I have found, and believe, that one of the best ways to cope in any situation is to give yourself the space you need to breathe and maintain focus. It is SO easy to start thinking about all the many angles or emotions in a given situation and feel within seconds as if you are drowning. In case it isn’t already apparent, I am big into visualization for insight and one of the ways I can hit the pause button on a REACTION and start to move forward with vision is to allow the waves of stress and information wash over me. I imagine standing off shore in the ocean and focus on standing up straight and strong, breathing THROUGH the force of the water hitting me, allowing the push of the waves to pass through me. It gives me the extra time I need to hear the information being delivered and to process not reacting. Something else that has really helped me in recent times is to allow myself a certain length of time to feel emotions and reactions without passing judgment in the appropriateness of those reactions. Sometimes you find out something and your response is just a gut-reaction. It is natural to have reactions that are deeply emotional. What I am striving for, however, is to take that deeply emotional reaction and turn it into the direction I need.
My pursuit of self-mastery involves being bombarded with stressors, feeling the pull of an episode, yet not having my world rocked in the sense of a drowning in the waves. I want to be able to stand strongly in the waves. Our determination has to come from something or Someone greater than ourselves.
Psalm 61: 1-3
Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer;
2 from the end of the earth I call to you
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I,
3 for you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.