Categories
Change Dealing with a Crisis letting go of fear Stress

Your New Adventure is Set in Motion;Here are 5 Steps to Master the Challenge of Change

Fear is a Normal Response

Understand that fear during a change is normal, and something that we all share. We can learn how to not let fear get bigger but see it as something that can ignite creativity to find find dynamic solutions and propel you forward. We can condition ourselves to make forward motion the only choice. When you’re trying to accomplish something, do not think of everything at once. Many things at once can overwhelm your brain. Instead, pick one thing and focus on it for a block time. By staying calm when you are under pressure your brain is more efficient and accomplishes more with less effort.

Understand that fear during a change is normal, and something that we all share. We can learn how to not let fear get bigger but see it as something that can ignite creativity to find find dynamic solutions and propel you forward

“For what it is worth it is never too late or in my case too early to be whoever you want to be. There is no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing.We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you have never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view.I hope you live a life you are proud of. If you find that you are not,I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” Eric Roth; The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Screenplay

Tension and stress is counterproductive and inhibits productivity and creativity. The minute you feel your jaw tighten with a fear stress reaction apply a relaxation technique. We want to work with ourselves and our challenges. You are capable when faced with complex stressors to move forward when under pressure.

“When we least expect it ,life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at any such moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait.Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.” Paulo Coelho author of The Devil and Miss Prym

Challenge Yourself and Decide Your Action Plan

You can never have complete certainty. We must exercise the ability to take risk even though it’s uncomfortable and uncertainLet your life adventure begin!

You can never have complete certainty. We must exercise the ability to take risk even though it’s uncomfortable and uncertain, and sometimes we have to decide without having every shred of available information. Once you decide, take every course of action you can to support it. The most important thing is that you’ve decided. Visualize the result you want and dive right in trusting your own instincts.

Change is a vulnerable time. When you reflect on your life, to overcome difficulties you had to be resilient and flexible.  Recognize how strong you are. This resilience gets stronger as you exercise it. Remind yourself of your talents, inner resources and the support of family and friends. You have the power within you to get through your challenges and come to your own emotional rescue no matter what happens in life.

“You can’t rewind the past.The only way to learn the secret is to press play.” Jay Asher author of Thirteen reasons Why

Imagined Worries, Fears and Anxieties

When I was pregnant with my first child, those were beautiful and emotionally nourishing times knowing that a beautiful life was growing inside me. There was also an overwhelming fear because of uncertainty. There were various opinions of others offering advice, and I scoured books and websites for clues on what to expect. My mind filled in the gaps of imagining what could happen. As prepared as I was, I knew it may not go according to plan. During those times I needed to live in the moment, as allowing my brain to fast forward ahead with imagined fears and anxieties, could affect our baby, and it was my job to stay centred, strong and relaxed in the journey. The fact that I gave birth proved to myself I could overcome any challenge or uncertainty with my intuition and intelligent heart as my guide.It’s important to recall how well you overcame challenges and fears in the past.

Call to Action

1) Find something in the tapestry of your life’s journey you have overcome and recall it in great detail. You have overcome past challenges and were born with a great will to survive in times of hardship. Faced with great adversity many people have found strength and courage to move through change and so can you. Find an empowering affirmation and repeat it to yourself such as; “I am strong, resilient, and know exactly what to do”. Recognize that you have successfully used your resilience in the past and have the skills for future challenges.

2)  Accept that change is inevitable. Never doubt your ability and power to overcome any challenge. Know that you have a courageous and strong survival instinct.

3) Write out what you want, the direction you want to go, and decide by making one action step.

4) Allow yourself to understand your feelings of uncertainty and have compassion for yourself, then step outside of your comfort zone. Acknowledge that when you are in the fresh new part of a painful event, there is a normal period of rocky emotions and feelings of uncertainty. Make this part of the voyage easier by holding your head up high and being determined. Surround yourself with people who inspire you!

