Podcast Episode #42
[00:00:00] Welcome to the Extraordinary Life Podcast from the creator of the Extraordinary Life Tribe, Crystal Obregon, the self-development podcast propelling you forward toward your goals. Using science backed high performance habits. Reach the next level in your physical and mental health. See new heights in your relationships.
[00:00:18] Gain clarity on your purpose and live your extraordinary life. Welcome your host writer, speaker and coach, Crystal Obregon. Hi there. This is Crystal of Crystal Obregon coaching with episode number 42 of the Extraordinary Life Podcast. Last week. I shared five tips for coping with stress. Definitely check that out.
[00:00:45] If you haven't this week, I'd like to take it a step further and talk about specific tools for dealing with acute emotional crises. Recently I've had [00:01:00] several friends coping with loss of loved ones, and the only way out of grief is through. But there are still ways to help you cope. I'd like to add right from the beginning, that feeling the feelings are important, whether you've lost a loved one, whether you're going through a breakup of relationships or been laid off from a job, or you have a diagnosis, all of those things, I realize you need to feel it.
[00:01:29] You don't want to just stuff it down and say, I also want to say that therapy with a trained mental health professional is absolutely appropriate for any degree of emotional distress. I'm not a therapist. These ideas are meant to be put into practice in addition to any other recommended. Also, even if you're not experiencing acute emotional distress right now, please continue listening because not only [00:02:00] are these strategies good for any kind of stress, but it's great to have them in your toolbox as life is unpredictable.
[00:02:08] And you really never know when you might need. One more thing before I get started. If you have a friend coworker family member that is going through a tough time, please reach out to them. Even if it's just a quick text, they can choose whether to answer or not. And it is important to not have any expectation of what you get back from them.
[00:02:34] But basically they'll know that you're thinking of them. And that helps. I made the mistake recently of not reaching out to a close friend, because I figured she was surrounded by family and I didn't want to intrude and she was hurt by this and I can see why she would be, which of course wasn't my intention, that it was also completely avoidable.
[00:02:59] As [00:03:00] a friend recently said to me, check in on the strong ones. I have six strategies to help you through. They're not the only strategies, but I think these can help. The first one is the use of distraction. And the aim of this is to limit the time that you spend in contact with the emotional stimuli. I, the things that are causing you to feel emotional.
[00:03:30] The stimulus could be anything from another person to the thoughts that you are having. And distraction involves just doing something else that absorbs your attention. I don't mean that you should be carrying on like nothing happened or that you going to forget about what's upsetting you. However, it can be helpful to take a break from the feelings or the emotions.
[00:03:57] And focused on something else [00:04:00] can watch a movie cook, a fancy meal, get absorbed in an art or craft project, whatever it is that will personally absorb you. The second strategy is using imagery and that is kind of a form of meditation. Just think of safe and soothing images. Imagine images that really make you feel good.
[00:04:27] This is actually something that I taught in my childbirth classes and this just came to me, but I realized, oh yes, that's one of the things I would usually teach the fathers to be, or the partners of the mom to lead them through a guided relaxation, easing images. They would decide that in advance what it would be, but it was really a good way to get [00:05:00] them to relax, take them out of the sensations that they were feeling.
[00:05:08] So it could be a favorite place, a favorite person you could think of your pet or especially for me, it's usually scenes from nature. You can do this on your own or Google guided imagery, meditation, or guided relaxation meditation on the internet. And you'll probably find a lot of YouTube videos or apps that can help you with that.
[00:05:38] The third is relaxation, and I'd like to introduce you to something that I learned recently. And it's called peripheral vision relaxation. So what you do is you're inducing relaxation by focusing on your peripheral awareness rather than your [00:06:00] focused awareness. If you think about when you're in a heightened, dangerous state, where you might be in danger is what I'm trying to say.
[00:06:10] You're really completely focused. Your eyes get dilated and you're just hyper aware and focused. So this involves focusing on the periphery of your vision. And what it does is it switches on your parasympathetic nervous system, which is the part of the nervous system responsible for making you feel calm.
[00:06:37] Basically, it's not possible to feel anxious or distressed while fully relaxed in your peripheral vision. There are many ways to do this, but one way is to sit or stand about three feet from a wall. And start by staring at a point straight ahead. And then while continuing to stare straight [00:07:00] ahead, become aware of the three and nine o'clock positions adjacent to the point straight ahead.
[00:07:08] And then the six and 12 o'clock positions. And you'll start to realize that by really using your peripheral vision. You can look at both of these points at the same time. And what you'll experience is a softening of your eyes. And as you continue to focus on the periphery, you'll notice that your breathing slows in deepens and the muscles in your face and the rest of your body begin to relax.
[00:07:38] The fourth technique is to stay in the moment. So our subconscious mind wants to keep us. And as a result, adults tend to spend much of their time stuck contemplating either what went wrong in the past or what might go wrong in the future. Instead of doing [00:08:00] that, try to focus on the moment. This might involve thinking something like I am in my house, in my favorite chair, I'm warm and comfortable and have a good book to read.
[00:08:13] And this really in a way, dovetails into the gratitude practice idea where you spend more time thinking of what you're grateful for in the moment, rather than what's happening, that you don't like. The fifth is the most important from my perspective and that's exercise. It's also the one you may be least inclined to do when you're upset, unless you've trained yourself and I'd recommend it to respond to stress or big emotions by getting into movement, physical activity can help to disperse the chemicals released in your body by the stress response.
[00:08:57] In addition to getting rid of the [00:09:00] so-called bad chemicals, it also releases feel good chemicals known as endorphins, and you really can't go wrong by getting out for a walk or run or a bike ride, or if it's bad weather outside, figuring out something that you can do inside to get your heart rate up, whatever it is that you like doing, do that.
[00:09:24] The last strategy is simply to soothe yourself. So do something to nurture your five senses. You can get out in nature, be some fresh air, smell, some flowers, lay on the grass, whatever it is, be gentle with yourself. Don't feel like you have to carry on like nothing is high. Pair your schedule down to just the things that make you feel good or the things that you really have to do be with people or not, depending on what makes [00:10:00] you feel good.
[00:10:01] Just go easy on yourself. I'd also like to mention that in the show notes, I have a link to download my free PDF. It's called release and it has 24 ways to release stress. I also have another free PDF guide called you 2.0 with self care ideas that can also help reduce your stress. And last, but not least in episode, number 10 of my podcasts, I shared the tools that I use to help me feel good.
[00:10:40] And I'm just going to add another one in here. It's in episode 10, EFT, emotional freedom technique tapping. I think that it helps practically anything, whether it's emotional pain, getting motivated, getting your energy. Check out that part of the [00:11:00] article or check out the tapping solution app. It's absolutely excellent.
[00:11:06] All the links are in the podcast notes, and I really hope that these ideas for coping with acute emotional distress will help you or someone you love. Please do share them. If you think somebody needs them or just might be interested, we all need some help at some point in our lives. And please let me know if any of the particular techniques really have helped you by emailing or messaging me on Instagram or Facebook, have a terrific rest of your day be well.
[00:11:42] And I'll see you in here next week. Bye for now. Thank you for listening to the Extraordinary Life Podcast with writer and coach, Crystal Obregon. We'd love to connect with you outside of the podcast, too. To find more helpful insights, show notes and more about crystal.
[00:11:58] Go to Crystal Obregon dot com [00:12:00] that's O B R E G O N, where you will also find info for the Design your Decade workshop. This workshop will help you to stop drifting and start creating until next time, be extraordinary.