I originally posted this on Huffington Post. I felt called to share this today, the eve of Mothers Day.
I’ve been policing my thoughts for long enough now that it’s really natural for me to have mostly positive thoughts. However, there are a known series of events that put a difficult spin on my reality. Those things include: being physically ill, finding it difficult to shake the stress, and having connection concerns with my husband. Being an empath, some of these things are multiplied. When I use the term “reset” I mean an activity or action that will allow me to hit that centered and focused place that I prefer to be. I have been working with kids for the last 20 plus years, and as such I have been guiding them through navigating this process as well. When you have a three year old who is just overwhelmingly grumpy, as a parent, how do you respond to this? For many parents they would encourage this child to take a nap. That nap serves as a reset point, because when the child wakes up their attitude and behavior have returned to normal.
I think every human alive would be best served by discovering his or her reset point. Can you think of how many lesser altercations the world would have? How many less hurt feelings would exit? The possibilities are endless. Below are my suggestions to find your reset point:
- Saltwater baths: This is something that I do on a very regular basis. I am absolutely rejuvenated by hot baths and putting salt in it only increases the positive experiences I have. There’s a certain line of belief that says by doing these types of baths you will remove any negativity that has glommed onto you.
- Social Media Detox: The Internet and social media today constantly barrage many people. Some people are only not connected to social media when they are sleeping. Allow yourself a time to disconnect to the Internet world and re-connect to the world around you. Give yourself that gift.
- Exercise: Many people are resistant to this one because they are already emotionally exhausted. How would this be different if you were getting two needs met at once? Why not vacuum your house a few times, slowly? Or wipe the walls down moving from room to room, in a natural fashion? Make exercise a part of your environment and it becomes more natural.
- Engage that younger part of you: One of my all time favorite activities is to color in a coloring book. It’s a great reset point. I don’t have to think any conscious thoughts during it, other than “Stay in the lines”. I can’t think of a more freeing and resetting activity for me personally. Recently there’s been a huge boom of “adult coloring books”. I suspect this just solidifies my viewpoint.
- Meditation: I was talking with a client who has a strong history of meditation. When I asked her how often she had been meditation recently she said not much because she didn’t have time. I walked her though a process of meditation that provided her with substantial relieve in 57 seconds! Can you really tell me you don’t have 57 seconds to spare?
- Mindfulness: At its core, mindfulness is about staying focused on the present moment, while removing any judgment. The mere concept gives me goose bumps because of how empowering it is. I encourage my clients to start by focusing on how their breath feelings coming in and out of their body, and then move up from there.
- Positive smells: I’m sure we all have that one smell that makes us smile. In my office I use a diffuser and put tangerine oil in it. It makes me smile and I instantly feel at peace. At home I use a lavender smell because it helps to increase sleepiness.
- Visualization: Whether you call it imagination or visualization the end results are the same. Imagine yourself being happy, content, full of love, and accomplishing your goals. Doesn’t that feel amazing? If you want to get more creative, imagine loving light entering your body. The possibilities are endless.
Whatever technique or mechanism you decide to use, please engage in resetting on a regular basis. Not only is it healthy for you, it’s good for your relationships.
Jenn Bovee, LCSW, is a spiritual psychotherapist and life coach. Jenn offers in person session as well as distance sessions. Learn more about her here: www.JennBoveeLCSW.com
I don’t usually blog about movies, but this is not ordinary movie. Whether you come from an Internal Family Systems approach or a Parts Perspective or are just a living breathing human being; this movie is worth the investment. I was excited to see this movie since the first preview was released. This is one of those movies I will own. While Inside Out is advertised as a children’s movie, it is so much more than that. I watched this movie with my husband and my 18-year-old bonus daughter. My entire family is used to me crying through just about any movie, but my bonus daughter was crying as well. I was surprised to say the least. This movie has a phenomenal message. Allow me to share with you the main things I got out of this movie.
- Emotions are complex creatures: In this movie there were a few different emotions. They included joy, anger, fear, disgust, and sadness. At times through out the movie it would appear as if there was a hierarchy of which feeling was in charge. And in the exact next moment it would become clear that there was no such hierarchy, it was almost an every feeling for itself kind of world.
- Emotions and feelings don’t always co-exist very well: At one point during the movie, joy becomes frustrated with sadness. Joy basically tells sadness to get lost and the fall out is detrimental. Is that not similar to how it happens for most people? I’m a firm believer that every feeling and emotion has a job and a responsibility. I also struggle with the concept of certain feelings being positive while others are negative. In my mind every feeling is what it is, the problem lies in our response to the feelings.
- Everyone has emotions: I really loved how the feeling parts were not just limited to the daughter, but the mom and the dad had them as well. I have encountered countless people who attempt to explain that they don’t have feelings or emotions. In my experience, nothing could be farther from the truth. I suspect this movie was accurate in their depiction of the feelings, in that everyone has them, but frequently people are not aware of them. I have become somewhat of an observer of people. In that process I have noticed that people who claim to not have feelings, are just not as in touch with them as others are.
- All feelings are necessary: If we all lived in the world according to me, I would never ever experience anger. It’s not my go to feeling or emotion. It doesn’t leave the safe and satisfying feeling in my soul. But I have come to believe that each and every feeling is necessary and valid. Let me just play this out for you. If you never experienced any sadness do you think the joy you feel would be as strong or as powerful? If you never experienced fear do you think the love you feel would be as strong?
- Everyone has core memories: This was an important revelation for me. Through out the movie, something happens to the core memories. Prior to this, I had not given much thought to the core memory concept. I suspect that all people have positive core memories and some less than positive core memories. It is those very memories that shape and mold who we are as a person. For me, the memory of walking up and down the road looking for my favorite pet rock stays with me.
- People still don’t understand the subconscious mind: As someone who specializes in the subconscious mind this saddened me. In the movie the subconscious mind was described as a dark and scary place. This saddened me (while I understand that it’s most people’s perceptions) because I absolutely love the subconscious mind. I also suspect that once you understand how your subconscious mind works and how to change it’s programming; your perception and relationship to it changes as well.
Jenn Bovee, LCSW is a spiritual life coach and psychotherapist. Learn more about her here: www.JennBoveeLCSW.com