How to be Gentle with Yourself When Dealing with Toxic Energy

It seems we are all on edge with all the change and uncertainty surrounding us and the collective level of anxiety is high.  Are you noticing signs in your bodymind that need tending?  For me it is getting all worked up and angry about today’s state of affairs which translates into more stress than my body needs to carry for me to function in a wellness state. Nurses Stress 101 HowTo

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How to be Gentle with Yourself When Dealing with Toxic Energy

Dealing with Toxic Energy

I am challenged with how to bring that toxic energy down a notch and was reminded about this while on vacation.  After spending time in the north woods on a lake, I found that on the last day I had finally settled down and realized that at last, I was truly being gentle with myself. I was actually relaxed and calm.  I had gotten to the point that all I wanted to do was sit and gaze at the lake and notice how nature was showing off its gentle side for me.  I’ll show you what I discovered in the video at the end of this blog.

What's Bothering You?

But let’s first tackle how to become aware of what is bothering you and then move to solutions.  To begin the process of becoming more gentle with yourself you need to pay attention to the triggers that are setting you off. Living the gentle life means reducing your exposure to triggers that are affecting all your senses. These triggers could be people, places, objects, sounds, phrases, etc which elevate your level of stress, kicking in your adrenalin and leading to hyper-arousal and anxiety.  Other triggers are over-dosing on too much news (and it never is good, is it!) violent movies, jobs and people that are too fast-paced, 'busy' environments, and risky or scary jobs (like those dealing with COVID).

Self-Care Strategies

So let’s do something about that since real life is hard to avoid.  Here are some self-care action steps to consider:

1. Do a quick assessment of what your triggers are and jot them down. 

2. For each trigger, determine one step you can take to reduce its impact on you.

3. Commit to working on one trigger and how you will manage it more effectively.

Scan this list of GENTLENESS self-care strategies and decide what you can incorporate into your plan

G – Grounding yourself

Wherever you are, sit down gently, stop doing what you are doing, plant your feet flat on the floor (or ground), hands in your lap, close your eyes, take a deep breath and as you exhale sink deeper into the chair and let the energy flow out of your body through your feet and deep into the earth below. Repeat gently as often as you need.

E – Escaping from busyness

Take frequent “gentle” breaks to get away from a hyper-active environment by going to a window and looking outside, going outside, going to the bathroom, walking up and down a flight of stairs, etc.

N - Natural environment dosing

Be outside as much as possible to surround yourself with the gentleness of nature.  Take your computer outside if you are working remotely.  Take all your breaks outside and appreciate the feel, fragrance, sounds, sights, temperature, sky, grass, flowers, critters.  Soak it all in and feel cradled by the universe. 

T – Timelessness

Take time to “Do the Nothing”.  Just sit and BE and let time pass with nothing to do.  Be gentle on yourself by starting with one minute and work yourself up to 30 minutes.  Your busy self might be very uncomfortable doing this at first but be patient and schedule it on your calendar so you get into the habit.

L - Losing yourself

Gently allow yourself to get lost in your thoughts by focusing on something pleasant and just go with it.  Take a mini-vacation in your mind and allow your body to “feel” what it is like when you take that vacation. 

E – Enlightenment

Pay attention to the benefits of taking time out for self-care.  Notice what you are thinking about and if it is negative say these 3 words – CANCEL, CANCEL, CANCEL.  Then replace that thought with something “gentle on your mind”.  (That’s the title of an old Glen Campbell song, if you remember it.  The lyrics really don't fit what we are focusing on here, but the music makes me feel good, which is another way to be gentle with yourself, thru music.)

N – Noise reduction

Turn down the volume or completely off to take a break from noise pollution.  If you need to have sound on choose gentle music that is calming.  Try to create a quiet environment to work in to reduce stress. Wear headphones if you need to block out sound.

E – Enjoyment

How much fun are you having in your day to release pent-up anxiety? You might need to schedule this on your calendar to make sure this happens when your lifestyle is overly-busy. Choose things that bring you joy.  I love to exercise so it is not only fun but also releases all my stress.

S – Soothing yourself

What self-care strategies do you use to soothe your body, mind and soul.  The gentle feel of massage, aromatherapy, taking a hot bath, sauna, etc are all gentle ways to soothe your body.

S - Slowing down

If you catch yourself moving too fast, gently slow down the pace and you might find yourself being even more productive while feeling better. 

What Gentle Looks and Feels Like

As promised, here is how nature shows us what gentle looks and feels like.

Please share how you are being gentle with yourself and what the results have been.


Living the Gentle Life, Part One

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

    Glen Campbell Gentle on my Mind

Inspiring Role Model for Women in their Third Act

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