Recently, I learned about a technique that helps us interrupt our negative thoughts. It works so well, I’m sharing How to Cope with Stress by Surfing the Moment with you.
Some days are more stressful than others, making it extra challenging to level-out. Surfing the Moment is about soothing our senses to diffuse heightened emotions, focussing on self-compassion, And compassion is sounding pretty damn good about now. Am-I-right?
How to Cope with Stress By Surfing the Moment
Let’s imagine for a moment that you’ve worked remotely all day (or if unemployed, incessantly searched online for opportunities), you homeschooled your kids, assembled multiple breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, washed an absurd number of dishes, folded laundry, made a grocery run, disinfected said groceries, cooked dinner and then absorbed the unsettling evening news. Someone in your family says something you perceive as insensitive, another leaves their dirty dish on the counter and yet another pees on the toilet seat leaving it all for you to clean. Reactively stressed yet? (Totally hypothetical situation, wink-wink)
When we’re stressed, our bodies produce cortisol. Current societal circumstances have thrust many of us into a persistent release of cortisol. These heightened levels can cause weight gain and suppressed immune systems as well as gastrointestinal, heart and infertility issues. So how do we cope with stress before it severely impacts our health and well-being?
We Surf the Moment, that’s how we cope with stress. When you feel frustrated, angry or stressed-out, it’s important to take a mental and physical time-out to focus on calming your five senses. Yep, all five. Because engaging the five senses helps activate the limbic system which is responsible for regulating our emotions.
FOR EXAMPLE, MY FAVORITE FIVE SENSORY SOOTHERS ARE:
VISION – The hills behind our home. Just gazing at them brings me so much peace.
SOUND – Silence. I’m easily overstimulated by sound, so quiet is key for me.
TASTE – Chai Tea. I’ve found drinking tea rather than inhaling a bag of chips is the better option. But, oh my gosh… salty chips.
SMELL – Palo Santo. If you’re unfamiliar with Palo Santo, it’s a South American holy wood. I find the aroma spicy. earthy and so, so calming. I burn it every day stressed or not.
TOUCH – My Dogs. Nothing beats curling-up with Georgi and Bodhi. They are the ultimate stress balls.
The pandemic alone has been a lot to process. Sprinkle-in some politics and civil unrest and well, we’ve seen what can happen. Knowing how to cope with stress by Surfing the Moment has been a game-changer for me. I hope you’ll try it. You might like it. And the people who live with you will, too. -xo
-Featured Image: Jess Vide