Self-soothing skills remain the most popular part of this course. Testifies to how stressed we are. Most of us have healthy and unhealthy ways we use to find calm.
Remember if this is your first visit to the course, you can go here to start at the beginning. Not necessary, but advisable to get the most from it.
Meditating got left off the list. That was not on purpose but gives me a change to highlight its value. Done properly and with practice it works. Think of the Dalai Lama who almost never gets ruffled.
That’s the good news. The bad news? The Dalai Lama practiced years and years to be a star meditator. The hyperactive or more impatient among us often find traditional meditations hard to learn. That describes me. That is also why I developed EFT’s One Minute Meditation or OMM. Here it is:
If you have been taking the course, you are already familiar with the first four steps of the OMM. Guessed it was a Calming Breath? Right.
Some words about all breathing exercises. We breathe naturally, but there are revving up ways to breathe and calming ways to breathe. Both are useful. Learning to use both wisely improves your self-soothing skills,
Revving up breaths – These often happen normally when we experience a negative feeling. It starts by more or less holding our breath and breathing using our upper body.
Think of the last time something happened that really frightened you. Most likely, you caught and held your breath for a few seconds. When you began to breathe again, you took quick, short breaths. Called thoracic breathing this does not fully expand the lungs; it decreases the flow of oxygen and so increases tension and revs you up.
Most call do not see why this is useful, but the body uses such breathing to increase the flow of energizing chemicals and there lies its usefulness.
Calming down breaths – this is the way babies breathe when sleeping and involves drawing a complete breath from deep in your belly, the way singers do. Doing so gets more oxygen to your whole body and that is calming.
Not sure you know how to breathe from your belly? Try this:
- Stand at ease.
- Place both of your hands on your stomach.
- Imagine your stomach is a balloon.
- Breathe in and imagine you are filling that balloon with air.
- Breathe out and imagine the balloon collapsing.
Very hard for some, so here is another way to learn this one. Do this in bed before falling asleep.
- Lie on your back.
- Put a book on your abdomen.
- Breathe as you normally do.
- Watch the book and see if it raises as you breathe in or out.
- Experiment with learning to raise the book as you breathe in.
Parenting tip: Instead of a book, use a small stuffed animal to teach a child how to breathe calm. You can start doing so when s/he has conquered language.
Using the above to self-sooth and stay calm: Becoming attuned to how you breathe alerts you to the need to switch to from one way to the other. Mostly you will need to switch from revving up breaths to calming breaths.
Homework: Use bed time to practice learning both ways to breathe and how to switch from one to the other. Switch several times, then practice the OMM until you fall asleep.
More self-soothing skills with a focus on turning negative self talk into positive slogans that calm and keep you focused on what matters.)
POST INSPIRATION: DAILY PROMPT
I often use these prompts to spark my posts. They can also be used to improve your critical thinking which is the heart of emotional intelligence.
You can think about them as they are stated or use them to spark other thoughts which is what I usually do. Most can be related to Emotional Fitness. How? Well here is the prompt that connects to this post. I’ll answer it and tell you how I relate it to Emotional Fitness.
Doppelgänger alert: You step into an acquaintance’s house for the first time, and discover that everything — from the furniture, to the books, to the art on the wall — is identical to your home. What happens next?
How this relates to emotional fitness and today’s post. I laugh gently, which is an emotional fitness exercise, then thank my friend for finding so much of me to like and then admit, I also miss what was special about him that could never be me and suggest the next time I visit, I hope to see more of him and less of me.
If you think deeply, another emotional fitness exercise, hopefully, you realize the beauty of our world lies in its variety. A world inhabited by copies of you would soon become very boring.
All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free (Handouts are in Black and White while Foster Coaches are in color.)
Some might not be up yet. I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others. If a handout isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises.
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LINKS OF INTERESt
- More breathing exercises (asma.org)
- Daniel Goleman on teaching children to meditate (goodreads.com)
- Self-Soothing – Create Calm in Your Life (amazon.com)
- Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
Please rate this material. Doing so helps me ratings. This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful; One star – Reinforced my knowledge – Two Stars; New information – Three stars; New useful information; Four stars – Very good; Five stars – Excellent.
Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.