It’s easy to get wrapped up in the many ongoing thoughts of what needs to be done, what needs to be fixed, who needs to be paid, the shopping, the cleaning, schedules, doctor’s appointments, work, laundry…
With all the worry in the front of your mind constantly, it doesn’t seem to leave room for thinking about what makes life good. That doesn’t mean that the good things in life are not with and around you each moment. It’s just that when you’re trapped in an infinite loop of worries, the good surrounding you can be filtered out by a brain that is trying to keep you safe.
It’s not practical to try to filter out all the worries all the time. Things need to get done and bills need to be paid. But you can choose to put the worry into the background for a minute or two as you invite the good into the foreground. It only takes awareness and practice.
- First, notice when you are feeling exasperated with everything that needs to be done. There’s no need to judge yourself for being in this state. It’s just the way it is for you right now. Instead of judging, notice what you’re thinking and how your body feels when you’re in this state.
- Then take a slow, comfortably deep, calming breath. When you think about it, that’s what we do naturally when we’re in that state – we often let out a deep sigh of exasperation. But instead of sighing, this time breathe in calm. And then exhale slowly, releasing tension and relaxing your body.
- Take as many slow breaths as you like and with each inhalation notice one thing around you that is good. Some examples could be the temperature of the air on your skin, the color of the light in the sky or in the trees, the softness of the surface supporting you, sunset, flowers, the sound of laughter, music, the first sip of coffee or tea, a favorite picture, a break in traffic, your eyesight, … it doesn’t need to be huge. The object of this practice is to notice the abundance of good things around you that had been filtered out by the brain.
- When your worry-focused brain tells you that’s all you have time for and that your break is over, smile in appreciation of your practice, whether it’s one breath or ten or more, thank your brain for its help, and celebrate your win.
- Repeat this simple practice as many times each day as you can. Like so many things, with practice finding the good becomes easier. The moments of exasperation will still come, but less frequently. And they won’t last as long once you start this practice.
- Remember to give thanks for the good that you see, no matter how tiny. Gratitude will reward you by providing even more good things for which to be grateful.
Life really is good when you teach the brain that it’s safe to take a break for a few minutes to find joy and give thanks. And you can use EFT Tapping to help ease you into the practice of releasing worry and accepting joy.
When you’re feeling stress and worry, estimate how intense your worry is on a scale of 0 – 10, where 0 is no worry and 10 is maximum intensity. Notice where you feel it in your body. Here’s a quick general tapping round to get you started:
Even though I am stressed because I have SO much to do, and it makes my stomach feel tight, that’s just the way it is for me right now.
Even though there is too much to do and not enough time to get it all done, I accept myself anyway and I choose to take a calming breath.
Even though I’ll never get this all done, I accept how I feel.
Tapping through the points now:
Top of the Head: I am SO stressed.
Eyebrow: My stomach is tight like a knot.
Side of the Eye: So much to do and not enough time.
Under the Eye: So stressed and worried.
Under the Nose: All this stress.
Chin: Taking a break to breathe in calm to relieve this stress.
Collar Bone: And exhaling my worries.
Under the Arm: Taking time to breathe and notice the good around me.
Take a slow, calming breath and notice how you feel. What is your intensity level now, 0 – 10? Did anything change? Did the physical sensation move? If you are still stressed out, tap more rounds and get very specific with your words, describing exactly what is bothering you and how you are feeling.
It’s normal to worry about life’s day-to-day concerns. And you deserve a break to see and enjoy the good. With practice comes awareness, balance, and happiness, one breath at a time.
Keep Calm and Tap On!