What’s in Your Toolbox?
We all get stressed out sometimes. We all get angry, tired, anxious, or plain burnt out. So what do we do when we get there? How do we take care of ourselves? How do we learn from these emotions?
If you can’t think of the answers to these questions, don’t worry. It’s ok if you don’t know how to handle these emotions yet, because most people don’t. Most of us see these emotions as bad things that should always be avoided, and that something is wrong with us if we experience them. This isn’t always the case.
Uncomfortable emotions aren’t there to get us, they’re often our greatest teachers and road signs. If we’re stressed, anxious, or depressed all the time, we know that something in our life or attitude needs to change. If we get angry, we might have stumbled over an emotional block that we get to work through and release so we can live better.
But how do we do this?
We use a toolbox. Everyone has one. This toolbox contains the tools we use to handle emotions.
Sometimes these toolboxes are well-stocked so that we can handle any job life throws at us. Some of our toolboxes are rather sparse. Others are full of hammers when what we really need are screwdrivers.
Let’s take a look at our toolboxes. What kind of tool could we find in there? Let’s take a look at my toolbox first. It may not look like your ideal toolbox, but it sure works for me:
- Yoga, walking and hiking outside
- Uplifting reading like my religious texts, blogs, and books like Healing from the Heart by Dr. Judith Moore (this book was key in my recovery)
- Talking to my husband, Mom, or friend.
- Cleaning my apartment, artmaking, and cooking. Great activities for when my hands need something to do while I think.
- iPod: good music, inspiring podcasts and my SoulArt courses.
- Dangerous behaviors like using drugs, smoking, self-inflicted injury, having unprotected sex or drinking.
- Zoning out in front of the TV or computer
- Blowing up at someone to express anger
- Wearing ourselves out by overworking or overexercising
- Bingeing or restricting food
- Bottling up emotions until they make us sick.
- Supporting rituals like “you-time”
- Supportive friends, family or a counselor you can talk to
- Journaling and creative expression
- Service to others
- Good books and other resources to help you work through emotions
- Activities that help you unwind without tuning out. Yoga, reading, and that old self-care cliche, the hot bubble bath.
- Anxiety-soothing activities that keep your hand or body busy while your mind is free to think like cleaning, knitting, wire-jewelry making, kneading bread dough, whatever.
Posted on October 11, 2011, in Happiness, Intuitive Eating, Natural health, Stress, Uncategorized and tagged anger, emotions, happiness, health, intuitive eating, learning, self-care, stress, yoga. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.