5) Understand that like the wild horse, as highly developed herd animals we can be intuitive, sensitive and flow with change in the moment. Go with the changes and have a willingness to correct your course or stop and ask for directions. You can always change course and map out a new plan. Your adversity polishes you to become stronger and more resilient than ever.

About the Author:

About the author of this blog: Kim co authored the #1 Bestselling book Emotional Intelligence: Mental Health Matters, which provides a set of supportive tools and inspiring stories to help women conquer negative influences, harness the power of psychological wellness and thrive emotionally.For more information go to:

https://www.awomanofworth.com/kim-mowatt

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Categories
anger Anxiety assertiveness Conflict resolution Dealing with a Crisis Distress Tolerance happiness letting go of fear

Reset Your Anger and be a Class Act With These 6 Skills

“Very often in everyday life one sees that by losing one’s temper with someone who has already lost his, one does not gain anything but only sets out upon the path of stupidity. He who has enough self-control to stand firm at the moment when the other person is in a temper, wins in the end. It is not he who has spoken a hundred words aloud who has won; it is he who has perhaps spoken only one word.”

Hazret Inayat Khan author of “Mastery through Accomplishment”

Gabe had a history of angry outbursts, and was staring at the smoking ruins of his marriage. He was a foreman for a large construction company, and his blind irrational fury with his employees, resulted with a large group of them quitting. When I met him, Gabe and his wife were separated as a result of his out of control angry outbursts, and he was well known for his yellow jacket temper. He had become addicted to rage, and it flared swiftly like a twister cloud. He blamed everyone around him for his state of mind. It’s safe to say I was meeting Gabe at his lowest of lows. His doctor told him he had high blood pressure and if he didn’t manage his anger, he would be on his way to coronary artery disease.
“Hello Gabe,” I said with a warm smile, motioning him to a chair near the window.
He glowered at me, his fists were clenched. I didn’t need to guess what his feelings were as they were written all over his face. He crossed his arms and leaned back in his chair looking at me sideways. “I don’t know why I need therapy, it’s those guys that need their head fixed!” he growled. Immediately, he launched into a tirade of complaints about his employees. By this point he’d already been to traditional Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for several years. He knew his way around the therapy block, but something wasn’t working for him, this was evident. His quick temper always rebounded without improvement. Anger always been his primary addiction, and it swung around him in drunken circles.
“What are you going to tell me that I don’t already know?” he snarled, the slow glow of anger working up from his collar to his face.

“It’s what I will show you,” I said, as I organized the power points and biofeedback screen on my computer. 

The Science of the Heart by Doc Childre is an evidence-based approach used by the HeartMath Institute in which researchers study human thoughts, emotions, and behaviours through studying the heart rhythm. I showed him diagrams of the science of the heart and brain and nervous system and explained what anger did to his heart rhythm and biochemistry. I then showed him his heart rhythm on the computer biofeedback screen, and showed him how he could change his chaotic rhythm to a smooth even wave, and improve his health. Towards the end of the counselling session with Gabe, after utilizing heart focused breathing, his facial expressions and posture changed drastically. One month later, after a combined effort of Biofeedback combined with my shortened version of Mindfulness Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Gabe’s wife approached me in my office.

“What did you say to my husband?” she exclaimed as she peered in the door.

I paused, and took in a breath my eyes wide open, scanning my mind.

“He has changed and is cheerful and actually smiling! I’ve really never seen him happy!” she said.

Gabe was now able to understand how his anger was affecting him emotionally and physically, causing his life to spiral out of control. Learning Anger Management Skills helped Gabe quickly gain control of his anger giving him tools to put things in proper perspective when faced with daily triggers. Having experienced benefits from these techniques, he continued with counselling and reunited with his wife. “I feel a freedom, I was not expecting”, he said matter of factly with a smile. 

