Be aware of triggers and learn how to ground yourself.
Tip # 12 for the holiday season: Be aware of triggers and learn how to ground yourself.
Spending time with family can feel pretty good until someone says the wrong thing and your inner angsty teenager appears. It’s a tale as old as time and no doubt the inspiration behind the famous Ram Dass quote, “If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.” Nobody knows how to better press our buttons than our family; they were probably the ones who made them. So it’s best to prepare yourself for the next family gathering. A few good questions to contemplate are: Who in your family triggers you? What boundaries do you need? What body and behavior signals warn you that you may be close to fighting, fleeing, or freezing? Put another way, what is your very first sign of distress? What can you do in those situations so that things don’t escalate and you can support yourself? This is not easy, it takes practice (and sometimes therapy) and requires compassion in all directions.
Grounding tips from the Calm team:
Christi-an: Oh goodness, I’ve definitely let my reactivity get the better of me over the holidays. Sadly anger can cause a lot of unnecessary hurt and damage. When I notice myself starting to feel upset, I find a quiet place or go outside to hideout for a few deep breaths. Once I feel a little more settled, I take moment to make some choices and intentions for how I want to deal with what’s coming up.
Henderson: Using an Emergency Calm meditation in the Calm app or taking a few minutes with the Breath Bubble is super helpful to get back to center. When I can, I also like use a Loving Kindness meditation to extend compassion to those around me who may be creating additional stress for themselves and others.
Jade: Meditating daily during these periods is a must for me. If I don’t allow space for awareness, I tend not to notice the behaviors I have slipped back into, and am responsible for. As a family, it’s important that we respect our differences, and sometimes avoiding particular topics keeps it safe and less stressful for all of us. It leaves space for compassion and the ability to enjoy these rare, special moments together.