So you’re having an awful, terrible, upsetting or overwhelming day? Don’t just be miserable. Pull out some coping skills and give ’em a working! Here are random ideas to manage, in no particular order:
- Gratitude listing. Yes, I know you’re probably not in the mood. But it pretty much always helps, and fast! If you have trouble coming up with anything, then make it into a game to find the most creative, ridiculous or imaginative things to list. I guarantee that you will feel better (and maybe get a chuckle out of it).
- Quiet time-outs. If you can get a few minutes to yourself, do some deep breathing. Visualize something peaceful and beautiful. Breath out bullshit and breathe in peace.
- Got Prayer? If you are a pray-er, it’s a good time for it! Release your worries. This technique works even better if you’re able to follow it up with a nap.
- Shield thyself. Use the force, Luke! You don’t need emotional waves from others right now, whether the stress is generated from without or within. Take deep breaths and visualize them forming a translucent shield all around you, including above and below. I dig blue or golden hues, but use whatever colors you prefer. Fill it with light.
- Smudge ’em if you’ve got em. Because it helps. Incense is a good backup choice. If you have neither, try to at least get a good smell going on around you.
- Turn on the tunes. Music has wonderful power to alter our emotional states. So get your jam on.
- Chocolate therapy. Okay, maybe it’s not your healthiest choice, so skip it if need be. But chocolate therapy or wine therapy for most are less risky than retail therapy.
- Keep it in perspective. Most often, we’re talking time-limited stress that is mucking with our Zen, man. Use the situation as an opportunity to practice your skills in staying grounded, centered and calm. Because really, you need to be able to call on those skills not just in quiet time, but in stressful time, too.
- Remember the point. Why are you where you are, doing what you are doing? If you can shift your frame of reference from pain to point, you’ve got something to work with in shifting your feelings about it, too.
- Mantras are awesome. Have a favorite affirmation? Dig Ganesha? Find yourself a mantra that resonates and repeat it, aloud or under your breath. It helps attune you to a more pleasant frequency and tune out the yuck.
- Draw and destroy. Create a symbolic representation of your stress. Doesn’t matter what as long as it works for you. Then tear it up, burn it, stomp it out or otherwise obliterate it. This is a little bit of magic and yeah, well, magic works.
- Scrub it off. Baths or showers (with cleansing herbs if you have some, or pure intention if not) are MAGIC. Envision the water carrying all that ugly stress down the drain.
- Tea time! Herbal teas are another great choice. Drink it or bathe in it, I don’t care. Just pick calming varieties.
- Grab some sparkle! Gemstones are great for helping alter the mood. I love Rose Quartz to address an agitated state, and a rough cut can feel good turning over and over in one’s hands when it matches a rough mood.
- Breathe. And breathe some more. Deep, long breathing, in through the nose on a count of 4, hold 4, exhale 4.
- Tree-hugging. A few minutes outside does wonders. Actually hugging a tree is great but if it’s too…conspicuous, well, try to touch a tree, plants, or walk with your bare feet on grass. Imagine the stress and excess energy funneling into the Earth. This doesn’t hurt the Earth, by the way. Momma Earth can recycle that fertilizer into something beautiful, man!
- Look for the lesson. I know, I’m being annoying as Hell with that one. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to feel pain without getting a benefit of it. And you can usually find one, if you look.
Do you have any favorites to add?