Drama, when seen on stage in a play or in a movie, can be captivating, gripping, and even deeply moving. Drama, when in one’s life, can be momentarily exciting, bringing a sense of heightened awareness to one’s emotions and physical sensations, but over time can become tense and stressful.
When we see drama on the big screen, read it in a book or watch it being played out in a friend’s life, we can distance ourselves by silently reminding ourselves it’s not real, at least not in our life. But what happens when a crisis, an emotional situation, or even the ups and downs of daily life come stomping at your door? Do you panic, overreact and create drama out of it? If the answer is yes, then you know how stressful life events can be, particularly when dramatized.
Drama equals stress. Each of us experiences small and large calamities in life. How we perceive and handle them though, determines how stressful they become. Do you white knuckle the steering wheel, snarling under your breath when stuck in traffic, giving the one-finger salute to anyone who dares look at you from their neighboring car? Do you repeat over and over to your friends and colleagues the minutia of your daily events, as though they were important news announcements? What about when a situation doesn’t go as planned – do you moan and groan about it for days?
When we don’t accept reality as it is, or have difficulty letting go of a situation, we create drama and stress in our lives. As we learn to practice acceptance, being in the moment, and looking for opportunities rather than obstacles, we relax, let go and move into the flow of life. Drama is basically swimming against the current, splashing and hollering as though one is drowning, attempting to get attention from onlookers. In truth, we are each capable, responsible, people, able to learn, grow and thrive in our lives sans drama.
Here are seven tips for dropping the drama in your life and creating more peace and ease:
1) Whenever you find yourself in a difficult situation, breath, just breath. Then accept the situation as it is.
2) Notice what emotions get triggered in challenging situations. Simply feel them without acting them out.
3) Ask yourself what you get out of dramatizing situations – do you get attention, do you get rescued, do you feel important?
4) What does it cost you when you create drama – do you feel overwhelmed, do you overwhelm others, does the situation get worse?
5) Whatever needs you are meeting through drama, find healthier ways to meet those needs – learn to take good care of yourself, increase your self-esteem so you don’t need others’ attention, and so on.
6) Practice new ways to handle stressful situations so you feel better, not worse.
7) Look at challenging situations with amusement – purposely see what’s funny about the situation, person, or yourself.
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