This will be a little bit of a work shop for you to play along with the more you do the more benefit you will get.
When people are looking to get less stressed I feel they are focusing on the wrong thing. They are focusing on less stressed which is still stressed. They should be looking to get more excited, enthusiastic and passionate about life, or at least feel good every day, but i like going overboard and revving things up.
We are in a world that is growing ever more stressful the GLOBAL financial crisis the news filling us full of fear, recession in our countries and selfish self serving politicians.
The world is a difficult place and the vast majority of us feel helpless to do something about it. It is not a good state to be in every day.
How is listening to the news and all the other misery going on in the world helping you and the planet? And what the hell does all this have to do with stress management?
Every day we have things that we have to react to, to deal with, or to cope with, one way or another we will have these stressors in our life no matter how rich or how poor we are. Some shit is going to happen. So why worry about it. Why play it over and over in our heads?
I can hear you say but i have to worry about it, who is going to put food on the table?
Let me ask you a question. What is the difference between worrying and thinking?
Does worrying about something make you feel bad or good? Whereas how does thinking about something make you feel. Pretty neutral I am guessing neither good nor bad. Which state do you think will get you the best results?
Worry sounds a bit like this. I have to, oh god, what am i to do? It is full of negative emotions, fear and pain. That is bound to make you feel worse, more stressed, more hopeless and less in control of your life and playing it over and over again in your head is doing no one any good.
Is that state of stress and hopelessness a resourceful state that you can think clearly about a solution? Probably not.
How could you dig your way out of any situation, if you have put yourself under so much pressure you can’t think? And sometimes don’t want to think about it.
As I am writing this I am hoping you are starting to feel the feelings of stress in your body. Your chest is feeling a bit tight and a slight feeling of impatience. I know I am. But this is a good thing for this post.
So now let’s Take a deeep breath and relax. Through your nose and out through your mouth. Have you done it? How does it feel? A bit better I am assuming. Take another deep breath and relax even further if you want.
I am hoping you’re playing along and can feel the difference when we start to take charge of our thoughts and feelings by simply breathing relaxing and noticing that we are stressed. Then we can go from stressed to more relaxed in a few seconds.
As you may have noticed the more we talked about stress the more stressed we got and as soon as we took action on that stress (breathing deeply and relaxing) the stress dissipated and we felt better. So what we think about and talk about we get more of.
But what if we flipped the switch from focusing on being less stressed to being excited about our day.
What would you be focusing on? Feeling good I bet.
How would your language change? Would it go from oh god my life is over i can’t afford to feed myself. To I’m going to take charge of my day and do something productive.
Pick a problem you have, that you have played over and over in your head that is so painful you don’t want to deal with it.
Now find some way of making it sound adventurous or epic or fun or a joke. Put a smile on your face and say it out loud. Write it down like your writing an adventure novel.
My problem was that I had chronic fatigue (through stressing myself out and focusing on the wrong things) so I stopped focusing on being tired all the time to focusing on what I could do in the bit of time I had while I was able to function. I said to myself I’m going to get something done today that is productive and make me feel like I’ve gotten a win and I started taking note of those wins at the end of the day. So I went from focusing on my fatigue to focusing on my wins. Every day bit by bit i got more wins and felt better about myself I felt more powerful and more in charge. Then the big breakthrough came. What if I said, I’m going to feel epic for the bit I’m not fatigued. So I got up each morning read my goals out loud and put every bit of energy into feeling great for the day. I said to myself, I feel terrific, I feel terrific, I feel terrific until I got my emotions into it, (that is the most important bit getting your emotions into it) I started to feel energised more and more until after a few day’s it became habit to feel that way and now I am living full of energy and enthusiasm. Life is still the same i still have all the same issues that got me into that place but now I deal with them in a productive enthusiastic way.
All I did was flip the switch to what I wanted and put the emotion into it. I was sick of feeling tired and stressed, but that is not what I wanted, I wanted to be full of energy, not not stressed.
How much easier would life be if you turned every stress into an adventure, an opportunity to kick its ass and have a good time?
Turn that stress into success and focus on winning each day and living with relentless enthusiasm. With a little practice you can.
Best of luck.