What I’m Reading: The Reality Slap

When life hurts, how do we respond in a healthy way? The Reality Slap, a book by Russ Harris, provides us with techniques and strategies to deal with issues that many of us are likely facing today. For me, the book’s helped me learn how to communicate more effectively with my loved ones.

I talk a little more about the book in the below video.

I’m on my third time reading The Reality Slap: How to Find Fulfilment When Life Hurts within the last several weeks. It’s impacted me, especially considering the challenging times in which we’re all living. As we continue to fight through a global pandemic, reality has slapped many people across the face.

Harris offers tips to help us react and respond in a healthy way.

The Reality Slap: Stop, Refocus, Breathe

Kevin Guest - Stop, Refocus, Breathe - The Reality SlapOne of the techniques that stuck with me is: SRB. S is for Stop, R is for Refocus, and B stands for Breathe.

If you’re slapped in the face with something that stops you in your tracks, it’s important to take a minute to ground yourself. If I’m feeling anxious, I look around and start naming things I see. Oh, there’s a red car. There’s a tall tree. I see a rose bush. I’ll stop, and I’ll name it out loud. Within a few seconds, I become present and grounded.

It also works with sounds you hear. “I hear a clock,” “I hear the wind.”

Moving on to refocus, it’s important to be curious about the feelings and emotions that you’re experiencing. Don’t try to put them away or brush them aside. Really accept what you’re feeling.

And then as you’re doing that, you consciously breathe. The breathing technique I learned elsewhere, and it really works for me, is the 4-7-8 method.

  • Breathe in for four counts
  • Hold your breath for seven counts
  • Breath out slowly for eight counts

What I'm Reading - The Reality Slap

Repeat that exercise four times.

A Calming Effect

I think you’ll find that if you Stop, Refocus, and Breathe, you’ll be calmer and react in a healthier way when life slaps you in the face. Your brain will function more clearly and you’ll be able to make better decisions, regardless of what’s happening around you.

For more on What I’m Reading, please visit my other blog posts.

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