There is one thing I know for sure…life is never going to slow down or stop bombarding us with stressful situations, but that doesn’t mean we have to throw our hands up in the air and give in to stress. Even though we can’t always control what comes our way, we surely can control how we react to it. We always have a choice. Even when things don’t go our way-we get stuck behind a train and are now running late, or the kids tell us they hate what we made for dinner- we can respond to life in a way that makes us feel calm and balanced.
I have found that because of my spiritual practice, the meditation and mindfulness, I react to stress in a very different way than I used to a few years ago. It’s not that I don’t ever feel triggered, but when I do I can diffuse those feelings much faster than before. I used to stew, ruminate and freak out, and now I find myself pausing, breathing and responding instead of reacting.
When I feel stressed there are certain things I can do which always make me feel better. I call these tools my trigger plan. Some of the things that work for me without fail are:
pausing to breathe- counting my breaths or matching my inhale to my exhale
taking a walk outside
spending a few minutes with my dogs
taking a break and making a mug of tea
These activities bring me pack to center, and help me to feel grounded. I talk about more ideas in this short video.
I encourage you to create a trigger plan for yourself. Test out a few of these ideas and find what really works for you in the moment. When we are totally stressed out it can be hard to think straight. Maybe jot down a few ideas and refer to the list when you need to.
Let me know in the comments what usually works for you!