Anger…it’s a paralyzing emotion..you can’t get anything done.People sort of think it’s an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling — I don’t think it’s any of that — it’s helpless … it’s absence of control — and I need all of my skills, all of the control, all of my powers … and anger doesn’t provide any of that — I have no use for it whatsoever.” Interview with CBS radio host Don Swaim

 Anger is a natural part of being human and is a signal that you need a course correction. It is a temporary emotion usually with the original intention to seek a solution not just to lose control and express angst. You can learn to deal with anger and problem solve without hurting others. When you practice anger management skills you are taking responsibility for your health and communication in your relationships. It is important to let go of anger instead of hanging onto it once the problem is over and done. Anger can be addicting and habit forming and this becomes unhealthy for heart health and relationships. You don’t want to hide or ignore your anger however you want to recognize it as part of your human nature and that it can be handled skillfully. There are many ways that people express anger which can become habit forming. If you go off the handle and go from 0 to 60 really quickly and stay angry for a period you should understand it is detrimental to heart health. When you avoid your anger it can also take its toll on physical and emotional well-being. Instead of avoiding anger you can learn healthy skills and use it as a useful tool for assertively standing up for yourself. Angry emotion affects the heart putting it into a chaotic rhythm. It also drains energy, so it is important to learn useful anger skills that are effective. Conflict can improve relationships when it is handled well, it is only a signal that things need attention and they need to be dealt with in an honest and open way. When anger is avoided, it can be turned inward with self criticism or self harm. Don’t be afraid of your anger as it is a human emotion that gives you an opportunity to set boundaries for safety. It is important to stand up for yourself if you feel pushed around or disrespected. Courageously stand up for yourself, take charge and say no to what you don’t want. Practice being very clear when you mean yes and when you mean no., This takes courage to be honest and open about what you want and what you don’t want. You don’t have to light up quickly with rage to get what you need. You can be quietly and assertively effective. Be wise. If you go off like guns blazing, and angry your defensive actions make you less credible and you could end up not being listened to.


Call to action:


1)Tell the other person specifically what you want by naming the specific behaviour.
Tell them how you felt.
Tell them specifically what you would like to see as the outcome in the relationship.
Do this in a calm tone of voice. If you cannot, take a break, go for a walk, and come back when you are relaxed.


2)Learn to be clear when you mean yes and when you mean no. If you’re not sure, give yourself time to think about it, and come back to the conversation later.


3)The next time you feel furious, instead of lighting up quickly realize the emotion you are experiencing, take a deep breath, and take a pause to give yourself that space to look at it rationally. If you need to apologize with your part in the disagreement, don’t wait, and speak from the heart.


4)Look for the warning signs when tension is rising. Stop ignoring the signs that anger is building and recognize when you are impatient and frustrated. When you ventilate in a sudden explosion, it rarely solves the problem and has you feeling worse as well as the other person feeling upset. Anger can be addicting due to the rush of adrenaline and every time you light up quickly you are training your brain to do it again.


5)When you feel these warning signs it’s time to take a time out and go for a walk, relax and let go of the physical and emotional tension. Breath in deeply, and do a long exhale as though letting go of the steam. Come back to the situation when you are calm, willing to talk quietly, slowly, and listen to what others have to say. With practice this gets easier and easier overtime.


6)Give yourself a chance to reclaim your emotions and accept that you are human. Make a commitment to notice anger and trust that you can deal with anger in a rational, healthy and assertive way.



About the blog author:
Kim co authored the #1 Bestselling book Emotional Intelligence: Mental Health Matters, which provides a set of supportive tools and inspiring stories to help women conquer negative influences, harness the power of psychological wellness and thrive emotionally.For more information go to:
https://www.awomanofworth.com/kim-mowatt
Categories
Anxiety Dealing with a Crisis Distress Tolerance happiness letting go of fear

How to Quickly Release Yourself From Anxiety, Overwhelm and Frustration

“Don’t let your mind drown out your intuitive voice, train your subconscious to be positive by using the heart intelligence.” Steven Redhead author of “Unleash the Power of Your Heart and Mind”

