Introspection and Solo Time are two powerful allies when it comes to managing or calming those emotional triggers. Have you ever asked yourself, what are your boundaries when emotionally upset, tired, and your nervous system is feeling jacked up? Do you force yourself to be present, have a conversation at that moment, answer questions where you may not have clarity? Or do you set a boundary to take a break, pause and provide a safe haven for your body, nervous system and mind to return to equanimity?

It’s can feel so challenging to ask for solo time or take time to breathe from right in the middle of a disagreement or a triggering conversation. You have all this emotional upset happening and you have put so much pressure on yourself to work this out, to talk about it and make things right immediately. After all, you love each other and you’re not supposed to go to bed angry, right? But in the midst of that disagreement are you giving yourself what you need?

As strange as it might seem, solo time and introspective Space are important parts of processing and dialogue. Without this quality of time and space, the pressure to make peace can leave things even more confused and twisted into more knots than when you started, leaving you feeling sad and confused.

Yes, I can relate. I recall an old familiar personal story–an expectation if you will–that my lifetime of devotion to communication and “showing up” means that I needed to instantly be able to explain clearly about my needs and feelings in a succinct way. But through the years of building an intimate relationship with myself, I realized one day how much on point my responses were when I instead took solo introspective time.  It was the biggest gift to give myself and my loved ones to stop, breathe and admit I need space to access more clarity.

Shifts happen internally within 24 hours of deep listening and taking in all the feelings my body experience is having. A new light of clarity comes in that was not accessible the day before. When I revisit the conversation with a loved one my responses are more in alignment with my body and heart as well the well being of everyone involved.

Over the years I have allowed myself to surrender more to this gentle compassionate approach with myself.

I realize that solo time is the biggest need I have when I’m tired or depleted and I find myself emotionally upset or in a disagreement with a loved one. For me, space means being with myself over the next 24 hours in introspection. It means getting adequate sleep, meditating, and self-caring through self-sourcing.

Through the self-care, I return to an integral space and gain more access to my body, mind, and heart. The nervous system takes its time to find equanimity again. And by giving myself that space, I am loving myself, the other person and the entire relationship at large.

Some Simple Steps to Stay Connected and Request Solo Time in Heated Conversations:

  1. Pause the talking, begin deepening your breath gently into your belly. This will already begin to calm the nervous system and keep you as present as possible to the moment.
  2. Create a code word for when you may need to request to pause a conversation due to a trigger intensifying. You may use Yellow to Pause or Red to Stop the conversation.
  3. If you pause the conversation this would be time for all people involved to bring awareness to the breath, deepen it in the belly, put your hands on each other’s heart. These are great ways to feel safe and stay connected
  4. Red Light – When you are fully choosing to STOP and take space for INTROSPECTION make sure to be clear to arrange a time to revisit the conversation. I suggest setting an exact time in 24 to 48 hours.
  5. Self Source – Commit to placing yourself in environments that will nourish you, support your introspection and assist you in staying connected to your body.

Quieting the mind is an irreplaceable action that is so often overlooked, especially when we want to feel safe or for another to feel understood. We want to put out the fire. Today, what if putting out the fire means putting yourself in a cool soothing bath, laying on mother earth in order to have a clear mind and heart to navigate the conversation and logistics for the bigger fire at hand? This means you put out the fire by changing your state of being instead of by a rush of manic doing.