Build a Mental Toolbox

You got em, I got em, we all got em.

We all have problems. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I’m the only one facing them.

This post is about how to deal.

Have you ever had something happen that made you so angry that your heart rate spiked leaving you and your hands shakey?

This happened to me last weekend. It was a Saturday night as I sat on my bed feeling my anger it was the first time in my life that I really noticed it. I felt it. I didn’t fight it, instead I looked deep down into that feeling to listen to the cause. Where was it truly coming from? I had felt this before.

I decided it was an accumulation of buried past events that was triggered from what happened on Saturday.

It set me over the edge.

What I did next was a true indication that I am growing as a person.

I breathed. Deep calming breaths trying my hardest not to react, when all I wanted to do was break something.

Yes, that’s a little scary- I know but it’s true. Even my cats where like Woah I’m outta here, and they scurried out of my bedroom.

So what did I do in that fit of rage?

I colored. I took out a coloring portrait (of succulents, thanks to a very thoughtful Christmas gift) and colored the crap out of it.

I shaded in the petals, leaves, stems, and containers. As the page came to life, I felt less and less upset.

This may sound very elementary but coloring helped.

I felt relief washing over me. My heart rate slowed as I fell into a relaxation state.

My hand started to hurt and so I put the art down, drank some warm tea, lit some candles and crawled into bed.

The next day I woke up feeling renewed.

This didn’t solve my problem, nor did it completely fix the uneasy feelings around that particular situation that left me feeling so emotional, but it did allow me to practice my coping skills.

Deal with it.

Coping skills are H U G E.

I cringe thinking about all the times in my youth and young adult stages where I lived in a complete reactive state, always, always inevitably making that situation worse.

Without coping skills, every problem is amplified until it reaches the breaking point.

Followed by a literal breakdown.

Things get said or done and that one problem became three problems. Ever been there?

After episodes like this, we learn, right?

You learn that this isn’t how you want to feel and we can choose to deal with it differently.

It is a choice.

Each day is a new day to choose to be wiser while controlling these emotions.

Bringing awareness into these coping mechanisms allows each problem to get a little easier as we find we can accept them for what they are.

Your mental toolbox

We all have access to some very simple tools to help strengthen our coping mechanisms.

I’m going to suggest building a mental toolbox filled with your own tools and ideas for the days when that problem is a pain knocking on your conscious and crippling your other cognitive abilities.

To clarify: You don’t need to go purchase an actual toolbox.

My mental toolbox includes: a yoga mat, journal, candles, string lights, a soft blanket, a comfy outfit, color pencils and my sketchbook.

What would you put in your toolbox?

A fishing pole? Kayak? An instrument? What about the little things that help calm the environment? Soft music? An essential oil humidifier?

Build one and go to it over and over, it will help.

Unplug, recharge & reset

Put down your phone.

Don’t send that text and stop scrolling through your feeds. That life can wait, your body and mind cannot.

Put the phone on silent, plug it into the charger and leave it alone.

Carve out time to do this daily and watch how your stress levels decline. We spend so much time in a different online world that we are forgetting to take care of ourselves in our present reality.

You need to breathe and reset from the constant stress of going.

Most of us are guilty of being addicted to work, life and our technologies, so I understand that this is a hard thing to do.

Sometimes, like last night, when I can’t sleep I find my arm reaching out for my phone. It takes willpower AND awareness to restrain myself from mindlessly scrolling.

Resetting will allow you to grow and recover just like a fast for your digestion or proper sleep after exercise. This will help you peak not plateau.

You are a gift

You are a precious gift to the world and being in your best mental state will allow you to be who you were intended to be.

What I hope for you is that your mental toolbox is something you go to even when you are not facing a problem because it becomes a joyful action.

Tapping into our awareness and finding ways out of the fog will bring clarity, help you meet your goals and set you on a life path that feels good.

Call to action

Leave a reply if you already have yourself a mental toolbox and didn’t even realize it. Tell me what you would keep in there. Subscribe to this page for more posts on personal growth. Thank you for taking your time to stop by and read this article, may you be happy and healthy today and everyday.

5 Comments

  1. speak766

    Great post! I especially agree with you that giving ourselves a break from technology and especially our phones is so important. Getting bombarded all the time with texts/notifications is incredibly stressful. Thank you for sharing this. Wish you all the best – speak766

    Like

  2. revronbennett

    I reset often and recharge by education. i love books, writing, and helping other. i love business, yes I can get recharged by deals. Often it can be singing but I work 7 days a week now for over 20 years and in the last 10 I started to take a weeks vacation, love it but I get charged up by living out my purpose. Thanks for the reminder.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.