Crows, buckets & managing stress
As the sky changed from dark night to early morning, I was walking to the bus stop. The colours in the sky were treasures of dark charcoal blue; like cotton wool dipped in ink. I saw a cat on a roof. And as I walked, pale salmon and bright blue chinks started to appear, through the deep charcoal.
I was the only person queuing at the bus top. A few solitary cars drove along the normally busy road, and cyclists made the most of the early morning emptiness.
I sat down and took in the view opposite. There was a roof with one chimney, that had a black crow standing next to it. The crow swooped down joining two others on the pavement. They took turns swooping up then back down. Pigeons arrived eating pieces of left over food, dropped by passers by the night before, and seagulls landed to share in the takings.
Peeking out above the roof opposite, was the top part of a tree, and one of the crows went and sat on it, black against the lightening sky.
The salmon and blue chunks became clusters, and pale yellow ribbons started to appear through patches of the charcoal blue. By the time I reached my destination, the sun was shining, and autumn winds blew leaves off trees, in beams of sunlight.
By lunchtime, the heavy grey skies had arrived and cars swished, through the down pour on the street below. People ran from shop to shop and shop to car, while I was behind a window looking down.
On my way home the rain kept streaming, washing all the buses, houses and streets. Traffic lights shone making colourful roads, and everybody was swooshing and splashing and sloshing to, somewhere.
I came home, cosy through the front door, put another jumper on and, made a cup of tea. I put all my little lamps on and the sitting room sparkled. And I sat, looking at the rain on the windows, and enjoying thinking about all the lovely people I met today.
Buckets are great for collecting things in.
We have a metaphorical bucket in our head that collects all the stresses of the day.
Every night when we go to sleep, the brain empties that bucket and we wake up refreshed and ready for another day.
But sometimes that doesn’t happen, because there is too much stress in the bucket, and the brain doesn’t have enough time to empty it. Over time that bucket starts to fill up, and the fuller it gets, the more we operate from the survival brain—angry, anxious, depressed, negative, obsessive.
The answer is to empty the bucket, but to do that we need to reduce the stress going in there.
Sometimes we can’t reduce the stress in our lives, but we can manage it. Three ways to do that are:
Exercise positive neural networks
Shift the brain from stressed to relaxed through sound
Set yourself up for a good nights sleep
You can do all three with a script that you listen to each night as you fall asleep. The script can be specifically written for you, so that your brain is listening to positive images that relate to your needs. Or, you can listen to generic scripts, that have positive imagery within them. Scripts that allow the brain to settle and shift into a relaxed state. This will carry you into a deeply refreshing sleep that will allow your body to empty the stress going into that bucket.
I’m sorry I haven’t recorded my fall asleep stories yet, it has just been a matter of not having time, life has been very full, and I am being very slow in understanding the recording software. But the warm words I write, if read slowly out loud, or silently in your mind, to the punctuation I use, will start shifting any stressed brainwaves, into relaxed ones, especially if you do this for about half an hour.
And you can add to this by asking yourself, in relation to a stressful situation, “How would it be?”, “What would it look like?”, “How would I feel?”. In order to start creating positive neural networks.
It is hard to answer these questions when stress levels are very high, but by practicing with these techniques and joy dots, change can happen. Sometimes you need someone to do it for you, it just depends how full the bucket is.
I hope this has been helpful. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. And, I’d be interested to know if you would prefer to learn more about and discuss these things in a private group.
Here’s a rainy day autumnal picture I’m loving at the moment.
Fall asleep stories
The Sam series (for kids but adults can benefit too!) – Tangerine beginnings: an extract from episode two.
(you can read the first part of episode 2 here)
“…Sam kicks off his shoes at the bottom of the stairs, which are straight ahead from the front door. Then Sams feet walk up the stairs to the landing, past a grandfather clock, with its very slow, tick…tock…tick…tock…and across the orange and yellow rug.
Grandad Tom’s bedroom is at the end of the landing..there is a guest bedroom to the left, and bathroom to the right…Sam doesn’t stay in the guest bedroom anymore, because grandad Tom has built Sam a beautiful room in the attack. Sam loves it there, and climbs a few more stairs to the door of this, beautiful...room.
As Sam walks through the bedroom door, the sun shines in through the windows and skylights…There is a little desk and chair, to the left of the door, and Sam walks over to them, leaving school bag on chair, before walking over to the bed.
Next to the bed is a little table that grandad Tom has left a drink on, and a slice of one of his cakes. Sam drinks the homemade lemonade, and eats the cake, then lies back on the bed and, looks up out of the skylight, that is in the ceiling above the bed…There is one tiny puffy white cloud, in the bright clear blue sky… The window to the side of the bed is open, there’s a tree outside with birds in it, all singing pretty songs. And, Sam can smell, from a distance, freshly cut grass.
Sam hears grandad Tom moving about below, gets up off the bed, walks towards the open door, and starts walking down the stairs to the landing….There are 10 steps, and Sam counts them while walking down…10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1,0… And now Sam is on the landing, and there is grandad Tom, “Hello our Sam, good to see you lad”, Sam gives grandad Tom a big hug, and they walk across the orange and yellow rug, and past the grandfather clock, with its ever so slow, tick…tock…tick…tock, to the stairs.
There are 10 stairs down to the hallway and they walk down counting…10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1,0……”
I’m going to dream of whales, sunsets and deep blue seas.