To be calm in amidst the chaos takes practice. So, to center yourself quickly you have to find your way to the center of your being every day. You have to be used to it.
Then, you’ll get when you’re sidetracked from your values and you’ll practice to unhook yourself from judgments-yours or others-and return to center quickly.
So let’s begin.
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Sidetracked from your values
A difficult situation at work, school or home brings up stress, anxiety, sadness, or anger, for example.
Something or someone is pushing your buttons. Usually, you react the same way every time and feel awful afterward. Your reaction has become a habit.
Your can stick to your values and react in a way that you’ll feel at peace.
According to Hill and Sorensen, authors of Act Daily Journal, “even in hard times it’s possible to choose how to respond based on the person you’d most like to be.”
Take these 3 simple steps:
- Pause. Notice your thoughts and emotions.
- Ask yourself how you’d respond at your best.
- Make that choice.
However, when you get it wrong, you’ll regurgitate the whole situation over and over.
Use these simple steps with a stressful situation that already happened. Pick a constructive response according to your values. It’s called mental rehearsal.
You have to practice to do better next time. Because you’ve make it a habit. The same situation could show up here and there until you break that unhelpful pattern.
Even though you see the whole situation as a circumstance, it revolves around thoughts and feelings—yours and others.
Unhook yourself from judgments
“Your point of view creates your reality. Reality does not create your point of view.” Dr. Dain Heer
It doesn’t matter if your beliefs are true or not, they will manifest. Your state of being defines your actions and creates your destiny.
These beliefs are called judgments. They can be positive or negative. The problem begins when your judgments are wrong because you don’t have enough information.
These judgments create limitations in your life. You choose your behaviors following a lie and treat them as facts.
So let’s get to work.
How do you center yourself?
To center yourself with ease requires practice. Also, don’t beat yourself up as you master how to keep your balance in difficult situations because you don’t get it perfect at once.
1.- Work on yourself and follow the 3 simple steps when you feel sidetracked from your values.
2.- Consider another helpful practice by Hill and Sorensen:
Write down positive and negative self-judgments as observations. For example:
I’m friendly and I’m too short.
Sometimes I make time to chat and I’m five-foot three.
Be aware: What differences do you notice between self-judgments and observations?
Work on being grounded with mindfulness meditation. With this practice:
- You’ll have breath awareness.
- You’ll realize how your discordant thoughts and feelings keep you stuck and out of balance.
- Get back to center.
One of my favorites is an oldie but goodie, Brain Weiss meditation. He has several meditations, but this is the one I like to return to center.
4.- Asking questions to get awareness. I wrote this article with eight questions that are the basics. If you feel stuck these 8 questions are great to regain balance and help you to move forward.
If you want to center yourself quickly, you have to work on that every day.
As you’ve read, there are several exercises you can practice every day to learn from your past mistakes and start anew.
To keep your balance through difficult times is a skill. There are not shortcuts. You have to do the work.
Authors Diana Hill, PhD & Debbie Sorensen, PhD
ACT Daily Journal: Get Unstuck and Live Fully with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Published by New Harbinger Publications (May 1, 2021)
ARC by NetGalley