Posts tagged #emotional set point

Emotional Factory Settings

My life is upside down. If upside down means right side up that is.

In other words, my life is traveling speedily down a road I like to call “awesome”! Just flying down the open road with my hair blowing in the breeze…metaphorically for now, but I’m ready for actual windblown hair at any time! All is right with the world. Now let’s go back a couple of weeks.

My life was upside down. Upside down with no opposite talk, just upside down. I was not driving along the road called awesome, I was careening down the highway to hell (yes, I can hear AC/DC too).

The difference between an upside down life and an upside down life that’s really right side up is this: emotional factory settings.

These are your knee-jerk, spastic, unconscious responses to life that we’ve hopefully managed to meditate, downward dog, transmute and clear away—for the most part. Until we find ourselves under extreme pressure. The pressure could be happy experiences like moving to a seaside hut in Costa Rica with your devoted and sensitive poetry—writing warrior/lover or it could mean finding out your new boss is the person who relentlessly bullied you in high school. Pressure is pressure; both bring out our emotional factory settings.

Our body has slipped into such as state of stress that it must operate on factory settings. There is no extra energy or awareness available to act in a conscious way in every moment. You must know me well enough by now…I would never agree with that!

Of course you can turn things around! So, how do you reset back to your calm, conscious, customized Self?
 

Try these tips:

  1. Prevent emotional explosions. 
    I built up such a powder keg of nervous energy that when someone poked the bear...I was exploding all over the place. And all over the poor unsuspecting person in front of me. The key is to let out the nervous energy. If you feel tense go for a walk, go to the gym, yell into a pillow, hurl rocks into the water, run to a friend’s house or jump up and down. The real point is to release that nervous, pent up energy.
     
  2. Communicate your feelings. 
    This is a tough one for me so I’m not saying this lightly. If you feel an icky feeling in your gut—someone hurt your feelings or you felt cast aside-acknowledge those feelings. Try to name them and write them down or say it out loud. Then if you want to tell the person directly, do that. Maybe it’s just a matter of relaying the event to a friend. Remember to frame it in a way that the person you’re telling is a sounding board, not a gossiping partner. The key here is to release the emotion once it’s acknowledged.
     
  3. Relax yourself.
    Take a bath. Put lavender under your nostrils. Take rescue remedy. Go for a massage. Take a nap. Read a lighthearted book. Pet your animal. Gaze at a body of water or fire. Breathe deep cleansing breaths.
     
  4. Eat regularly. 
    Keep your energy steady in the body so that your blood sugar isn’t all over the place. Going long periods of time without eating only serves to throw your emotions, hormones and general calmness out of whack! Don’t go more than three hours without eating—even if it’s a snack. A handful of nuts, some crackers and humous or a piece of fruit with almond butter will do the trick.

Try these techniques to unplug the emotional factory settings doing you no good whatsoever, so that you can return to your evolved and customized settings—the real YOU!
 

You Spin me Right Round, Baby Right Round...

Like a record baby….

Do your thoughts spin through your brain like a demented merry-go-round? If you’re anything like me this week, you’ll need a walker just to stand upright.

Examples of my thought process over the last few days:

I better get going on my presentation, it’s next week. What if I charged too much…I doubt people will come anyway…but what if they show up and I don’t have anything good to say? They won’t come back! I’ll damage my reputation. Concentrate. Stop. Find your notes and get started…I don’t even like this topic. What if some know-it-all in the audience asks me questions to put me on the spot?

“So, where’s the scientific proof of any of this? I’ve heard this is all a bunch of bs anyway. Where did you get your information?”

“Sir, I’d be happy to email you some of the references I have at home” (How’d you get such a lumpy head just bad luck being so bald isn’t it??)

At this point my mind completely takes over in various dramatic versions of being confronted and each time I swiftly make mincemeat of the guy. In public. Then I spend a few minutes thinking how cool that would be and then a few more minutes feeling bad about being so mean to someone when I should be calm and focused and zen-like at all times…because of course my life is supposed to set an example for others.

