The stress and strain of constantly being connected can sometimes take your life -- and your well-being -- off course. GPS For The Soul can help you find your way back to balance.
GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others' stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing "secret weapons" that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony, or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to look at the GPS Guide below, visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.
Here is my roadmap for working with a down feeling -- whether stress, anger, or fear:
1. I give my “self” a space to feel what I feel.
When I'm feeling bad, I try to stop everything I'm doing and work with my feelings, because I know that everything I will try to do while I feel bad will not create any value for me or for my surroundings. When I’m down, my judgment is blurred, I’m upset, and my perception is warped. So, I give myself the credit to deal with it inside, and not to throw it outside. Sometimes even a few minutes can be enough to transform a feeling and get back to business with a clear frame of mind.
2. I take full responsibility.
No matter what happened and with whom that made me feel this way, I try to take full responsibility for the circumstances. I know I shouldn’t rely upon others to make me feel better, nor should I blame them for my bad feeling/ Blaming others would make me a prisoner of their changing temper, so I take responsibility to be in control.
3. I let it be. Meditate and learn.
Change is inevitable, so I try to be with whatever emotion I'm experiencing so I can learn from it until it passes. While I do so, I focus my attention on my body. I ask myself: How does it feel? Where do I feel the emotion inside my body? Can I stay with it for a few moments without feeling anxious? I then focus my attention on my breath, and the specific parts in my body that are aching. Every emotion has a physical signature.
I try to embrace this feeling like it was a guest inside my body. I try not to feel guilty for what I feel. Sometimes people think that being angry or sad represents failure. I know I would never feel guilty for having a headache, so I try to have the same perspective with an emotion.
People around me are just mirrors of myself. Every time I get upset over someone, I try to feel the gratitude inside, because I am now able to practice my freedom with this person. For each situation, I try to find 10 reasons to be grateful for what happened.
5. I create.
We often look for inspiration outside, but we have a tremendous amount of inspiration inside of ourselves! I like to go to places inside my “self” that I haven’t met yet. Sometimes I improvise a song, a dance, a story or just notes about my life experiences. In these situations, highest inspiration may fall upon you. I let go of judgment. No one is watching anyway, they are all consumed by their own lives.
6. I treat my “self” with a challenging mission.
After transforming what I felt, I like to make sure I have developed from this incident. For example -- if I had a fight, I apologize. Games of power are boring anyway. My goal is to be free, not to be right.
Life is a challenging process. We are all here to learn how to live them, while doing the best we can every moment. When I identify someone around me in a “down” state of mind, I try to be empathic towards him. Even if he is trying to take it all out on me -- I can understand what he is going through. I, too, am a human being, I was upset an hour ago, and maybe I will be again in a day or two. When that happens I hope I will find myself next to a lucid person, who will remind me the truth, and will be empathic towards what I feel.
Narkis Alon is the co-founder of ze-ze.org. She is a member in the steering committee in the Tel Aviv municipality youth centre, a double major BA in Psychology and Film candidate and a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum.
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