Post #103: One word. Less stress. White-Noise-‘Em.
You standing there.
Talking to someone while they launch into a political tirade or their latest drama with x, y, z.
Suddenly holding your breath, trying not to say the things you really want to say…
You know better than to get lured into the tirade, the drama, the wrath.
But, you feel your breathing shallow, your stomach clench, your blood pressure rise, maybe even some heart palpitations.
Their sh*t is affecting you even though you’re sitting deep in that saddle, pulling those reins back with everything you’ve got.
Don’t take the bait. Don’t take the bait. Don’t take the bait.
And then, you slip.
Something comes out of your mouth that shouldn’t and now you’re face first down the rabbit hole of stress, drama, and joining in the tirade.
What to do?
Back to their first spout out.
Before the shallow breathing, stomach clenching, heart palpitations, holding back with everything you’ve got.
This is what you do. (courtesy of an old school t.v. series Scrubs. Remember Scrubs?!)
No, don’t give them a sneak hug (although they probably need that too).
This is when you WHITE-NOISE-EM.
Yes you heard that correctly.
Remember anytime Dr. Cox was cornered in the hospital by someone he really didn’t care to talk to he would start hearing white-noise in his head and completely ignore what they had to say?
That’s WHITE-NOISE-EM! A term I coined a few years ago when things got stressful around here.
My husband bought a business 7 years ago and the first 2 years were tough to put it lightly.
There were times in which he needed to discuss the business with me which turned into a pretty stressful doomsday rant.
The scariest thing was how I was reacting to it on the inside.
I was going through sheer terrified panic.
My thoughts racing, “What are we going to do? How are we going to get by?”
…coupled with heart racing, blood pressure spiking and adrenaline pumping trying to figure out what I was going to do about it.
Until one day I realized that he liked to hit the panic button when there was nothing yet to panic about.
He needed to get things off his chest just in case the worst WAS to come, but it never really did.
But I was paying a price.
My mind, body, and emotions were being thrown into a tailspin of stress that wasn’t even necessary.
One day I realized that when he started in on the stress-talk something changed.
Instead of holding my breath and clenching my stomach I deepened my breath and heard a pleasant white-noise take over my mind.
The coolest thing happened.
It was like a force-field surrounded me, preventing me from being overtaken by feelings of stress and overwhelm, thoughts of worry and angst, adrenaline pumping for no reason to ward off some unreal gloom and doom.
It was amazing!!
And from then on, anytime he came to discuss the “business”, I deepened my breath, turned on my inner white-noise and shook my head so he felt heard.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband. I knew that his need to get things off his chest and use me as a sounding board was important but I also knew my long-term health and well-being were going to pay a price if I allowed myself to be pulled into a whirlwind of stress and overwhelm again and again.
And guess what? As I stayed calm, he stayed calm-er. So win-win!
After years of this I’ve noticed that when I stay calm during these conversations my husband usually talks himself into realizing that his worry and stress are unfounded.
It usually ends with him giving me a big hug and apologizing for attempting to draw me into this unnecessary maelstrom.
Now that’s worth celebrating!
This is your take away challenge for the week: the next time someone comes to you with gossip, drama, a political rant, or any other stressful situation that you know is out of your control, take a deep breath, look at them with a peaceful and calm countenance, and white-noise-em!
And notice if this calms them down too. Win-win.
This is even easier to do when you have a consistent yoga practice to squeeze the stress out of your body and mind, making you LESS REACTIVE.
Remember, you are a force for good in the world. The more consistent you get with these practices the more your life will become guided, sacred, and filled with meaning. You cannot help but then extend deep peace, joy, and contentment to your loved ones, friends, and everyone you meet. The world could use more of this, so let’s get you in the best space to make it happen.