Monday, May 9, 2011

Defusing your stress

As a habit I tend to stress out. I hear it. Feel it. And let the thought of it build up inside me. Most times I eventually catch it, but often I allow it to fester. So why am I sharing this? I guess because it's something that a lot of us do. We either imagine the worst that could happen or shy away to disarm our success. At some point we start to feel trapped. We feel like the walls will start crumbling. No matter how many deep breaths we take, the whole weight of it starts taking over.

So then what? Should we resolve to: oh well this stuff happens? Not sure I have an answer to that, but here’s something that helped me today.

1. Examine your emotional attachment. Think about what it reminds you of. Maybe a time in your past. Maybe something that you’ve always feared happening. Follow your mind for a moment. Where is it taking you? Is it filled with the worst case scenario? Why? Be honest with yourself. What value do you feel being threatened? What is it you’re trying to avoid?

2. Take out the bad for a moment. OK, things could surely go haywire, but then again maybe – just maybe - they won’t. Maybe it’s a new opportunity. Maybe this time something has changed – even if it’s just your perspective. It’s that whole hope for the best expect the worst philosophy. If you balance the good with the possible bad, your mind will embrace opportunities.

3. Address all of your ‘what if’s’ head on. Life isn’t perfect. Things do tend to jump off at times. There’s no need to throw sugar on it. The question is: what might you do? If that happens, how might you react? If the thought is well…angry, pissed off etc. OK. But what if you reacted differently? What if you shielded your button? What if you changed your direction? You project that you will feel one way, but what if you changed your perspective? What if you considered the source? How would that possibly change things?

4. Try breaking it down. If it seems too big then maybe it is. Again be honest with what you are feeling. Maybe you just need to break up the pieces - step by step – one day at a time. Don’t allow all the chaos to flood you!

5. Listen to yourself. Discomfort is there for a reason. It comes with its own unique message. The key is getting to know who you are and why you react how you do. What about this makes you anxious? What about it is making you stressed? Again, think about your values: peace, family, self-perception…There’s often something that you fear you’ll be losing? Your sanity? The joy you’ve been wanting for others? Breaking a vow that you’ve made to yourself? Find out what it is, and then find a way to express yourself honestly – even if it starts with your mirror.

It's all about taking first steps ;o)

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