Everyday distress is everyone’s business. How can we make sure we don’t contribute?
1. Bite your tongue
We all want to react but can we learn how to respond?
I had a really good story and I was biting at the bit and interrupted someone else in the group and I got so escalated that no one was listening and when they did – I froze.
So next time, I bit my tongue and held the intention to share my story with no attachment to it being shared or not – no worry; no distress – just a sore tongue until I got used to it.
2. Sing along
Jaw; clenching tight. Fists; clamping on steering wheel. Foot, pressing on the pedal. Head, pulsating with looping thoughts annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd Taylor Swift comes on the radio…what happens, if in that one instance, you choose to ‘shake it off’ and let loose? Your face relaxes, hands go slack and your foot releases. Where are those looping thoughts of distress now? It’s time to sing-a-long.
3. Slow Chew
Busy! So Busy. SO So busy. Can’t. Stop. To. Eat – let alone chew. Your guts want to love you and nourish you and give you the energy you need to make a real difference in your world.
You have to love your guts for them to treat you well. Chew slowly and thoughtfully. Where did this food come from? Who made it for you? What will it do for your body?
Turn your distress-tines into happy intestines.
4. Perfect your imperfection
Someone once said to me, ‘there’s perfection in imperfection’ and I honestly had no one idea what they were talking about. Expecting perfection normalises distress. It makes comparison a daily addiction and can really slow down creative and expressive processes. Perfecting your imperfection and not apologising for how you navigate life is the most revolutionary thing you can do for yourself.
5. Deliberate patience
Some people are born with it. Some people have to learn it. Patience reduces distress ten-fold. Often, I deliberately test myself. I purposefully stand in the longest queue or wait for someone to finish talking before I start or stay behind the trailer slowing down traffic. What’s the rush? To the top of what pile? You start to realise that you are in control of your distress. Do you need it?
ASPIRE – Be the change you want in your world.