The key to being strong in the face of adversity is to practice mindfulness by taking a step back outside of the situation and look at it as a quiet observer. Heartmath Quick Coherence Technique gives you a tool for that pause. When you jump into the problem, you are in a much less effective state to deal with it, than if you take a step out of it. Much stress can be prevented by practicing pause and calm. Pausing before responding to situations gives us a chance to be in charge, rather than be in a stressed out and reactive state. Rushing, we can miss inner signals to pause when needed. Our mental and emotional energies can jam with anxiety, frustration or overwhelm and it is more effective instead to pause, and ask our heart’s intelligence what perception would give us inner balance and clear direction. I have found that when you learn non-reactivity without being carried away or swept away by external difficult circumstances you find wisdom instead.

Remember that the heart is the CEO, and can bring you to a state of ease, so instead of trying to master your thought process ruled by the cognitive part of your brain learn to re-calibrate a belief of safety and refuge through regulating your heart rhythm. In my experience this is the deepest and most permanent way to feel better. When you do heart focused breathing you put your heart in a coherent state with thoughts of joy, love, appreciation gratitude, compassion and forgiveness. This is a higher level of thinking which puts your heart rhythm in a smooth even wave. If you stay in a lower level state of anger, despair and anxiety your heart rhythm is in an incoherent state or in a jagged wave which can cause stress-related disorders.

  1. Put your hand on your heart and focus your attention there.
  2. Imagine your breath is flowing in and out through your heart.
  3. Focus on the photo of this beautiful bunny and breath in the feeling of love into your heart.
  4. Once you have shifted into a positive feeling, sustain this emotion by continuing to do heart-focused breathing. http://www.heartmath.com

At any point in time we are either in our primal state which is the fight flight zone of the sympathetic nervous system or we are in a healing and powerful state of the parasympathetic zone of the nervous system which means we are connected with the healing vagus nerve. Our primal state is limited with fears or insecurities, doubts, worries and anxieties, as this is is the cognitive part of our brain which is a lower level state. When we are overthinking things and getting into a worry loop, this can be mentally draining and affect health. At any point in time we have the choice to shift out of this primal state into the higher and healthier state of heart coherence, connecting with joy, creativity and inspiration.

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Antoine De Saint-Exupery author of “The Little Prince”

Call to action: whenever you are in your monkey mind with your thoughts are racing out of control understand that you are in this primal state and notice your negative inner dialogue. Say OK I am in a primal unhealthy state and I am now going to my powerful higher level state. Put your hand on your heart, do heart focused breathing and know that your higher level of intelligence lies in the intuitive voice of your heart.

Kim co authored the #1 Bestselling book Emotional Intelligence: Mental Health Matters, which provides a set of supportive tools and inspiring stories to help women conquer negative influences, harness the power of psychological wellness and thrive emotionally.For more information click on the photo or go to:
https://www.awomanofworth.com/kim-mowatt
Categories
Anxiety Distress Tolerance Healing letting go of fear

Understanding Your Primal Freeze Response to Stress and Overwhelm

“The detection of a person as safe or dangerous triggers neurobiologically determined pro-social or defensive behaviours.Even though we may not always be aware of danger on a cognitive level, on a neurophysiological level, our body has already started a sequence of neural processes that would facilitate adaptive defense behaviours such as fight, flight or freeze. ”

― Stephen W. Porges, The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation

There was an abrupt disconnect during the escalating emergency surrounding Jenna. It trapped her in a muffled silence, where everything else went on without her, and she froze. It had happened to her before, but never on her job as a paramedic. She had made sure of that, taking light volumes of sedatives that eased her usually anxious mind. 

Someone was screaming her name. The voice bounced off the cold walls of her mind, muffled and drawn. Her hands were shaking. It was the only thing she could see. Her fingers, a supple glow and vivid contrast to the young man lying pale and limp against the white bed.

