Negative triggers, I’ve got them a plenty.
A toddler temper tantrum. Argument with Dan. Family trama drama. Issue with a friend. Northern Virginia traffic. Endless loads of laundry.
These things set me on edge. And when a couple of them collide, well, I’m a gonner.
So I’ve got a bunch of negative triggers, things that make me burn up with frustration. Things that make me SO PISSED OFF I want to scream and yell and punch someone in the throat.
Recently I’ve felt completely bowled over with these negative triggers. And I let myself get swept away along the angry river of annoyance. I got all caught up in the negativity.
Living in negativity is gross. It makes me feel all icky.
But getting out from under that cloud of negativity isn’t easy for me. Especially with challenging issues with toddlers and family members and friends and money and this and that don’t stop their assault just because I’m feeling weighed down.
So I’ve been thinking lately, what’s a girl to do? I clearly can’t go on like this lest I drown under the sea of my own suffering. Since I like to keep things sunny side up, I decided to work to find positive triggers to help assuage those negative triggers. Here’s some things that work for me:
Work it out. You already know I’m crazy in love with group fitness. And I also love cycling and walking. And most anything else that gets me moving and grooving. I’ve never said, gosh, I regreted that workout. I always find my mood lighter, a little sparkly-er, and a lot whole less angry. Even if working out doesn’t solve anything, it takes me mind off of the current state of affairs and often gives me a fresh perspective.
Talk it out. Especially when I want to avoid talking about my issues is when I know I need to talk. Sometimes it helps me to just vent it out. Pro tip: if you want to vent to your spouse/support person (and that spouse/support person is a man/engineer/problem solver person), I suggest warning that person that you just want to talk and aren’t looking for a solution. Talking makes my problem worse when Dan (or my mom) try to solve things when I just want them to let me whine and complain for a few minutes. I also tell Dan (or my mom) to let me fuss about it only a certain amount of time. There seems to be a magic number of minutes I can complain for before I feel worse. But when I let it all out (for an appropriate amount of time), I feel a heck of a lot better.
Make something. When I’m under my shroud of negativity, I find it best to step away from the computer and the land of blogs and the ye old comparison game. It’s so tough to step away because when I’m in a negative mood, I feel like a slug. It takes every ounce of energy I can muster to step back and do something with my hands. Sometimes I bake. Sometimes I make a scrapbook or art journal layout. Or maybe I’ll paint my nails. Or string a necklace. Something that’s active but not overly stimulating. Just challenging enough to keep my mind occupied.
Find some peace. Sometimes my angst lies in how loud my world can feel. Barking dogs, whining toddlers, my phone beeping in email and text messages. It can seem like I’m drowning noise. Noise only fuels my bad mood and makes those negative triggers seem more awful than they are. So I seek out quiet moments. After I put Kate down to nap, I sneak away and cuddle up with a book and drink some tea. Or sometimes I sit on my back deck and just sit in silence. Sometime I pull out my yoga mat and do a couple downward dogs or crow poses. Anything that feels still is incredibly soothing.
It’s tough for me to take a break from thinking through the Issue of the Day and to back off the negativity train. But when I take some time out, I always feel refreshed. I know my troubles will still be there when I’m ready to return. And I can come back to them with a lightier spirit.