Today, coping mechanisms. We are living as human beings in for the most part high stress situations. Are they really high stress? Probably not if really thought about it and put things in perspective and took better loving care of ourselves. I mean, does that package REALLY need to get there on the exact date or is a day or even a week later just as thoughtful? We do have a million different ways of communicating, so you could always communicate your intention or love and the date it will be done/sent/delivered/finished...right?
Uggh, I wish this was allowed. I try to allow leeway in my life. I'm a work in progress. Here's some tips:
1) For things you perceive as your own eff ups, or as others' eff ups, "IDM". I gleaned this gem from an Indian wellness website. Forgive me that the name escapes me, but sometimes It Doesn't Matter, is all you can say to ease your troubled psyche. I hate making mistakes. I am ashamed. Embarrassed. I care, dammit! I want people to like me, love me, trust me, esteem me. If an eff up happens, you can explore why it happened but even more so, why it so upsets you. Usually for me it is because I care about the above mentioned points. No wonder I'm freaking out and raging or crying. Once I recognize that my passionate ;o) behavior is simply because I care, I can calm down and either address the problem with more attention, or if it is completely out of my hands, then IDM can be a real salve.
2) Continuing with the It Doesn't Matter, I used to visualize all my worries as the seeds on a dandelion pod...I'd remove myself from the situation for just a moment and mentally blow all the seeds into the breeze so the wind carried them gently away. Problems might still be there but they seemed more manageable once the the seeds were blown.
3) This genius idea is from Bob, one of my favorite humans at Trader Joe's: he told me today that to soothe himself, he retreats into his head into a safe room and watches cartoons. It made me laugh. I used to love cartoons and they certainly remind me of childlike innocence. Whatever works for you!
4) I used to date a man with a rather crazy father. The father was actually very kind for the most part, but he was traumatized by thoughts of people after him and sometimes when he visited he'd retreat into the basement and lie on the floor for hours looking at the unfinished ceiling- I guess trying to escape the radars that were tracking him. So you could try that! But what I'm actually after is that his visits, although scheduled to be only 1 week long, would stretch into weeks. If your retreat and safety is your home and your home is haunted by a haunted man, what then? I would go upstairs into my studio room, turn on the music full blast, and dance like a nut for hours and then paint my fury for an hour. He was still lying in the basement, perhaps even more upset because my music was so loud, but I felt about a million percent better. Singing might be a similar coping mechanism, but I cannot sing that charmingly so I stick to dancing.
5) Walking. Especially in nature. Life just sort of fades away if you're listening to a babbling brook, a chatting squirrel, a chirping bird.
6) Multiple personalities. I'm not talking about the psychological disorder, although I believe it develops as a coping mechanism for trauma, absolutely. I mean, we are all 2: we are our human personas with tightness around some things, fear around other things, patterns based on past events and information. And we are our inner being (maybe outer being) that is our soul energy that has no tightness. S/he might have preferences, but no upsets, no doubt, no fear. It is to her that I retreat sometimes. I can retreat into myself, and she sometimes walks with me and holds my hand. Sometimes carries me just as my parents did when I was a sleepy child. Holds me like a loving friend. And I even curl into a ball on her lap to cry away my angst while she soothes me back to balance.
7) Cry... Maybe it's just something that works for me, but if you relax all the rules we were taught as children that crying upsets others, that big boys and girls don't cry, and can relax into your crying, it releases: sadness, self pity, anxiety, anger, fury, joy, gratitude, awe. So the uncomfortable feelings pass through you and don't feel as overwhelming, and the good feelings are acknowledged so they get fed and nurtured and you attract more occasions to feel the good stuff.
8) Hug! This is another area that requires overcoming societal norms and your own relationship with your body in the space of others. I may seem like a natural hugger, but I definitely have settled into this role. It used to be difficult for me to allow the comfort of others truly into my psyche, so attached I was to my self pity. We are a member of an amazing loving ocean of humans. We want to love, support, nurture, hold each other. If you can start to lower your guard walls, baby steps, you'll recognize the love that is chomping at the bit to support you. Hugs are amazing. Try one on today.
There are infinity ways to re-balance and soothe yourself, as we are all unique in our needs and experiences. This is just the start of the buffet available to you!