I frequently talk with my clients about how we Land when life throws us a curveball. For people going through a divorce, a breakup, or any hostile situation, it’s normal to feel angry, resentful and defensive. These negative emotions can literally make you feel like you are in a fog. The goal is to land on your feet and watch the dust settle around you. Even though you may want to react and defend yourself, the best thing you can do is to find your center and remain completely present to your decisions.
Breathe through your anger and anxiety. For me, a leisurely walk truly helps. Sometimes I find myself walking four times in one day to clear my head! It also helps when I journal and think about the outcomes I want from a stressful situation. I write mantras like, “I expect the best to happen; I am present, awake and alert to my life; I nourish my mind and body with healthy thoughts and food; I’m clear-headed and focused; I am poised and dignified.” I repeat these statements throughout the day to help me stay grounded. Sometimes I find relief from a situation quickly. Other times I have to practice this centering (walking, journaling, mantras, deep breathing) for days before I am completely back to center. It is then that I am ready to face any situation with grace and dignity.
When something happens that is shocking or disappointing, our first response is to react to the situation. I help people ease down from negative emotions. Through my coaching, I have seen that any decision made from a negative place is likely not the best one. When we make decisions out of anger or we are reacting to someone’s harsh words or actions, we are not making a decision that serves us. In the short term, it may seem right, but in the long term, we usually regret our actions if they are driven by anger, fear, resentment or spitefulness.
So Landing means you are aware in the moment – right in the heat of something happening. You are breathing, so you are not reacting. You are consciously taking the time to pause and gather your emotions and thoughts. I would strongly suggest if your ex wife is texting you and it’s making you angry, don’t respond right away. Give yourself the half hour rule – minimally. The same goes for emails. Don’t react. If someone calls you and you feel yourself getting angry, just say, “I will get back to you” or “Let me think about it.” While you do this, there’s also another benefit. It gives you time to set a clear intention about what you want from the interaction. I tell my clients, before you respond, ask yourself, “Is it going to serve you? Are you going to get the results that you want?” I always ask myself, “How can I respond in the most graceful, dignified way?”
My clients who have mastered this (not texting or emailing instantly) tell me that, even though they thought that it was great to zing the person, now that they are Landing, they get better results. Someone who wants to switch custodial weekends with his ex wife has a better chance of accomplishing that if he ignores the barbs she sends his way and focuses on the logistics and arrangements for the children. Someone who wants a piece of furniture from her ex boyfriend’s house has a better chance of getting him to agree if she focuses on the furniture and not on the problems in the relationship.
Dealing with life’s disappointments can be painful. But fortunately, if you allow yourself to stay in the solution, there can also be growth and expansion as we understand ourselves better. Whenever I am dealing with stressful situations, I always ask myself, “What is my part in this? What can I learn so I can avoid these types of situations in the future?” My greatest growth has come from my ability to Land and see things clearly.