Problems and negative moods seem to get worse when we let tension from one type of environment “spill over” into another. This next healing technique from Body Aware Grieving may seem simple, but the benefits can be profound. As much as possible, between each important part of your day, try to find a way to “pause” before moving on to the next activity.
Examples of poor transitions would be:
* A person who has a hard day at work, then comes home and immediately gets into an argument with a spouse, family member or housemate.
* Learning bad news about a loved one, then trying to drive while upset and getting into a car accident.
* Being disappointed or mad about an incident at work and responding immediately by email or phone.
For many of us, life could become smoother if we took at least 10 minutes after being in a challenging environment, to engage in a “neutral” activity. If you are feeling too busy to carve out 10 minutes, try to at least take 10 seconds to breath deeply, relax and focus.
There are many ways to create a beneficial “Transition 10” experience. The goal is a clearer mind and lifted mood so any activity that follows will be improved.
Perhaps one or more of these ideas appeals to you?
For 10 Minutes:
* Take a walk around the block
* Listen to a few favorite songs
* Call a friend
* Hit a punching bag or pile of pillows
* Look at a fun website, magazine, catalog or YouTube video
* Take a mini-nap
* Meditate or do stress-reducing breathing techniques
* Find a private space (alone in a car? the beach?) and yell
* Exercise (push ups, going up flights of stairs, stretching)
Good times for a Transition 10 activity are:
* Before going into a new location like work, home, a meeting, date or social gathering
* After an upsetting phone call, disagreement or shock (falling, almost being in a car accident)
* Starting or ending a vacation, lunch break or relaxing activity like a massage
* When you need to be responsible for other peoples well-being (child care, visiting someone who is ailing, leading a group activity or class, driving)
Using this “Transition 10” technique may be especially worthwhile for people who find themselves saying “I am having a bad day” often. Hopefully upsetting periods can be made shorter and less intense by starting each part of the day with a fresher mind.
Can you offer examples when you wished you had paused for a few minutes before doing something while you were upset? Do you have favorite activities that help you unwind quickly?