Focus on What We Can Control

My grandmother had a saying, “When you plan, G-d laughs.” I realized as I got older that what she was really talking about was control.

It’s not that she was saying not to plan, it’s that she was saying make your plans but be flexible about them. How I interpret it is that there will always be situations that are outside of our control and learn to “go with the flow.” It’s certainly less stressful. In my experience I’ve noticed that there’s usually something better waiting for us, and instead of pushing through a closed door, seek one that is open. You can be persistent, and at a certain point you want to make decisions to shift or to keep pushing and depleting your energy.

Your time is valuable and precious. Don’t waste it on things you can’t control. The more you resist, the more things persist. That makes life harder. You do have control of yourself – your reactions, actions, effort, and attitude. You will benefit by using your energy wisely.

Focus on the action you can take by making conscious decisions to move forward. Put your energy into something fulfilling and satisfying.

Don’t let negative emotions, resentments, and unproductive thoughts linger and guide you. Manage your emotions outside your comfort one. It may feel uncomfortable stepping out of your comfort zone. Take baby steps. You don’t have to jump in the deep end of the pool, just put a toe in.

To summarize, follow these tips for a positive outcome:

1) Use your energy wisely when things are out of our control

2) Make conscious decisions

3) Put your energy into things you can control

4) Focus on thoughts and actions that move you forward

5) Take baby steps

6) Choose something that is fulfilling and has meaning to you

7) Watch life flow more easily

Managing Emotional Reactions

When you listen to the news you might notice the increasing amount of stories containing anger. I’ve personally observed a case of road rage after one driver cut off another; and I’ve witnessed people being rude and having an angry tone when they are waiting in a slow moving grocery store line.

People seem more reactionary than ever before. My question is how can we channel the negative emotions we experience in a way that leads to more conscious empowering decisions? If you’re thinking that you can’t, the good news is you can. There are things we can do to lessen the negative and depleting energy.

All emotions, including anger, provide us with information. Scientifically, anger hijacks us and can lead to emotions like shame and guilt. Being aware of what triggers us is helpful. Emotional triggers can be people, words, opinions, situations, or environmental situations.

I recently was on a webinar given by the Tapping Summit (Emotional Freedom Technique) where the moderator said that anger is a signal that says our system is being attacked, and the energy from anger keeps us safe. We have that trigger because we feel the need to protect ourselves and because our systems perceive us to be in danger. So this is a healthy response. Issues arise when what we perceive is not necessarily accurate.

When things like frustration, weakness, disappointment, a lack of patience, or sadness show up, it can all get channeled into anger. Here are several ways to deal with these emotions in a healthy way:

Deepen your awareness. You can’t make a change unless you are aware. Notice your thoughts (self-talk) and notice your environment (where you are and who you’re with). Places and people trigger reactions, both positive and negative.

Be aware of where you feel the emotion in your body because it triggers a physical reaction. As soon as you recognize the trigger use that physical reaction as a signal. For example, when I get anxious about something, I get a “kicked in the stomach” feeling. As soon as I am aware of that feeling I take a breath or a pause and ask myself, “What am I anxious about, whether it’s work or personal, that I’m getting that feeling?” It’s very helpful in pinpointing what’s going on at that moment.

Deep breathing exercises. Try this:

Take a deep breath, hold it for 5-8 seconds, and release the breath. You can repeat as needed. It will physiologically ground you.

Tapping or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). Tapping is a tool to assist with emotional or physical issues. As you tap on certain points on your body you are breaking up energy that might have been stuck there for years. At the same time you are tapping, you are saying limiting beliefs (“I am afraid of being wrong”) and then re-framing to a positive phrase (Sometimes I’m right and sometimes I’m wrong and that’s okay!) To learn more about tapping Google the Tapping Solution to see it demonstrated… Or, you can ask me. I am an EFT practitioner.

Count to ten. If you still feel triggered, keep counting

Take a walk to cool off.