“One who has control over the mind
is tranquil in heat and cold,
in pleasure and pain,
and in honor and dishonor.”
– Bhagavad Gita
Who is getting the better of you? Your mother-in-law, your best friend? Your boss? How do you want to feel around him/her? Did you know that they don’t have to change for you to feel better? The ability to self-coach and get yourself to a different feeling state is like having an anchor.
Anchors are old nautical symbols that represent stability, strength, and support. They are also representative of the power of thought coaching. I give my clients anchors – tools to ground themselves when things are seemingly not well. One anchor that can be instrumental in grounding yourself when stress is high is the creation of intentional thoughts. When something, or someone is getting the better of you, write about it. Consider how you want to feel about the situation ideally, even if you have a long road to get there. Then, write down the intentional thought or feeling that you want to have during that situation and practice it as much as possible.
When my children were younger and melting down, my mind would swirl and my mood would turn sour. I knew I wanted to model a calmer feeling but was struggling to find my way there. I decided to journal about how I wanted to feel even though I wasn’t in a state of chaos. As a result, I developed a new intentional thought……”you can be calm and collected even if they aren’t”. When fights would break out in the car, I would look for my anchor and practice this thought until I found my way there.
As my kids have grown, I have over time got better at using this skill, new storms and challenges have emerged, and I have had to create more intentional thoughts to combat those new troubles. Remember our thoughts create our feelings, so it can be extremely helpful to think about how you want to feel first, then work backwards on your thoughts to get you there. Like most things, it does take time and a little patience, but at least the anchor is there.
It is also helpful to do some breath work before you practice the new thought. Sometimes during stressful situations, we need to calm our nervous systems down prior to practicing any sort of self-coaching. When you get upset, try to start with taking in 3 deep breaths remembering that you have the anchor of intentional thought work to practice. It isn’t a magic bullet, but it gives you something to latch on to. Your boss says that one thing that pisses you off, breathe, breathe some more, then practice that new thought you prepared, i.e. “I don’t have to be upset even though my boss is” Give it a try. Anchor yourself. It’s better than being in a storm without anything. As always, if you want to take this work to a deeper level, please don’t hesitate to schedule a complimentary breakthrough session by clicking here.