by Karen Susman
When you are in a stress response mode, it’s easy to get stuck in the right side, the emotional side, of your brain. Recognizing that you’re in no state to make a good decision or even express a thought, consciously flip the switch to the other side of your brain.
Here are 7 ways to switch to the left side of the brain.
1. Bother List: Write down all the worries, pressures, concerns and stressors that are clamoring for attention. Then set the list aside.
Many items will be resolved or will diminish in importance when you examine your list later.2. Ten-Second Breathing: Slow down your breathing to a 10-second cycle to slow your mind down. That’s six breaths a minute. Use a clock or watch with a second hand. Inhale for five seconds then exhale for five seconds. Do this for 2 – 5 minutes.
3. Movement: Get up for a drink of water. Do jumping jacks. Break the mental cycle by doing something physical.
4. Mental Activity: Do something mental such as a crossword puzzle. You don’t have to complete it. This will help you get your thoughts organized so you can think clearly.
5. Mental Shift: Focus on something pleasant. If you’re inside, go outside for a breath of fresh air and to experience nature.
6. Directed Breathing: Breathe into tension: Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Become aware of any tense parts in your body. Direct your breath to that location. Exhale away the tension. Repeat.
7. Body Bracer: Gently pat or tap all over your body in a spirited rhythm. Do this until you are energized.
None of the above eliminates your stressor. These techniques will allow you to dilute the stress response so you can take action – or not. Just recognizing that you need to flip the switch to the more rational side of your brain is a great tool.
Karen Susman, Speaker/Author/Coach, works with organizations and individuals that want to maximize their performance and quality of life. Check out her free tips and articles at www.karensusman.com. Karen can be reached at 1-888-678-8818 or [email protected]