In times when you feel knocked off an even keel it can be really helpful to have simple actions to get you feeling less like you’re floundering and more like your usual awesome Unicorn self. Over the years these are the ones I have turned to time and time again – feel free to take what you need and adapt for your own purposes.
1) Invite in the breath.
Are you breathing? like, really breathing, or have you gone all shallow in your breath? If the way you bring air into your body is only tickling your lungs and feels all high and throaty, then this is a great first step for you. Why breath first? Well, at the bottom of the cavity filled by your lungs is a muscular wall call your diaphragm. Through the diaphragm runs the Vagus nerve. One of the most important jobs of the Vagus nerve is to switch off the sympathetic nervous system (the one in charge of fight or flight responses) and settle you back into your parasympathetic nervous system – where your body allows itself to return to more relaxed activity, such as pumping more blood to your fingers and toes, and letting digestion kick in. Check out the next Treatment Unicorn newsletter to find out more about the stress response with a super simple diaphragm breathing exercise for you to follow.
2) Remind yourself “In this moment I am safe”.
Unless something is going catastrophically wrong (in which case, I doubt you’ll have time to recall this advice!) you can be reassured that right now, in this precise second, nothing bad is happening. Fear is very much based on our past experience and our future expectation. So you can be fearful based upon events that you have already experienced in your life, and you can feel fear because all you can see ahead is disaster and doom, that’s a prediction. But actually, right now, as you access all that is happening, is there danger? This is a particularly useful practice if you are awake in the middle of the night, listening to the hooting of the owls and stressing yourself out over all the things that may be to come in the future. I’ve had the 3am jolt awake enough times in the past, where all I have been able to think about are money worries, or to worry about the health of family members. At that moment in time, there is no danger imminent, all that is happening is that I am robbing myself of precious sleep. You are too. And if you’re sleep deprived then you’re not going to be fully functioning in the morning. Sometimes our wakefulness is based on not respecting our need for a proper wind down time at night ( I’m not a fan of ‘bedtime routine’ because we’re not four year olds here, but actually yes, that…) There’s a funny modern term which is possibly even more yucky than ‘bed time routine’ which is ‘sleep hygiene’, but this shit works. Google it and find out more.
3) Get yourself back to feeling high vibe through your favourite activities.
When we are in our happy place, we vibrate at a high frequency (check out The Field by Lynne McTaggart for the science behind this) and as vibrational beings, we attract towards ourselves things of a like vibration. So not only do you feel better about yourself, but you draw towards you more of the people, situations and things that you would like for yourself. I know, this may sound a bit woo, but it really works. Trust me (and millions of other Law of Attraction followers!). By feeling good, I attract more good stuff to me – that includes you my love. If I want to great beautiful inspiring words, I make sure I’m in my happy place first. Sludgy vibes = sludgy writing.
How do you do it? It’s whatever works for you. Dancing, singing, walking in the countryside, petting your cat, brushing the dog, baking cake, listening to music, watching a funny film. I am a big advocate of moving your body and cooking delicious things for others – not necessarily at the same time… Spend more time with the things that inspire you (hello books/music/sex!) and less time on the things that feel toxic (buh bye news on tv/whinging/whining and Brexit!)
4) Come back to a place of positive expectation.
You know that there are things that people say and sometimes you feel all like “Yeah, whatever…” about it? Every cloud has a silver lining’ is one of those sayings. Here’s the thing, if you want it to be true, it is! There’s always something to be learnt from every duff experience. Whether that’s a failed project or your miserable love life. You can always find the good stuff. Let yourself swamp in the emotion of the gunk. It feels bad huh? Urgh… you were so badly wronged. Sheesh…that really wasn’t your fault… bleurch. Oh but wait, you found out in the process, that not only did you totally suck at being a manager, but you didn’t enjoy it as much as *insert x, y or z here*. So go do more of x, y or z! Brilliant. You can find a new and brilliant way of showing the world how awesome you are! Be grateful for the mistakes. You learnt something! It might be that you learnt that you never, ever, ever, not even in a million years, want to repeat the experience again. BUT YOU LEARNT SOMETHING!!
Even more, you learnt something, and nobody died in the process, no one got hurt, only your ego was bruised, maybe you lost some money, but there is always a way up. We come back to the idea that you are a creature of vibration, attracting towards you the same vibration things. In this case, why would you want to expect the worst? There is a brilliant quote by Henry Ford (he of the motor car) “Whether you think you can or you can’t, You’re right”
5) It sometimes helps to write it down.
There is a huge power in the cursive – that’s handwriting rather than typing. It connects both hemispheres of your brain. When you lay out on paper what’s really bothering you then you can start to ask Why? and What? What’s really pissing you off, no really what is it about the situation? Then ask Why? and why again, and again and again, until you’ve unwrapped those onion layers. Now ask yourself, how much of what is in front of me can I change, that I have ‘control’ over? What of the situation is your responsibility? and what is the responsibility of the other party? And be sure to ask of the whole situation the sore question of “How much of this is horse shit, that merely entertains my requirement for drama?” When you are in the drama, you’re actually distracting yourself from the true nature. Is this because you’re actually feeling some fear? Fear of failure, fear of judgement, fear of losing everything, fear of winning it all and nobody liking you, fear of not being enough, fear of being too damn much. We all have fear. Journaling on a regular basis is super helpful for cleaning up the gunk. You can download my free journaling eBook here to get you started.
6) Rewrite your future.
Speaking of journaling, use that cursive power to rewrite the future. You’re already predicting it – that’s part of where the fear comes. But if you could imagine yourself as the hero of the piece, if you could put yourself from and centre of your own stage, how would it be different. Don’t fool yourself with a fairy story, what you are looking for is a stretch from reality, something that requires you to get out of your comfort zone but is achievable, doable, implementable (is that a word??)
7) Practice gratitude daily.
Once again, come knack to gratitude. Gratitude is a key pillar of getting back on that Unicorn Rainbow for me. If you’re failing you’re learning – even though it stings a bit! And if you hit a patch that all you can feel grateful for is that you woke up this morning and the sky hadn’t fallen in then that is also awesome. In the past, when I have felt as though the sky is falling in, then I have taken myself out for a walk, in which I list to myself every single thing I can see that I am grateful for. Car tyres, buses, street lights…crazy things, mundane things, all the things. It helps you remember that there is permanence and impermanence. Learn more about developing a gratitude habit here.
None of the steps in this article are rocket science. But all of them have got many a person out of a deep dark fog, including myself. The beauty of them is this: whether there are dark skies or bright sunshine over your particular Unicorn Paddock, these simple unassuming skills will enrich your life, raise your vibration and bring the light in. Not only that, but by developing them into simple habits, each one equals a tiny spark struck on a regular basis. From here you create a ripple effect. People around you will feel your confidence grow, they will notice at a deep level that you are more grounded in your self worth. That you’re a ‘safe pair of hands’ in troubling times.
If you’d like to know more about what 1:1 guidance through these practices could look like for you then let’s chat. Click my calendly link now.