I moved over the weekend. I thought I would/could hire a moving company to do most of the work, and that it would be a fairly hands off experience for me, but as is the new normal, COVID-19 made moving more difficult. So, I had to go old school: I hired a few guys to help me pack a rented Uhaul. Although I was lucky enough to find someone to drive the Uhaul to the new house, I am still primarily responsible for the unload and unpack (Fortunately, I will have a few people to help with the unpack as well).
There were moments over the weekend when I was fed up with moving, tired and flat out angry. A friend of mine once said to me, “I would rather take a good beating than have to move myself.” Well, this weekend I thought he was right at times when I found that my mind was focused on the slog of taping boxes, running out of tape and boxes and having to run out for more, carrying and stacking, loading the truck, the snow storm that came up out of nowhere and made things even more challenging, my tired muscles, the endless amount of stuff… COME ON!
But… These negative emotions were not serving me!
Emotions like anger, fear, resentment, guilt or shame usually indicate negative thoughts. It’s essential that you recognize these negative emotions and create a pattern interrupt.
The best way to interrupt negative thoughts is by stopping what you are doing, going outside and taking a walk in nature.
Yesterday, when I realized I was getting overwhelmed with the sheer volume of back-breaking work I had ahead of me and the limited amount of time I had to get it done, I spotted the negative thoughts, I went for a walk, I remembered to breathe (two quick inhales followed by a king exhale to reset), I interrupted the negative thoughts.
After my reset, instead of focusing on the work and the negative emotions, I started focusing on the outcome: the fresh start on the other side of the move. The reframe got me energized and positive again. I even started enjoying the snow and took a great deal of pleasure watching my daughter play in it.
We all get stuck in negative patterns from time to time, but it’s on us and us alone to determine what emotions we experience and how we experience them. We have the power to change in an instant, if we choose to do so. The tools we are working on together help us recognize negative emotions and reset our minds to realize that life is happening for us and will bring us whatever we hope to receive.
- SPOT the negative emotions
- STOP and reset yourself with a walk and intentional breathing (two quick inhales followed by a king exhale at least 3x, ideally 10x)
- SWAP your story by thinking about the positive emotions and outcomes you desire
If we can focus on reducing negative emotions in our lives, we will have less anger, less resentment, less shame and guilt, and less contempt. And when we focus on the positive emotions of life, it will bring us more gratitude, more joy, more love, more course and more commitment.
We can make our lives and the lives around us better, and in the process, the world becomes a better place.