“Jenna!” Her mind snapped, and she rejoined the present. Loud alarms screamed from the surrounding machines. She was one of the two paramedics on that ambulance. This was an emergency. The teenager convulsing in the bed before her needed to be stabilized, now and not later. He was writhing, limbs flailing, cracking the stretcher underneath him, despite being restrained by her colleague.

“What’s wrong with you, Jenna! You just zoned out!” Her coworker and paramedic friend screamed.

Jenna had always known something was wrong with the world out there. Something wrong with its loud and demanding personalities that she avoided. But that question made her switch perspective. Maybe the problem wasn’t out there, perhaps the problem was within her. She loved her work more than anything. She was always primed in her white uniform, reciting every procedure mentally in her mind before arriving on scene. And then, suddenly, like a released spring, her mind started disassociating and freezing during urgent work situations.

It terrified her. 

She stayed up that night with her knees drawn to her chin, her mind unraveling, replaying the horror that had unfolded in that ambulance. The disappointment on her coworker’s face remained with her, as she went over and over in her mind. The disgust and confusion in their faces etched in hard lines. She sat staring at her thoughts jutting out crazily in all directions. Her pale face stared at the wall as her doctor took her blood pressure. “I will put you on six weeks stress leave. First responders can suffer from symptoms of PTSD. I know of a ranch with horses run by a Registered Psychiatric Nurse and it would be the perfect therapy for you.” She wrote the note for the stress leave and the name of the ranch, and gave Jenna a caring smile touching her shoulder. Relief washed over her, as she needed time to heal. Jenna went home and quickly packed her riding clothes to spend one month at Chrome Heart Ranch to work with the Wise Women on Horseback program.

The Dorsal Parasympathetic Response

 This is a primal response that keeps us frozen to survive when we feel death could happen. We have this response to keep ourselves alive until we can fight or flee again. This response also has the potential to have us feel disconnected, hopeless and spaced out. Heart rate and breathing might also decrease. Some people may not speak, have a constriction in the throat, or crawl into bed not wanting to move. 

The freeze response is your coping mechanism when an event in front of you overwhelms you and it paralyzes you with fear. In seconds you know that you can either defeat the frightening event or run from it, but if not the experience can send the person into a state of freeze which can be full collapse,dissociation, or a more partial freeze such as an inability to think clearly or access words or emotions, or to move parts of the body. This can be momentary or short term.

When stress is very great, the sympathetic nervous system automatically goes to our primal fight-or-flight response. It can happen in response to the threat or the perception of a threat. Either fighting or fleeing can resolve the stress. If neither is possible nor successful, the sympathetic arousal can get so extreme that it is too much for the body to handle, leading to a state of a freeze response.

Some of my clients, have had extended freeze episodes after a traumatic event. An unwanted trigger or reminiscing over a painful event had led some to shut down sometimes for months at a time. Therapy, however, helps the nervous system regain its healthy balance and with help from a professional, climb out of the state of being disconnected. This trust-based compassionate relationship builds inner strength, and gradually resets the nervous system and helps regain a feeling of safety.

“Practice self-compassion and experience the priceless feeling of emotional safety.” Amy Leigh Mercree, The Compassion Revolution: 30 Days of Living from the Heart

Kim co authored the #1 Bestselling book Emotional Intelligence: Mental Health Matters,which provides a set of supportive tools and inspiring stories to help women conquer negative influences, harness the power of psychological wellness and thrive emotionally.For more information go to:
https://www.awomanofworth.com/kim-mowatt
Categories
Anxiety Dealing with a Crisis Distress Tolerance Stress

When Your Emotions are Unruly and Untamed, Try These Three Simple Steps

“Don’t react while you are upset because at that time your reaction will be based on negative emotions; but intuitive and positive thoughts flow when you are calm.” Hina Hasmi author of “Your Life a Practical Guide to Happiness,Peace and Fulfilment

Direct your emotions when your mind is unruly and untamed. It is essential to practice steadiness of mind on a daily basis to benefit health and well-being. Bring your wandering mind back to the present moment should you get lost in the swirl of worries and thoughts. Thought reframing as a habit becomes not only a great practice and a practical route out of these disruptive or maladaptive thoughts, it helps us radically shift our perspective. Reframing makes it possible to change our viewpoint by planting ideas, concepts and emotions with positive alternatives. This change in thinking patterns is therapeutic and allows us to connect more effectively with others both personally and professionally. 

