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Before the meeting, one of my colleagues had started on a tirade of complaints and resentments that were decades old. Her tirade quickly dropped the energy of everyone in the room.

My shoulders were starting to tense up and my stomach was already starting to roll around. That’s usually how second hand stress or negativity in my environment gets translated into my body.

cocktail of hormonesWith a valiant effort we were able to bring our focus to the agenda and go on with the business of the organization. It was not the fun interaction with colleagues I had come to expect from our meetings.

It is important for you to know that your feelings are translated into neurochemicals by your brain and nervous system that flood every cell of your body with stress or wellbeing. In other words, mind and emotion becomes matter.

We spend our days swimming in this neurochemical soup.

It doesn’t matter if this neurochemical response is stimulated by someone else’s tirade, or your own tirade of complaints. It can feel like a runaway train, especially if tinged with resentment.

Every one of us has challenges in our lives and sometimes we just have to express our frustrations to allow them to move out of our bodies.

For a way to express frustration without having it turn into a runaway train, check out last week’s blog on how to whine constructively.

Most of us know that it takes a long time to stop a runaway train. With a real train, it takes at least a mile to bring it to a complete stop.


For those times when you feel you are on a runaway train of negativity, here are three tips to bring the train to a stop and reverse it.

Reversing the train takes the power of the heart.POWER OF THE HEART

It is important to know that a constant habit of negativity or worrisome thoughts can become addictive. The rush of hormones bringing energy to the body will only last for so long, until the next rush is needed to just get through the day. Over the long term, the body burns out and all kinds of health issues result.

We have a word for this – Drama Queen.

Every one of us has ‘Drama Queen’ moments. That’s life. If your Drama Queen is showing up more than you would like her to, I recommend making these 3 Steps a daily practice. Set a reminder on your phone.

It takes time to stop a train.

This isn’t a ‘one time application’ and it’s done. Life isn’t like that. This is a tool to keep in your basket for those times when you really need a daily practice or reminder.

1. Breathe

Take 10 slow breaths. Notice the feeling of the air gently flowing in and out with each breath. Count them on your fingers if you need to. This will shift your mind into the present moment and begin to shift your biochemistry to a more calm state.

2. Gratitude

Write down 3 things you are grateful for. The action of physically writing down what you are grateful adds more power to the shift to a calm state you started in Step 1. Scientific studies have shown that the simple act of writing down what you are grateful for has lasting effects on the brain and emotional state.

3. Amplify Calm with the Power of the Heart

a. As you look at your list of 3 things you are grateful for, bring your awareness to your heart. Feel gratitude in your heart for these things. Really feel this gratitude.

b. As you continue to look at your list and feel the gratitude, sing an easy ahhhhh sound on a gentle outbreath. Continue this for at least five minutes. Set a timer on your phone to make it easy.

Sing – don’t Say.

Singing ahhhhh amplifies the calm state and the corresponding neurochemical response.

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