We can come to is that when we begin to enjoy great success in some area of our lives, we tend to create problems in that or another area of our lives. We do this because we hit our “upper limit” of happiness, financial success, joy in a relationship, or any of a number of other things, and this upper limit causes us to unconsciously sabotage ourselves or even make ourselves ill.
We often wonder how to remain calm and centered while things around us seem crazy and frustrating. This isn’t surprising, as today’s lifestyle has become quite hectic and our fight-or-flight mechanisms are constantly being triggered by events in our lives. The problem is that our bodies react to things like a sudden attack from a coworker in the same way they might have responded many millennia ago at being attacked by an animal—with a sudden burst of adrenaline and the confused thinking that comes from it.
There will always be periods when life is chaotic. Certainly at times things come at us from out of the blue and throw us off-course. However, regardless of the situation, there are things we can do to stay centered, calm and able to make better choices and decisions. Learning to be present in our body even while chaos is going on around us is the key to staying centered, and that is what we need to learn.
When we get an adrenaline rush from extreme stressors, we have a physical reaction that can muddle our thinking and cause us to be more likely to react in a way in which we have less control. When we hear the word meditation, we throw our hands up and say, “I can’t spend hours sitting on a pillow like a yogi.” My yoga instructor once told me – Stop for a moment, breathe slow and deep, and feel our body. Notice the feelings in our hands and feet, and as we continue to breathe, notice the feelings and sensations in our torso and head. Connecting to our body in this way helps ground us and helps to attain a calmer, clearer state of mind.
Once we have grounded our body and have begun to calm our mind, we should try to stay in the present moment. I avoid scenarios that can run rampant in my head. This allows me to take stock of our situation and calmly decide if it is an issue I can control and/or do something about, or if it is something I need to accept as it is and let go of it. Either way, being present in my body and clear in my mind gives me a more solid feeing than just reacting from a fight-or-flight response.
The next time you find yourself feeling an adrenaline rush from an unexpected turn of events. breathe, be present in your body and try to stay in the moment in your mind. In spite of our flight-or-fight response, it will help you stay centered and respond to a situation rather than just react to it. You might be surprised that just three to five minutes of this per day is enough to make a big difference. And it is a handy tool for emergency use when sudden stress arises. Excusing yourself to the bathroom for three minutes is a way to sneak in some mind calming breathing without anyone ever being the wiser, and it can help you cope and make better decisions under pressure.