One way to get a handle on this is to learn to dissociate. Although dissociating is not recommended all the time, it is certainly recommended some of the time.
Imagine that next time you are in a stressful situation perhaps someone is upsetting you imagine that you could free yourself from the feelings and emotions that you are feeling. When you do this, all of a sudden the adrenaline stops pumping, your breathing slows down, you relax, and, most important, you can think clearly instead of just reacting.
Instead of getting upset, you respond in a mature and effective way, helping to make things better. Instead of upset and angry, you find yourself calm and thoughtful.
Dissociation is the tool to achieve this. It’s how to relax and get stress relief in a simple, quick and effective way.
(By the way, dissociation is also called disassociation.)
But how to do it? How do you relax with this method? What can you do to get this stress relief?
Here’s how. Practice the steps below, every day, until you can do it quickly.
(By the way, an important point is that you may find you “forget” to do this when faced with a stressful situation. There’s a reason for this. When you are upset or angry, your brain believes that there’s danger. (Usually, this isn’t true; you’re feeling upset, but nothing is about to harm you.)
When that happens, the primitive part of your brain says, “Hold on, you don’t want stress relief now. You want to attack!” All you need to do is remember that nothing is about to attack you, and then do the steps.)
1. Breathe! When we get upset and angry, we often forget to breathe!
2. Check how you’re breathing. Are your breaths shallow and fast? Slow down, breathe calmly and deeply. It’s a signal to the primitive part of your brain that it can relax and let you think again.
3. Now that you’ve fixed your breathing, imagine that you are floating up, out of your body. (If you find it hard to imagine floating up, then experiment with stepping sideways out of your body.) Imagine that you can see the situation, and your own body, down below you (or next to you).
4. Watch, and listen, as though you were an observer who just didn’t care what happened next. As if you were watching some old film. Even when you talk, imagine that you’re just watching your body talk, and listen to what you say. When you move, watch what you’re doing. When you think thoughts, listen to those thoughts as though they belonged to someone else.
5. Finally, before you say anything, do anything, or even think anything, ask yourself, “What would help the situation right now? What can I do, say or think that would make things better for everyone including myself?”