7. Use a Timer
When you notice the 8, 9 or 10 (see Holiday Tip #1), set a timer for 2 minutes. During those 2 minutes write down every thought in your mind. No censorship. Write down every feeling, where it’s located and what it is like. Write furiously.
When the timer goes off, say to yourself, “OK, I’m done for now. I know there are important issues that I demand my attention. And, I want to get to the bottom of them. But, for now I must (fill in the blank.) Thank that part that has the concerns and inform it that when it appears again you will pay attention to it. You will come back to it in the future.
Use this exercise whenever the pain and thoughts spike.
8. Use the bathroom
You are surrounded by friends and family and you feel awful. You are trying hard, but you are managing. Then someone says something or something happens that is a powerful trigger for your negative thoughts and feelings. You want to burst into tears, rage, scream or in some way explode. But, another part of you believes it’s not appropriate and will not be received well.
Excuse yourself to the bathroom, or some other corner of privacy and use one or more of the techniques we discuss here, to reduce your pain and negative thinking. (Use the 1-10 scale to monitor.)