Mention the word "drama" and most people immediately relate. We all have people, places and things in our personal and professional lives which drain our time, money and energy.
We spent time recently with Eric Stephenson, our Chief Wellness Officer at Elements Massage, and asked him for his top three tips on how to live a drama free life. With over 20-years of experience in massage, Eric is an expert in relaxation and is focused on creating balance in all aspects of life.
Eric pointed out that creating a drama free life begins with the realization that all of the drama in your life begins and ends with you. A difficult reality for many of us to accept! But until that statement becomes an absolute truth, drama will continue to follow you, tempting you to blame it on external people, events and circumstances.
Here are Eric’s three tips for living a drama free life:
1. Practice “Unconditional Positive Regard for yourself and others”
Psychologist Carl Rogers coined this term as a way of relating to the self and others. All too often, our judgments and stereotypes limit our ability to accept other human beings and treat them with respect. Unconditional Positive Regard is an overall acceptance of another human being, regardless of their political views, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or any other factor that may lead us to prejudice. This general outlook of acceptance is communicated through our thoughts, feelings, words and most importantly, our non-verbal communication.
2. Learn to recognize what hooks you into drama
Each of us has certain buttons that get pushed by family members, coworkers, even complete strangers. Once these are pressed, it often sends us into a reactive state that finds us entering the "fight or flight" part of the nervous system. If we are constantly in a reactive state to the events around us that cause drama, our body's response and our thoughts, words and actions can quickly trigger the fight or flight response. We become on the one hand- aggressive, combative or on the other hand- evasive or unable to effectively address conflict.
There's good news though, we can learn to watch our reaction and choose how we will respond to our triggers. Simply by taking a few deep breaths, you send a different signal to your nervous system, hopefully allowing you to choose the most appropriate response.
3. Practice non reactivity
There are countless opportunities to react to events, opinions, and activities that those around you engage in. Simply scroll down on any on-line discussion forum or controversial Facebook feed to see how quickly humans can disagree with each other and the short distance to truly harmful language pointed towards those that disagree with our views. However, maybe the Facebook status that disagrees with my view on immigration policy doesn't need my input- especially when it involves family or friends. Learn to sit a few out and avoid the drama.
So, we challenge you to write these three tips on a sticky-note, put them somewhere you can see them and then put them into action! Here’s to drama-free living!