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The Relearning Blog

no b.s. exercises

the exposed therapist
navigating change
emotional stuff
the self

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom” – Viktor Frankl.

Your phone dings and you immediately check for a message while eating dinner with your family

You walk by a bakery and start salivating and tears come to your eyes before your brain clues into your memories of freshly baked bread 

You see crumbs on the floor and become angry at your roommates (is that just me?)

An email comes through and you immediately start thinking “it’s my day off, why are they emailing”  

As humans we are constantly observing and reacting to stimulus (sights, sounds, emotions, thoughts). When we are moving about life in a reactive state, there isn’t time or space for our logical mind to kick in. Reading this you might think “well, I’m pretty logical and self-aware, I don’t need therapy”.  Think again. 

If you sometimes:

  • Avoid conflict or shut down and retreat in conflict 
  • Feel defensive and criticized with feedback 
  • Blame other people or situations for your problems 
  • Have blow up fights (including hypothetical fights in your mind)
  • Replay conversations in your mind and overthink
  • Feel blindsided or surprised by other peoples actions 

You might not be as aware as you think and that’s OK. Very few people are intrinsically self aware (I’ve never met someone who is). You can practice self-awareness and see great changes  through this simple practice. 

Stop what you are doing 

  • When you feel yourself reacting – stop. Freeze. Say something like “I’m reacting” or “I’m reactive” (if you’re a nerd like me you can say “My amygdala has taken over”).

Take a breath – get our of your mind and into your body

  • Tune into your body and create intentionality around your breathing. Notice how your lungs expand and contract with every breath you take. Slow everything down. If your mind is racing, keep breathing and focusing on your breath until it starts to slow. 

Label what’s going on (this is the hardest part because we don’t like to feel those damn emotions) 

  • I feel angry, I feel anxious, I feel upset, I feel overwhelmed, I feel some kind of way 

Problem solve

This will look different for everyone. For me it includes breathing, prioritizing, asking for help, taking a break (2 mins), letting go of tasks, journaling, emailing my therapist in a panic, feeling through the emotion. 

Everyone’s process and problem solving will look different because we are all wired differently. What works for you might be detrimental for someone else. It’s important that you find a plan that works for you. Explore ReLearning Humans No B.S. Resources and team members anytime. You don’t have to do this alone, we are here to support when you are ready. 

Moving from reaction to response

No B.S. Exercises