The first thing many mother’s instinctively do when they see a child overcome with emotional distress is to automatically try and calm them down… to return to a state of "OK-ness" before beginning any discussions of triggering events or perusing a teachable moment. Why is it that they do this? Mainly because they instinctively sense that a lower level of emotional intensity is necessary prior to re-connection with the human capacity to be reasonable, rational and logical. This short article proposes a couple of benefits of being able to access our state of OK-ness on a regular basis throughout the day.

Many people report they experience an instinctive, perhaps evolutionary nudge to incorporate a greater sense of connection within themselves and with others. Discovering techniques and practices that promote the state of OK-ness can certainly help enhance this desire for deeper connection and may particularly help in reducing stress, anxiety, and anger.

"Ok-ness" is often reached with minimal training along with very little time invested. When we function in the state of OK-ness, it is really much easier to opt for a big picture perspective and to relax into the “unfolding" of our day-to-day lives. Just practicing the state of OK-ness generates what is popularly described as “flow” by regulating the sense of balance and cohesiveness between our mind and body. Neuroscientists explain that this enhanced coherence facilitates a spontaneous connection with our evolved brain (neo-cortex) capacities including greater likelihood of effective reasoning, as well as increased capacity for attention and awareness. Lacking coherent conjunction between your mind and body produces a tendency toward stress, anxiety, frustration, impatience, anger, self-judgment and criticalness, etc.

One specific trigger of this stress-anxiety-anger predicament comes from increased time pressures which exacerbate the mind-body angst modern people report. When we experience human disconnection with our self and others, the resulting chaos can push us into a higher gear and life's fast pace is accelerated even further. Most everyone today is at least somewhat conscious of how getting caught in this cycle heightens stress-anxiety-anger and what dangers can result. Shifting to the state of OK-ness at the beginning levels of disturbing emotions allows for increased possibility of by-passing many stress-anxiety-anger situations and fosters a healthy resilience through life's unfolding.

One practice that is helpful simply involves asking yourself, "What do I need right now to be OK and to be healthy in the long term?" The answer to this ‘Big Question’ can not be what someone else can do to make you OK, but rather what you can do for yourself. We must take responsibility for our own OK-ness. Expecting someone else to make us OK is simply not realistic because we have no control in what other do or don't do. Therefore, we need to figure out what we need to give to our self to be OK. This might include taking a time out or going to a different environment in order to reduce our stress-anxiety-anger level.

Practicing the Big Question is not designed to instantaneously dissolve life's challenges. But rather it provides additional moments, allowing for further consideration of reasonable options which will help avoid undesirable consequences. The state of OK-ness facilitates the qualities of being flexible, stable and adaptive, and opens us to a healthy way of responding to challenging situations.

Functioning out of our Evolved brain by asking the Big Question does not advise that we proceed through our day at the pace of a tortoise. It is more about slowing down the automatic reactions the mind body tendencies that we often regret in the end; those which result in avoidable problems, endanger relationships, and are way too much drama.

The example below is a method for opening to the OK-ness state that can be utilized whenever you find yourself experiencing stress-anxiety-anger or even just for overall equilibrium and resilience. You may practice each morning to prepare for your day. Keep in mind that your brain actually re-wires itself through practice, practice, practice.

"OK-ness" Practice:

(1) When you are in a stressed-anxious-angry state, recognize and acknowledge these feelings as soon as you sense that you're out of sorts, or experiencing such feelings as frustration, impatience, annoyance, criticalness, or mental shut-down.

(2) Take a few moments and do some deep breathing: inhale slightly slower than normal; imagine that you are breathing in down to your pelvic floor and exhale up your spine to through the top of your head. Feel the soothing calm of you breathing. (Brain researchers tell us that this assists in generating coherent brainwave patterns which help to regain coherence and creates a healthy relaxation response).

(3) Throughout the deep breathing, visualize with every breath that that you are attracting a sense of OK-ness and infusing your mind body with healing light. It is scientifically confirmed that imagining the emission of healing light and self-care through your mind body stimulates useful bodily hormones and improves your immune system. Practicing this deep breathing raises your level of consciousness so that you do not simply react automatically.

(4) Once the stress-anxiety-anger feelings have settled, reassert your determination that you'd like to sustain this state OK-ness.

Author's Bio: 

Rich Pfeiffer, MDiv, PhD, is Director and Founder of Growth Central an mental health information and training provider. He is an internationally recognized expert in Anger Management and Relationships. Dr Pfeiffer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Certified Anger Management Specialist-V, and author of over a dozen books including the Real Solution Anger Management Workbook and the bestselling Creating Real Relationships.