Your thoughts are only mental activity and chatter. Acknowledge them as they come up but don’t pay too much reverence to them as they are usually full of inaccurate material. Thoughts will always arise and then disappear as they follow this natural route. Disregard them, and like a pressure cooker instant pot, let them blow off steam with all the frantic drama. Remind yourself that your thoughts have no power over you, thank them for the feedback and then let them go.

Your attitude and the story you tell yourself matters, as it is your personal style that describes to others who you really are. For example, a persistent attitude has been attributed to determining successful outcomes. Keep and cherish the story you love about the unique and incredible person that you are highlighted at all times.

We are programmed to find meaning in our stories and make sense of things and this comes in the form of a story. If you don’t see the good with a positive vision of yourself, you may be unknowingly creating an unhealthy self image.The brain with its negativity bias relays inaccurate analysis or predictions about the present situation which can deprive you of joy and happiness. When you sense chaos, your brain’s natural tendency will be to create stories to gain a sense of order. A majority of these made-up stories however, are inaccurate and inconsistent. 

In our present world our minds are overwhelmed with so many things happening each minute, information overload becomes too much for us to process, and we need to pick which elements to pay attention to. When experiencing stressful events, it is the positive stories that are healthy. Disqualifying the positives means that we are afraid to pay too much attention to sharing positive emotions. To recall positive emotions and beautiful memories takes practice because of our brains’ natural tendency to latch onto negativity. It is not your fault, but it is time now to take charge to feel lighter and happier.  

Giving yourself thoughts of safety while in a swirl of emotions will help you stay grounded and calm despite your present circumstance. Having a consistent daily practice to challenge difficult thoughts changes both your neurochemistry and heart rhythm. This also works towards building your resilience overtime to stress and overwhelm. Our life is a work of art, and we can become the masters of directing our story. 

Three simple steps to practice when in an uncomfortable emotional state:

1) Recognize your negative thought.

2) Say stop.

3) Say SNAP! and then reframe the story.

Kim co authored the #1 Bestselling book Emotional Intelligence: Mental Health Matters,which provides a set of supportive tools and inspiring stories to help women conquer negative influences, harness the power of psychological wellness and thrive emotionally.For more information go to:
https://www.awomanofworth.com/kim-mowatt
Categories
Anxiety Dealing with a Crisis Distress Tolerance letting go of fear Mindfulness

When in a Crisis,Try These Four Steps That Work Quickly to Keep You Calm

“Sometimes there is no time to wait for the sea to calm down! If you have to reach your target, let your voyage start and let the storm be your path.” Mehmet Murat Ildan

Kim co authored the #1 Bestselling book Emotional Intelligence: Mental Health Matters,which provides a set of supportive tools and inspiring stories to help women conquer negative influences, harness the power of psychological wellness and thrive emotionally.For more information go to:https://www.awomanofworth.com/kim-mowatt

Julie Blackwater’s legs were going like pistons, a pure celebration of speed on her morning run. She pumped through the burn in her thighs, keeping her pace to the rolling tunes of rock music. The sun was high overhead; the heat pressed all around her. She gradually slowed to a stop and stooped over panting. Her muscles hummed, tingling as she stretched. Sweat was heavy on her lids, she swiped at them, and flicked her wrist to check her temperature on the screen of her smart watch. She blinked. She was burning up, hotter than the usual. As her breathing gradually dropped to normal, the adrenaline quickly dying out, her senses took in her surroundings. The air was different. She sniffed it, noticing a pungent scent. Her eyes strobed the area as her mind struggled to place it. 

