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Four Steps to Snapping Out of It

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Did you know that each time you go through a negative emotional cycle—frustration, anger, aggressiveness, self-pity leading to negative self-talk—you are increasing the cortisol levels in your body?

Cortisol is the so-called ‘stress hormone.’ An increase in cortisol affects the immune system, the aging process, and our mental and emotional states. It’s true. You can think yourself to death!

One of my favorite quotes is from the famous baseball player, Ted Williams: “If you don’t think too good, then don’t think too much.”

One of the things I do every single day is have ‘Adrianne-time’—I check in with myself. Whenever I’m feeling upset, frustrated, angry, or am over-thinking an event I no longer have control over, I snap out of it with this 4-step process:

Acknowledge doubt and negativity.
Stop analyzing and start taking action. Analysis of the problem only keeps you from resolving it.
Shift attention to your breathing. This will give you a moment of respite from over-thinking. As you inhale focus on the doubt and negativity and as you exhale release all the negative energy in your body. This step may need to be done a few times.
Say to yourself, “snap out of it now!” This can become your personal mantra, and when paired with breathing, it can bring you back to being responsible for yourself in the present moment.
If I don’t snap out of the emotional cycling that can occur after an unexpected and unwanted event, I’m like everybody else—the negative interpretations given to the events of the day will begin to snow ball into a really bad day. This has a cumulative effect. When we are able to snap out of the emotional cycle, cortisol levels do not increase so rapidly.

The next time you’re confronted with frustration, anger, aggressiveness, or self-pity that leads to negative self-talk, give this method a try. For many people, all it takes is one act of “Snap out of it now!” at their first sense of doubt, negativity, anxiety, or fear to put them back in a state of balanced body-focused mind.

Adrianne Ahern, Ph.D.
News! I’ll be appearing on The Good Life Show Sirius Radio program Monday, January 29th between 1:30-1:45pm EST (
More great news…Snap Out Of It Now! will be in the bookstores May 2007—published by Sentient Publications (