How good do you feel when obsessing over this problem, mentally arguing with that person, and not so far beneath it all unconsciously berating yourself? How you treat others is a mirror of how treat yourself.
Between the sheer force of habit and the default negativity of the mind, we end up making ourselves feeling even worse. And we don’t even know we’re doing it half the time.
So, here’s something new. Understand that you have a choice: follow the negative chatter in your mind and make matters worse. Or look for ways to bring yourself out of the vicious circle.
Practice stopping giving all your attention to your mind and start noticing your body. How is it responding to the stress in your head? A constricted chest and rigid or lifted shoulders are common partners to a busy, nit-picking mind.
So be kind to these parts of you that are telling you they’re not OK. Take a breath. Look for movement in your chest. Notice that… As your breath eases, your shoulders may naturally relax.
If not, ask them what they need to be relaxed (our bodies are very sensitive and responsive). Simple touch can work well. Place your hand on your shoulder, just as you would if an upset friend was standing before you.
Can you feel the support? This is kindness. This is love. A fundamental human need – to express kindness and to receive kindness.
Question (for when you next feel stressed or upset): What does my body need right now to feel better?
And I’m not talking food! (Comforting as a bowl of thin-cut chips and mayo is).
I’m talking subtle actions, like taking a few deep breaths. Feeling your feet on the floor. Placing a hand over your heart. Find out out what helps you self-regulate and be more relaxed.