The world is judgmental. It would be great if people didn’t judge others on seemingly every little thing. It would even be better if everyone liked everyone else, but sadly this in not the case.
Did you know your brain never stops thinking? It is true, however most people do not pay attention to their thoughts on a regular basis. With mindfulness, though, we learn to pay attention to our thoughts and our emotions as well as the way we interpret things.
There is a skill you can use when you are feeling distressed, extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain. The next time you feel in a highly emotional state, use TIPPs as a way of managing stress, to change your physiology to feel more at ease.
TIPPs is an acronym for Temperature, Intense Exercise, Pace your Breathing and Progressive Relaxation.
- Temperature. Physically change your temperature by holding a cold compress on your forehead.
- Intense Exercise. You don’t need to do too much. A run down the street and back or 15 strong jumping jacks is enough.
- Pace your breathing. Slow down your breathing. Inhale on four counts, hold four counts and exhale eight counts.
- Progressive Relaxation. Progressively relax all your muscles starting at your toes and moving up.
It only takes a few minutes to use TIPPs and change your physiology. But, the benefit of feeling better and emotionally less intense can last throughout your day. Give TIPPs a try.
Dr. Kim DiRé: Hi, my name is Dr. Kim DiRé. I’m going to teach you a distress tolerance skill called TIPP. It’s an acronym; Temperature, Intense exercise, Pace your breathing, and Progressive relaxation.
The first part of this takes place when you’re in high emotional arousal, or you have that intense emotional state. We want to change your intense emotional state by shifting your physiology.
The T out of TIPP stands for Temperature. We’re going to try and change your temperature by putting a cold compress on your face or splashing your face with cold water. We want to be bent over, and we want to do it right here on the forehead.
The I in TIPP stands for Intense exercise. You don’t want to do too much, but maybe 15 jumping jacks or you run down the block and back. That will shift your physiology.
The first P in TIPP is Pacing your breathing, slowing it down. You want to do a mental count of four in slowly, four hold, and eight out, and then do it again. Four, four hold, and eight out in a slow and steady stream on your exhalation, through a dropped jaw and loosened tongue. Push the air all the way out, so the next inhalation has a place to go.
The last P in TIPP, T-I-P-P, is Progressive relaxation, relaxing your muscles slowly, starting at your toes, and moving up. I do have a progressive relaxation skill video that you can find on kimdire.com, if that helps you. There are other ones as well, including lying in bed. Start thinking about your toes, and then scanning up through the rest of your body, until you change your physiology by relaxing your muscles.
Next time you find yourself in a high emotional state, or high emotional arousal, and you use those four skills, you’ll find that you’ll change your physiology and start feeling better, emotionally less intense. Then you can go on with your day.
Are there some annoying people in your life that just get under your skin? You get stuck talking to them and leave feeling frustrated or even angry? They are people you’d just rather not talk to, but can’t avoid.
Well rather than let them get the best of you, use some coping skills to deal with them. The first thing you can do is gently avoid them. This is to say, keep the conversation to things that are more superficial like the weather. Second, try to avoid them by engaging other people in conversation. And third, try not to take what they do personally. For example, try to justify their annoying behavior or habits as their natural behavior and not something directed at you personally.
Whether at work, in the neighborhood, or within your extended family, there are likely to be people you find annoying. Next time you encounter these annoying people them, practice these new coping skills. When you manage your reactions in these situations, you’ll find yourself coming away happier and keeping your emotions in balance.
Sheri Robenstine: Hi. My name is Sheri. I am one of the therapists here at Healthy Futures, and just wanted to discuss today a couple of strategies that anyone can use when you have to be around people that you don’t necessarily choose to be around, but you don’t have a choice of another place to be, whether that be at work, whether that be at a family reunion, whether that be anywhere where there’s a person that you would choose not to be around.
One of the strategies that you can use is to gently avoid that person. When I say gently avoid, I mean that you would have conversation with that person that you would have if you had just met them. You might talk about the weather. You might talk about the events that you’re at. You might comment on something that is happening in news today, a current event, but you wouldn’t discuss anything more than that. It would be a very basic conversation that you would have with that person.
If you can avoid them, great. Have conversations with other people that you truly enjoy having a conversation with. Be involved in activities that you truly enjoy. That person can be there, but you don’t necessarily have to be involved with that person.
Another thing that you can do that works well with people that you don’t necessarily get along with is by not taking anything that they do personally. When I say that, I mean that don’t assume that they are doing things to frustrate you, to annoy you, to upset you. Just assume that they are doing things because this is their natural behavior. It’s some habit that they have that might be annoying, but it’s not necessarily directed at you.
That person just becomes another person that you encounter, and they don’t necessarily have to be someone that’s frustrating to you or someone that is very angering to you. They just happen to be another person that you might have to encounter on a daily basis.
If you are a client of Healthy Futures, feel free to ask for any sort of advice, maybe some role-playing techniques or how to handle a specific situation. If not, good luck with all of those situations where you might have to encounter people that you don’t always have fun with.