Trying hard to stay calm, cool and collected! This recent status report on Facebook caught my attention. In our super busy world, this statement sums up what many of us are trying to do, much of the time.
BODY We try to stay calm, cool and collected and control stress in our body (tense shoulders, teeth grinding, sweating, and shallow breathing). But often, we fail to manage our stress because we don't know how. Or we ignore and avoid what our body tells us.
EMOTIONS We may try, but find it impossible to control, negative emotions such as fear, anger, shame, and feeling overwhelmed. "I shouldn't feel this way." Perhaps we try to avoid them by distracting ourselves. Or we may avoid them as we block or ignore them. Going numb is a symptom of avoidance.
MIND - WILL We often do the same things with unacceptable thoughts and desires. We try to control them and figure them out. Or try to avoid them as we distract ourselves or go numb.
THEY DON'T JUST DISAPPEAR Whether we try to avoid or control these reactions, we don't take responsibility for them. And so we fail to deal with them constructively. Does that settle the matter? Oh no. Those messages from our bodies, emotions, or minds go underground—into our subconscious. And there they stay until they gather enough power to resurface, or until circumstances force them into our awareness.
A LOSE-LOSE SITUATION So we create a lose-lose conflict. It I let it all hang out, I lose. I hurt people or make a fool of myself. But if I mindlessly and automatically try to avoid or control my thoughts, feelings and desires, I also lose because I don’t really resolve them. What’s a person to do?
Good question. You can’t fix something if you are not aware of it. So why not allow yourself to think what you think, feel what you feel, want what you want? Willingness to stay aware gets you off auto-pilot. Now, you can take responsibiity for your reactions and make healthy changes.
TRY THE CHOICE-CUBE METHOD The simple Choice-Cube self-help method www.amazon.com can help you manage your body, thoughts, emotions, and desires. Here's how.
First, the method gives you a mental framework to help you stay in touch with what you feel think, and want. Second, there are simple tools to help you do what’s best for you and for those you care for. Third, there are four key steps to guide your change, in a rliable, systematic way, from inappropriate defensiveness to healthy problem-solving.
Using this method, you learn to feel, think, and want without having to act on it. Instead, you learn to use the framework, tools, and steps to make important changes and take the best course of action. You become your own BFF—best friend forever--and relate in a healthy way to those you care for.