Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sensitivity Meter

Ah, the holidays.... exactly like the blissful Christmas shows that are on tv night after night from Thanksgiving to New Year's. Love, happiness and peace on Earth all while soft snow flakes drift down covering the world in quiet wonder.

Not so much the case in your world? My guess is the countdown for holiday shopping is pressing you (and you've already spent way too much), work is demanding production, the family wants your time and 'the weather outside is frightful'......all leaving your sensitivity meter in the red stress zone.

What now? Take a breath. (Take two, they're free.) I know, I know. I always say that. I say it because 1) It's free. 2) Air is readily available and 3) science shows breathing is very very good for you.

Next, recognize what's going on. Your spouse asked "honey, could you please change the toilet paper roll when you use it last?" and you responded with, "yeah, well......maybe if you picked up your socks, threw the junk mail away instead of leaving it on the counter, and fed the dog once in awhile, I would change the toilet paper!" Uh, yeah, you overreacted. That's that sensitivity meter again.

What's going on is that you're on overload with your emotions/thoughts/feelings and you just spewed them all over your spouse who's standing there with mouth agape wondering what in the world happened.

Stepping back and taking a deep breath or two while you realize that it wasn't really your spouse's comment that set you off will go a long ways toward preventing it from happening again.

What else can you do to bring your sensitivity meter back into a normal range?

  • Take a break from the news. News is meant to trigger emotions-and this usually means your negative ones like fear or anger.

  • Set aside electronics. Smart phones, tablets and other electronic devices literally keep us "wired" all day (and night) long. if you find yourself frequently pulling your cell phone out to read or respond to text messages or Facebook; you may have developed a habit that keeps you perpetually keyed up 24/7.

  • Get out. Outside that is. Leave your cell phone in the house, car, office.......anywhere but your pocket and step outside for fresh air and a view of nature.

  • Take time to smile or say hello to a stranger at least once in the course of your day. If they don't respond in kind, tell yourself IT'S OK. Why? Because it IS.

  • Remember, everyone you know is going through something; whether the car broke down, they're working too many hours, the kids have been sick, or whatever. Realize that when someone says something that affects you adversely, it doesn't always mean they meant it in a negative way. Be patient and think it through. Then if necessary, talk it out (not text it out..... grrr....most convenient yet most easily misunderstood form of conversation). Likely you'll find that what rubbed you the wrong way was not intended at all and it was simply your sensitivity meter hitting the red zone.....again.

Happy.........and peaceful holidays to all. And to all a good night (night's sleep that is!)