See? You spin me right round baby right round like a record baby….

Then I spent two hours pretending to be a computer technician by installing and uninstalling all kinds of random programs so that I could read my external hard drive data. It still looks like this:

*^£”}{@:@:}{}{}{

My brain at this point is pumping out hundreds of useless sentences strung together to spell out I’M GOING OUT OF MY MIND LIKE JACK NICHOLSON IN THE SHINING.

At this point, I took a few sips of coconut water, a few deep breaths and took stock of myself. Ok, you’re having one of those days. What you’re going to do is go to yoga and calm down. My mind complained that it was so darn hot in there and I said, yes, it’s hot yoga. It’s hot in there, but you’re still going.

When I finally dragged myself kicking and screaming to yoga class they told me my pass expired but if I bought a package right then and there it would be 25% percent off. Which would’ve been great if I had brought my wallet.

So I went for a walk through the park near my house for 30 minutes and tried to convince myself that the workout value was pretty comparable. Something like walking your way to becoming a triathlete.

Then I wrote this blog and I feel better! I got out my frustrations, put things into perspective, wrote silly things and reflected on some points and here I am. Feeling pretty good about myself again. Jack Nicholson thankfully left.

When the brain starts whipping you round and round that merry-go-round: grab it by the tail and wrestle it down. Sit on top of it and tell it what’s what. There are times to be firm and times to be gentle and compassionate. When you’re having a mind-trip type of day like I was, it’s time for some serious hand to hand combat.

And you could try some of these things also:
Watch some comedy
Take a bath
Pet your dog/cat
Call a friend
Look up future travel destinations/adventures you’d like to go on
And remember that we all have our days…

A Walk in the Park with My Thoughts

Put up your hand if it seems like your thoughts run a 24 hour nightclub in your brain. Join the club…no pun intended. Ok, so here’s what I do: A few blocks from my apartment is a beautiful park called Cedarvale. The trails run along the bottom of a ravine lined with large and small trees alike, winding its way through shrubbery and a field of water reeds taller than the average giant. I find myself in there almost every day losing my way in the trails, buffered from the nearby congested traffic.

During my walks I like to look around and take in my surroundings, but mostly my feet pound out the rhythm of my thoughts. I allow them to play around my ankles and weave in and out of the trees. They become almost like a fluid reminder of my life patterns. Only this time they are leaving for good—I watch them go with a pang—because don’t we all love our stories? Yet, what I love even more lately is to unburden myself and leave space for new supportive thoughts and patterns.
 

What do you find yourself thinking about?

My thoughts go something like this: I need to write my article today. What should I write about? Hmmm…oh I wonder why he always walks with so many dogs? How much does he get paid for that anyway? Wow I can’t really imagine doing that…I have no luck with training dogs, they don’t listen to me…I could write about stress. Boring! Ugh Everybody writes about stress…I never have anything new to say. I don’t know why I bother writing anything anyway…no! Lots of people like my articles. Think positively. Don’t people get sore ankles jogging like that? I don’t know how she does it…I should go back to the gym. I really need to find my yoga class. When I get home I’m going to look up a yoga studio. Don’t forget!!…You get the picture. Bouncy, bouncy, bouncy…where it goes nobody knows.

The point is sometimes you need to let your thoughts wander. Pay attention but don’t judge or control them, just allow and listen with your inner ear. If you judge your thoughts, that’s just adding more thoughts and the mess looks like a pile of hopelessly entangled Christmas lights. When I’m able to calmly allow my thoughts (more and more I can say I can) I’m rewarded with a beautiful, soft gem of a thought whispering among the clamour, but bravely asserting itself. These are the inspirations, the wow-what-a-great-idea thoughts. They only come when you allow things to flow and being in nature is one of the easiest ways to open yourself up to these universal taps on the heart. And the best part is…these whispers soon become louder! The next time you go for a walk—notice your surroundings, both inner and outer. You might be surprised at what comes through. Happy walking!