Before You Flip a Lid, Wiggle Your Toes.
Frustration is mounding, chaos ensuing, feelings of being out of control are rallying. What happens if we are at the end of our actual rope, and we are about to snap?
The bad new is that in this moment you are in fight or flight mode and your frontal lobes are not connected. I hate when my lobes aren’t connected, ya know? It doesn’t sound cute. Because it’s not. This disconnection means you are not thinking straight.
The good news is you can practice using your body to reset your brain and reconnect those beautiful frontal lobes. Before you flip a lid, ground your feet. Wiggle your toes. Feel the floor.
This is quite possibly one of THE best anti-exploding techniques I’ve heard from psychotherapist Tasha Lansbury as a guest on the Unruffled podcast on how to keep cool. These are her thoughts on what to do when we are about to lose it on our kids:
“Use your body as your tool. Our bodies are amazing tools to help us out. Go right into your body and go right down to your feet. Feel your feet on the ground. Feel the gravity. Maybe you feel the lower legs now connecting to your feet. This takes the intensity to the head and redirects your energy from the head to the ground. Shift where your energy is located.
It’s about practice. Practice doing this. Practice throughout your day feeling your feet. So when you feel the intensity rising up and it’s literally about to come out of your ears, then feel your feet. The more you practice, the more your energy will go down your feet and not up out of your mouth.
When we get so frustrated or overwhelmed our frontal lobes aren’t connected; our fight or flight has kicked in and we cannot think. Grounding your energy to your body, to your feet reconnects, your frontal lobes. This is the express track to mindfulness. And then you can think through what to do, you can think how to respond the way you want to. But if frontal lobes are offline, you can’t think. Reconnect them.”
I have been practicing this and I DO feel like I am reconnecting my brain, I can think, and I can stop before I flip a lid. I do find myself more grounded. I am practicing feeling my feet on the ground all throughout the day so that it becomes a reflex. Because sometimes all I feel like I can do is wiggle my toes in that intense moment. And that really can kickstart so much good thinking, and non explosion!
She also explains about what to do in the event that you have lost your temper from a psychotherapist view. I love the Unruffled podcast in general and this one in particular! So practical. Hope this helps.
Here’s to feeling our feet instead of living in defeat!