Pause before you act! One of the HeartMath® tools my clients find most useful— in personal and business choices—is the Freeze Frame® Technique. Use it before engaging in an action which could drain your energy or lead to a poor choice. You will be more effective in a conversation, a meeting or a stress-possible situation.
Step 1: Acknowledge the problem or issue and any attitudes or feelings about it.
Step 2: Focus your attention in the area of your heart. Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area, breathing a little slower and deeper than usual. (Inhale 5 seconds, exhale 5 seconds if this is more comfortable.)
Step 3: Make a sincere attempt to experience a regenerative feeling such as appreciation or care for someone or something in your life.
Step 4: From this more objective place, ask yourself what would be a more efficient or effective attitude, action, or solution. (Continue to breathe deeply.)
Step 5: Quietly observe any subtle changes in perceptions, attitudes or feelings. Commit to sustaining beneficial attitude shifts and acting on new insights.
I, and my most successful clients, practice the Freeze Frame® daily for at least five minutes, and use it immediately anytime we are feeling conflicted or challenged by people or choices. At some point it will become automatic. Examples are going into a meeting that has the possibility of conflict, or being challenged by a mate, friend, child or co-worker. This short pause breaks the chain—as if you, as a director, stopped a film and changed the next frames to have a different outcome. This is a tool that you interject into any situation that appears to be challenging or about to go off the rails. Your heart, the strongest organ of your body, will lead you in the right direction. Anytime you feel negative emotions returning, breathe into your heart.