This week I was reminded that behaviors are triggered by feelings. Excitement, frustration, stress, euphoria, overload and exhaustion represent some of the emotional states I encountered. Presentations cancelled due to Covid, (sorry, Kearney Nebraska) flight changes, recordings, deadlines, new puppy fun, changes in the weather, paperwork – my cup runneth over.
Sadly, I’m not alone. For most, maintaining a healthy emotional state these days is difficult, given all the unrest continuously stirred up by the pandemic. Adults and kids alike are living in a constant state of emotional flux. Not only does this wreak havoc on our internal mental well-being, but it often brings out the worst in our outward behaviors, as well.
The answer? Homeostasis. A simple definition of this is “any process we use to maintain stable conditions necessary for survival.” Stable conditions – I love this idea. When overwhelmed, what do you do to establish homeostasis? For me, it’s both an internal and external process.
Cutting down on outside stimuli helps immensely. This means stepping away from electronics and surrounding myself with people who have a calming and grounding influence. I also find time each day to just sit in silence. This one is a challenge since I’m a taskmaster who loves checking off boxes of things needing to be accomplished. Lastly, I try to get a little more sleep than usual. Lord knows, this last one really helps boost the immune system.
This week I invite us all to be more intentional about keeping a healthy homeostatic balance in our lives. As I tell kids, “The more we practice, the better we get.” Maybe if we do a better job of maintaining stable emotional states on a day-to-day basis, the end result will leave us with better long-term behaviors in the process, which would be a good thing for us all.