We all get pushed to the point of feeling a little crazed at times. Whether its in an interminable checkout line, a crawling traffic jam or someone getting on your nerves, certain scenarios just seem to make it hard to stay cool. Here is a simple technique and acronym for staying S.A.N.E.
Stop. Most of how we are in the world manifests as habit loops. AKA We’ve learned to respond to certain scenarios with automatic responses. This is mostly a good thing,..IE We eat when we get hungry and sleep when we are tired.
Sometimes though, our habit loops end up raising our blood pressure, clouding our judgment and generally having us feeling like crap. Particularly our responses to stressful situations. Next time you feel yourself being squeezed you might remember to hit the pause button and allow yourself a moment for the following step.
Assess your options. Inherent in this step is the acknowledgement that you always have choices in any given circumstance. Its common for our clients to say that they feel their life is just innately stressful… and that there isn’t much of anything that they can do about it. This, fortunately, is just plain un-true. What we choose to do or not do in response to the events in our lives makes all the difference. After stopping, assess the different options available to you.
Ask yourself, “What is the experience and outcome I would like to have here?” Feeling stressed out and betrayed by life (or people) when something doesn’t go as planned isn’t usually the best option. Once you’ve chosen the path you want to travel…
Navigate towards the experience and solution you want to have. Part of this entails letting go of the aspects of your situation that are not in your control…IE Accepting the fact that you are in traffic or that people can be rude.
There is always a way of meeting even the most “unjust” and unpleasant situations with cool, calm, confidence. This process of staying focused on what you can control actually rewires your brain to respond to challenging scenarios in more resourceful ways.
Enjoy the ride. This is the most important part of the equation. Once the above has been addressed, find something or someone to appreciate. Enjoyment uses a different part of the brain, which is distinct from those focused on conflict. The magic of appreciation is that it automatically relaxes both your mind and body.
A large part of being able to do this involves maintaining a sense of humor. What sounds more appealing? Laughing at someone’s stupidity (which may include your own), or letting it ruin your afternoon. The universe is hilarious…if you let it be.
For those insane making times when everyone and everything gets on your nerves and you feel like you are just about to lose it, remember the acronym S.A.N.E.