slowly tap your forearms/elbows back and forth very slowly. Again, concentrating only on this. If you have the time, sit in silence for a few minutes, doing either or even try a mediation. All of these take patience with yourself and practice, so don’t get too worked up if you find that it doesn’t work right off the bat. Being mindful is a disciple. Giving yourself the space to realize that these triggers are something that can be changed by a change in mindset or perspective, is a great tool to keep in your back pocket. The space you allow yourself between the trigger and the reaction isn’t always going to be ideal, but in time and with remembering to use the techniques (there are a few methods to how to deal, which I totally suggest researching or talking to someone in the field about if you find yourself being triggered a lot), it does start to become second nature. So, when I accidentally erased what I had already written, I was able to turn that anger right around and tell it to take a hike.

Make sure that you are taking in all of the facts of the situation. Perhaps you were in a shitty mood before it happened and then it escalated it, maybe it was an accident, etc. This will also help you to take that step back, and take in everything, but you really must allow that to happen. If you remain stubborn, judgemental and close-minded, then it’s likely that giving yourself the space might make it even worse. If you start playing the scenario in your mind (and even making up things that haven’t even happened….) this is going to perpetuate your thoughts, anxiety and can make the situation even worse. So remain calm as best you can, and understand that this too, shall pass.

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THE REACTION

Ah, what will this look like? So, once you’ve given yourself the SPACE to chill, you’ll be able to approach the situation with a calmer state of mind, a different perspective and with a rational solution. Back to the dishes. When I get home and would appreciate that the kitchen were cleaned up, and if I feel the emotional triggers happening, I take my breath, and first..hang up my jacket. Say hello to Dylan and the cats with purpose, then maybe even do something else before approaching the subject. Of course, there are some things that can’t be ignored and are more serious then a messy kitchen, but you understand the gist of it. I’ve absolutely noticed a change in how I am able to control my emotions based off of my triggers. Eventually what makes you all riled up won’t have as much of a negative effect as it once had. I’m still on this step, but I’ll get there.

With the design of this design, the “SPACE” part will remain in the same colour of the shirt because it is meant to be for yourself, quiet, and the calm. It’s not in your face or aggressive. Giving yourself space from anxiety, anger and frustration is meant to be peaceful. I’m really digging this design because it was homework given to me from my therapist at one point, and I believe that it’s one tool that has been given to me that I find has been incredibly valuable. It’s helped to focus my attention elsewhere and lessen the anger. I highly suggest that everyone tries this!! I’d love to hear what you do in these situations, what you’ve found that’s helped you and how it’s changed your way of life! Keep on keepin’ on you magical souls!!

Check out the design here!

Peace, Love + go easy on yourself.

Nancy