by Anna marie Trotman

This month we are focusing on taking a stressful situation and reframing it to support you in cultivating peace of mind.

But first ask yourself this question, “Am I burning the candle at both ends?” If you get a yes then keep reading. If you get a no then keep reading, there might be something that you can share with a friend or a snippet that may support you in moving through some challenging events.

Here’s the scenario; The alarm goes off 5 hours after going to bed and you haven’t

had a good nights sleep; you hit the snooze button three or four times, when you finally get up, you shuffle into the kitchen, guzzle down a 16oz cup of coffee and eat a pop tart. You go into the bathroom to shower, look in the mirror and your face looks like you’re a child of Voldemort. Getting the kids out the door is a monumental task. You’d rather climb Mt. Everest then go to work (and you use to love your job). Interacting with your co-workers is like a scene out of Animal House. You feel like everything and everyone is against you and you’ve developed the charming little habit of biting everyone’s head off! You feel like you’ve hit a wall both mentally and physically and you don’t know how to fix any of it.

Well things might not be as bad as all that in your life, but if any of it sounds familiar, know that by taking some action there is a silver lining. Here are some coping strategies. 

Sleep – Sleep Glorious Sleep

 You’re not a hero if you work 18 hours a day, you might as well pour hot sauce on an open wound. Sleep makes you smarter, more creative and you won’t wake up looking like Voldemort’s offspring. You may not know at this point how many hours sleep your body requires, but 8 hours is a good measuring stick for getting back on track. Instead of working through your breaks take time to refresh, have some cucumber water, put your ear buds in and listen to some soft or uplifting music. Take some long deep breaths and chill.

Practice Peace

Choosing peace just doesn’t happen; it’s a skill that takes regular practice to master. Choose and use a technique that works for you, whether it’s a yoga class, exercise that clears your mind, prayer or meditation, practice, practice, practice. Devoting even five minutes a day to telling yourself, “I am all right in this moment” begins to build your peace of mind muscle that will stay strong no matter what is going on around you.

Get into Your Heart Space

We all have events that hook us into behaving in ways we wished we hadn’t. Some of us have obsessive compulsive thoughts about someone that did something we didn’t like, or an event, such as the electric going out, the basement flooding, or the neighbors tree falling into the driveway. These are events that you have no control over and you certainly don’t have control over other people, but the good news is, you do have control over how you react or respond to them. The following exercise will help you manage some of the more stressful times in your life.

Begin by making a  list of events that are a trigger for you. Add to that list some interactions with people that push your buttons. Now read them over one at a time and notice how your body feels. When you get to an event or interaction that is stressful notice where in your body you feel tension or tightness. Does your jaw feel tight? How about your stomach, your back or your head?

Before you can unplug and feel calm about any of your triggers, you have to begin to reframe the story you’re telling yourself.

The attached is a useful tool to support you in developing peace of mind.  click on My Heart Space

 The Hook
  1. Briefly describe the event.
  2. What are your perceptions?
  3. What was your reaction?
  4. What are/were your feelings?
  5. What occurred when your feelings went out into your environment?
The Reframe – Now, from your heart space, you get to tell yourself a new story.
  1. What are your new perceptions?
  2. What is your new response?
  3. What are your feelings?
  4. What occurred when your new feelings went out into your environment?