There are times when we get so stressed and we get in such a wad that our rational thinking brain leaves the building and we just freeze. Ever had that happen? It happens to me sometimes when I have committed to way too many things and my to-do list is so long I don’t even know where to start. Often times where I start is on a box of cookies instead. Hmmm… maybe not my best choice. But it is really hard to make a good choice when we are so stressed. So here are several ways to help us get out from under the stress-induced wad.
The first is to just tap on the side of the hand, the finger points, or any of the points on the upper body that seem right at that moment. No words are even needed to start tapping. Just tap gently. Let the calming “all is well” signal get to your brain so that you can start thinking again. Words may or may not come, and either way it’s OK. Just tap. It works.
Another helpful resource you can create for yourself is your very own “Go-To” list. Start this list when you have some quiet time and can think clearly. Start this list before you get in a wad so that you’ll have it when you need it. Start this list soon!
So what is a Go-To list? It can simply be a list of beautiful thoughts, memories, stories, plans, photos, drawings, pictures, even objects that bring a smile to your face instantly and bring you joy when you think of them. Keep it simple. What makes you happy? Let it be things you can recall the instant you need them. Let it be thoughts that turn your day around. Let your list be an on-going resource that makes you smile each time you add something to it. Let it be absolutely and uniquely yours. Let it help you whenever you need it. There will likely be one or a few things that work best for you. Get to know those and use them. It works.
Your Go-To list can also be a resource if you are working on controlling cravings. Your list could include alternative actions to take instead of giving in to the craving. Make this list all yours and filled with things that work for well you. Examples might include leaving the location of the craving, go outside for a walk or bike ride or run or just to breathe fresh air. Maybe schedule a massage or facial or get your nails done – some way of pampering yourself that doesn’t include the craving. Call a friend. Find a healthy substitute for what you crave – create that new habit. Smile or laugh out loud, even if it’s fake at first.
Yet another resource you can use when you are experiencing a rough spot in your day: gratitude. What!? I am stressed to the bone and I should say thank you???!!! Actually, yes. You don’t have to say thank you for the ‘mess du jour,’ but there is always someone or something you can recall or notice around you that deserves gratitude. The blue sky, bird song, your eyesight, your friend…take just a moment and a little effort to notice something and even say out loud “thank you.” If you just can’t get to a place of gratitude that moment, try tapping first to unfreeze yourself! You can even take gratitude a step further and start to list a few things that you are thankful for each day, either in your head or on paper. This really works.
When we feel good, we attract good things to us. And there’s the flip side…when we don’t feel good, we actually attract more conflict and stress into our life. Choose to help yourself feel good each day!
Even though I’m not having such a great day, I choose to feel calm and peaceful right now.
Even though I’m really stressed out, I choose to know that things are getting better, and I’m OK.
Even though I don’t know what to do right now, I choose to remember something right now that makes me smile, and I know I’ll be OK.
Go forth and tap, start your “Go-To” list, and find gratitude. Give yourself this gift of kindness. You deserve it and you’ll be glad you did.
Keep Calm and Tap On!