The first alarm went off in her head, when she realized her eyesight was hazy. It felt wrong. She keened her vision and picked out the feathery wisps of smoke. Smoke on a summer’s day? She downed the last contents of her water bottle. The cool liquid quickly disappeared down her dry throat, doing little to quench her thirst. She frowned down at the empty container. 

Her gaze swept wildly a second time, coming up short of an explanation until she spun to the east. A few yards away from where she stood, a thick wall of smoke slowly crawled its way towards her, its ghostly mass swallowing trees as it hovered closer at a steady pace. The sight rooted Julie to the spot as her thoughts blanked, her frantic nerves struggling to piece reasoning.

Without thinking, she burst into a quick run in the opposite direction, climbing up a slippery slope on all fours until she had gained a few meters above level ground. She paused to glimpse back at it, and that was when she saw it, above the tops of the trees, a blazing wall screamed towers of thick smoke into the sky. The blood in her veins curdled, the shock pinning her in place, but only for a moment. 

She cautiously swept a scanning gaze around her, realizing that the wall of fire stretched down south and beyond view. How had she missed it, she thought to herself, snatching the pods from her ears. The crackling of the burning forest and the roaring of the fire surrounded her hearing at once and the pulsating flames, though a distance away, beat sweltering waves of heat towards her.

 Stress is a very distinct feeling in the body. We can get hijacked with an unexpected crisis along with a torrent of concerns with worry and regret. Emotions are natural and part of being human. However, when we remain in our emotional mind, upsetting circumstances and negative states can break away on us like a colt out of control galloping for home. When we have overwhelming emotions, just like the horse bolting out of control, they can take charge. Don’t clear away painful emotions, but  shift them, and remain solution focused. When something unexpected happens, acknowledge that emotional shock wave that you’re feeling in that moment. You have earned the right to say WHAT! Are you kidding me? You must become aware of what you’re feeling before you can let it go. Acknowledge it, but don’t park yourself and stay there. It doesn’t hurt for you to take a pause, take a step back, and objectively and cleverly find a solution.

This doesn’t mean that you’re just suddenly all together and over the situation, and it doesn’t magically erase what happened, but by bringing a  different perspective this now refocuses your mind. The Reticular Activating System (RAS) is the brilliant google of the brain. When you focus on a solution, ideas that you may have never thought of before will pop up, sorting and filtering through data on information that you are zeroing in on. In Julie Blackwater’s case, she needed those solutions for her very survival.  This newfound strength and understanding is not a perfect science, but you always know that when you take a step back and trust your RAS as well as your heart’s intelligence, you will be OK. Despite the pain, accept that there are always things beyond your control and that you can make some room for what could be an opportunity in looking at your life differently. This insight may not happen overnight but be patient with yourself, as sometimes ideas take time to show up.

“Change the Changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable”

In Julie’s case she was in crisis and there was no time for contemplation as the only option was for survival and to forge ahead with creative ideas. When we look at what crisis has happened, sit with some acceptance of it and not try to change it, anxiety lifts. By letting go of wanting things to be how you want them to be and free yourself of controlling events, you’ll spend more time focusing on what you want rather than what you don’t want, and feel lighter and happier. Take a good hard look at what happened and problem solve on what you can do. Immediately let go of what you can’t control about it, and take a giant step back outside of the problem, knowing that you are in the drivers seat with your RAS at your side.

Four Steps to Use in a Crisis:  STOP

S: Stop: look at the situation

T: Take a giant step back in your imagination outside of the problem.

O: Observe your feelings, put your hand on your heart and name the emotion. This gesture reduces the stress response in the body.

P:  Problem solve, by using your RAS which is the reliable google of the brain, and seek 1-3 solutions. Sometimes you have to think outside of the box.

I invite you to share with me in the “Leave a Reply” section at the very bottom of the page your experiences, and how you creatively problem solved through them.