I’m always open to learn something new. Especially if it will help me to reduce stress, eliminate anxiety and give me more peace of mind. This past week I had a negative experience that I just couldn’t seem to get out of my head. I kept replaying the situation over again and again in an endless loop. It was causing me such stress and anxiety. The same “I should have said this or done that” conversation kept coming up and it was giving me a headache and upset stomach.
Now, I have many tactics and strategies that I normally use for managing stressors. I was focusing on my breath. I did write in my journal to get it out of my head. I tried to get engaged in an activity that I could focus on. I tried anything and everything, but I couldn’t stop that darn instant replay in my head. If you have ever been there, you know what I mean. I was torturing myself — and even thought I knew this, I still couldn’t stop. I even thought, “Okay, maybe I need to learn a lesson from this” but no lessons emerged. The harder I tried to let it go, the stronger it stuck. And yes, I even tried to give into it but it didn’t make me feel any better, only worse.
It was time to take my two dogs for a walk in the woods. One is a 125-pound Bernese Mountain Dog, Baloo, and one is a 45-pound Australian Shepherd, Razz. They love to go to the woods and run around. So off we all went; the two dogs, me and my bad experience. I kept replaying what I said, what I wished I said, what I’d say next time if there were a next time (there won’t be, but I wasn’t thinking clearly) and so on.
Baloo loves to pick up any trash he can find and eat it – gross I know. He knows better, but I assume as a dog it’s just too big of a ‘treat’ to leave it alone. If I see him go toward something but not pick it up, I tell him “Leave It” and he’s supposed to leave it. However, if he picked it up before I give that command, the command becomes “Drop It” and he’s supposed to drop it, whatever it is. And for the most part, he does.
So there we are walking in the woods. I’m still having that conversation with myself and he’s happily scrounging around nose to the ground — you would have thought he was a bloodhound the way he was sniffing and tracking. Anyway at some point I notice he’s just about to pick up a paper coffee cup and I instinctively tell him “Leave It”… and low and behold he does. He doesn’t give it a second glance or sniff, but just ambles happily away up the hill and onto the next section to check out.
It was then that it hit me. He easily went onto the next thing and didn’t waste any time on what was and couldn’t/wouldn’t be. And at that moment I realized that I too could “Leave It, or Drop It” and amble on to another experience while not being bothered (or more accurately, tortured) by what had already happened. So (I know it sounds silly) I gave myself the same command, “Drop It, Kim” and I did. It was such a freeing moment that I wanted to share my experience with you so that you too could Leave It and/or Drop It as necessary in order to be in your peace, joy and happiness.
So the next time you find yourself in that loop of “I should have done this, I wished I said that”…simply Leave It and move on. Say it out loud if you have to! You will release the anxiety and, in fact, if you do it early on I bet you won’t even get to the stress level in the first place!
Feel free to write to me at email@example.com to let me know your experiences!
Author Bio: Kim Ravida is Founder and CEO of Kim Ravida Coaching. Kim works with women and women business owners to structure their lives and businesses in a way that fits them so that they reach their goals, make more money and live their lives with less stress and more success. She places an emphasis on fun, freedom and practicing good self-care.
For more tips go to www.kimravida.com and get your free copy of 5 Fun, Fabulous and Easy Ways to Love Your Reflection, Your Life and Your Business.