By Louise Jensen
In the ideal world (that resides inside my head) everyone is lovely. There is no aggression or nastiness; everyone is fair and kind and love is the driving force propelling us into an awesome future.
Unfortunately the world (outside of my head), can be very different.
There is one particular person in my circle who is quite unpleasant. Circumstances dictate that this person remains, for the foreseeable future, integrated into my life. It has taken me a long time not to take the regular outpouring of venomous words so freaking personally. This is how I did it: -
Breathe - quite an obvious statement but when I am feeling energetically attacked (and whilst replaying the memory afterwards) my breathing becomes shallower or I hold my breathe altogether. This in itself is enough to induce feelings of anxiety. Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. It sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. Heart rate and blood pressure falls and a sense of relaxation will automatically take over.
Meditate - Yes it always come in somewhere but that’s because there is no better way to keep you in the now, stop foreseeing future problems and replaying past events.
Don’t judge - if you are met with hostility it can be easy to judge the other person as nasty but we rarely know what’s going on in someone’s life to make them feel hostile. Everyone is dealing with their own story.
Forgive and let go - holding on to resentment hurts you more than the other person. Imagine you are holding on to the back of a moving car; being dragged around and getting hurt. Is it the car that’s hurting you? No it’s you actually holding on to the car that’s allowing you to get hurt. Letting go is freeing.
Understand it’s only their perception of reality - It’s hard when you are being criticised and judged but understanding this is the other person’s perception of reality was a huge leap forward for me. Their version would be completely different to my version but that’s ok. I am true to myself and other people’s opinions of me are really none of my business.
Love them exactly as they are - this was a tricky one but whenever I saw this person I would forget anything that had gone on before and accept them exactly as they are without preconceived ideas or wishing they would change.
Don’t try to mind read - I know I had a stage that even if this persons name was mentioned I would assume they had been bad mouthing and thinking negative thoughts about me and I would start to feel anxious. By guessing what I thought they were thinking my mind went into overdrive creating a story. I am sure I put more energy into them than they ever did into me. Unless I hear something directly now I don’t assume.
Practice Gratitude - Don’t let one bad incident make you feel you have had a bad day, a bad week or even a bad life! For every one negative person I encounter I have a million more things to be thankful for and I make sure I journal a list every day so the good always outweighs the bad.