Maybe Mrs. Bennet was on to something.
I started today with a wee bit of a tantrum, maybe you can relate?
How do you handle having an off day?
What would it take to turn it around?
What if I could wave a magic wand and poof! All better? Wouldn't that be amazing?
When I ask myself those questions, the "all better" usually doesn't look too different on the outside from where I am at presently.
But on the inside - big difference.
Much of the struggle comes from external pressures to have handled the moment differently.
The judgement that says you should have acted more rationally, more controlled (re, less emotional, or human).
But people ARE chaotic and messy!
It's a beautiful feature that when we embrace how to move through an emotional state to a rational state, we can successfully communicate our needs!
Is there room for you to give yourself permission to be discovering how to handle a moment? To be learning?
Or permission to choose how you are responding - even if it is simply out of habit?
Permission and choice allows us to move through the tough moments smoother and faster!
Emotions are not only allowed, they are necessary.
You can work through and with the intensity to communicate your needs.
When we allow ourselves to be in learning mode, and make room for possible useless paths, we automatically calm down our nerves.
For example, take Mrs. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.
Why is it fine for Mrs. Bennet to "take to her rooms", but it isn't okay for you to have an off day. (If you haven't read the Jane Austen classic yet, do. Or at least the BBC 6-hour version - it's worth it.)
Well, it was socially acceptable for a woman of her position to have the luxury of indulging in being vexed.
I wonder how she would function today? I bet her Instagram would be well followed.
It was a feature that she embraced. She owned suffering. She indulged in it.
Is there a way that we can build allowance for realness in our daily lives?
Institute a grown-up version of time out, if you will.
Let's set some guidelines:
Time Out Tips to Tame the Tantrum!
If possible, remove yourself from the stressor. "take to your room"
Work overwhelm, kids, housework?
Even sitting in a different part of the house or your desk at a different angle can make a difference!
If necessary, tell others involved that you need a time out, that you need some time to think and regain your calm (rational thinking brain).
This will help them not escalate the situation on their end.
Give yourself permission for 20 minutes.
Pay attention to your heartbeat - it will start to return to a normal rate.
You will know.
Some people suggest deep breathing, but that usually makes me annoyed, so I will suggest mindful breathing.
There is no wrong way to do this, just notice how you are breathing.
Bringing attention to the breath is often enough to settle.
For a short term fix, the above three are often enough to do wonders.
For developing new habits, if overwhelm is a regular state for you, I suggest adding the next steps. Don't read them if you are feeling compromised at the moment, they sounds annoying when angry.
As you relax, bring to mind aspects of the situation or people that you are grateful for.
Not necessarily about the moment, but in general. Hold that feeling for a few minutes. (gosh, minutes are long sometimes)
Think about how else the situation could be viewed. What was behind the words and emotion?
This helps us get in touch with what we were actually trying to stand for or choose.
It connects us with the purpose and intent of the situation.
The overall goal keeps us on track with discovering a new way to move forward.
The most important part of the time out happens after it is done: continued and renewed forgiveness. Acceptance that we are messy and working towards our goals the best we can.
Allowing yourself to be learning helps bring a sense of purpose and calm into the growth process.
Remember, Mrs. Bennet didn't apologize for her vexation.
She moved on to the next moment with fresh authenticity!
I want you to choose to have a time out and allow the peace to return as you work your way forward.
There's always another chance to try again!
So let's keep the conversation going!
Which of these steps do you find most helpful?
What steps would you add to your time out practice?
Leave a comment below! I look forward to hearing from you.