The stronger our emotional navigational skills are the more confident we feel to captain our ship and navigate our inner and outer world. We can learn to take on the emotional storms that might have sunk our ship before and can set sail with more curiosity to explore the vastness inside and outside of us.
"If you don't go within you go without."
But, "going in" can be a miserable or scary place for many of us.....
Did you know in my quick poll when you signed up...the vast majority reported dealing with anxiety and struggling with negative self talk...both of which can feel a lot like being lost at sea....
Perhaps like me, you've spent much of your life lost at sea. You were given a lot of love as a child, but were set off into the world of emotions without even a paddle, only to live each day at the whim of the storms and the weather.
Think for a sec, how many of us as children were encouraged to be curious about our feelings, share them and use them as valuable navigational information???
However, not knowing how to make sense of our emotions and use them to direct our life is akin to being cast out into the vast ocean with no understanding of the seas or the sails and expecting to sail around the world. We're then surprised and ashamed when we capsize!
But connected to our inner GPS, we can handle the inevitable storms that come.
Emotional Navigational Tool #1:Know your Anchors!
Before we set sail anywhere we need strong anchors. Even if this message comes to you amidst an internal tempest, knowing your anchors is the first step.
The stronger our anchors the more confident we feel explore. Anchors are anything that keeps us grounded or helps us feel steady when the waves come crashing in. We need internal and external anchors.
External anchors include people, places, animals, views, nature, quotes, music, images, and activities that we love. When we connect with these external anchors we know we are not alone, we feel supported even when we may feel completely lost.
Internal anchors are also vital. These include our breath, our imagingation and what we say to ourselves. Our breath is our most effective and most underused inner anchor. It allows us to shift from panic towards calm. Our breath links us to our depth.
Three Quick Anchors:
I need ideas to be simple....so just remember BLT
(it is vegan though - no pigs were harmed in the making of this reminder):
Take a few moments to give it a try this super quick and effective anchour right now:
Breathe in for 4.
Hold for 4.
Breath out for 4
Repeat 4 times min.
This is a simple and effective way to shift your central nervous system from fear to growth in seconds. Use it when you feel lost in the sea of uncontrollable emotions!
Just like the depth of the ocean we can be unmoved by even the greatest storms on the surface. Breathing connects us to that depth. Even if we stop and breathe for a few seconds before reacting, it can give us access to areas of our brain and depth of our experience we need for successful navigation!
Look at an image of something you love or that makes you laugh or both!. Just looking at your surroundings and noticing things you love can shift your focus enough to begin to calm.
We may as well use technology to support us! There's lots of apps to help us get grounded, focus and resume life again. Check out my favourite little anchor app, which I use several times a day. I love this little gem: 7 Sec Meditation