How to Stay Balanced During Stressful Situations
Often we start to notice ourselves falling into anger,
depression, self-pity or other responses to a work or home
situation. Here are a few ideas to implement when in a situation
where a knee-jerk reaction starts to arise.
Remember it is much easier to nip something in the bud than to
deal with stress after it flowers into physical symptoms or a
bad mood. If you get into a funk sometimes it can last for days
and it's often hard to break free of it. When you can "catch"
the negative moment beginning you have a great shot at stopping
it from taking you down. I've found these helpful for myself as
well as my clients:
Breaking out of moods:
1) If you feel a certain "mood" beginning (i.e. depression,
anger, discouragement) try to do something physical such as go
running, swim, or even clean. It's good to do something that
will tune up your nervous and glandular system. We need to break
the incarnations that set into our bodies. It is similar to
stopping smoking after one cigarette rather than 20 years of
smoking. Sometimes if you have a shoe and it is worn out on one
side you'll see that if you put your foot in it, it leans in
that direction. The mind follows the grooves it previously was
tracing out. We have the power to "change the channel" and watch
a different movie.
2) There are two breathing exercises from yoga that are very
helpful to cultivate a neutral mind. One is called "Alternate
nostril breathing" and the other is called "Breath of Fire".
These are explained in detail in the booklet I wrote. You can
also learn these from a yoga class or video or write:
3) Identify and write down the mental tape loops that you
finding yourself repeating. By knowing what these are you can
watch it instead of take it as your own identity. The more you
"see" the dramas the less you react from within them. We all
fall into our own melodramas and soap operas and taking a bird's
eye view can give us another perspective. It helps us to not
"buy into" our own story. Our inner story is something we repeat
to ourselves and others and gives us our identity. It's good to
step back and see which parts of it are beneficial and which are
messages from the past, other people or our old identities. Just
as a computer needs to have files deleted in order to operate
more efficiently, so our minds need to have the extra "files"
emptied out so we have room for new stories, dreams and
4) Keep a notebook of inspiring anectdotes, quotes and tips.
This helps to boost one's spirit and also to feel connected with
others that have dealt with similar feelings. Put some reminders
on your refrigerator, desk at work, car dash board and other
places so you can catch you mind and re-direct it in a positive
If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due
to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you
have the power to revoke at any moment.
~ Marcus Aurelius ~
A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~