I had just spent a couple of very stressful days at the hospital, and my husband lovingly reached out to me and was going to kiss me. It is hard to describe the feeling I experienced. Pretend you are at a picnic lunch, and there's a fly that keeps landing on your food. Can you identify a feeling of irritation?
Well, that is how I felt when he was going to kiss me. I thought, "Well, this isn't right. I really, really, really care for this person! Why would I be feeling this way?"
Have you ever felt irritated or snapped at someone you loved or cared about for no reason?
I mean, how many of us are running a hundred miles a minute, running the kids to soccer, recitals, school, work, deadlines? So often we are always in a hurry, rushing to the next thing, our attention is on our mental to-do list. We are not really in the present moment, just being present right here, right now, with what and who is in front of us. This keeps your nervous system off balance, tipped more towards the sympathetic response (fight or flight). When you notice yourself in this state, there are several things you can do right there to put yourself in balance.
First, you need to take a moment and do a centering pause. Put your hand on your abdomen and breathe deeply into your belly while you feel your hand rising. Exhale slowly. Pause until you feel you need to take the next breath. By doing this you will start to bring yourself back to the present moment. Your nervous system will start to balance out, lending to a relaxation response. The body can move back to rest and repair. You will be able to think clearer and actually accomplish more.
My husband and I had the benefit of agreeing to do the centering pause together. We just took a minute and sat down across from each other with the intent to just be present with each other. I could tell my nerves were on edge and my mind scattered. When we first sat down, he was kind enough to ask me, "Where are you?" And I said, "Well, a little bit all over the place!" And we just sat there being present with each other for about four or five minutes. And he says, "Where are you?" And I said, "Right here!" And all of those stress feelings of the irritation and everything completely left my body and my mind, and I was able to be present and be comfortable.
It is much easier to balance out the nervous system and emotions than most people think. It just takes the intention and a few minutes to do so. Doing so can change the entire course of a day.
Author: Debra Kahnen, RN, ND, is the CEO of Life Mastery LLC. With over three decades of healthcare experience—as both a nursing leader in the largest not-for-profit health system in Texas and as a naturopath focusing on wellness—her view is radically different. Debra is a renowned expert in stress management and wellness. She helps people improve their health and emotional well-being to allow for more peace, joy, and personal satisfaction. Get a free special short video eCourse, "Take back control of your life NOW!”, so you can experience more balance and ease in your life.