I really dislike how we talk about stress. To mitigate it’s effects on our life we refer to managing stress, or handling stress. But those activities do not get rid of stress–they just try to shrink it. It’s healthier to talk about processing, avoiding, or redefining stress.
Processing stress means to process it completely through–my psyche and my body:
- Take time to understand whether we need to really feel stressed in the situation. In other words, does the situation truly warrant heightening our actions? Or am I choosing to make it more negative than it is. Here’s one example: often when I am working on a project, or even cooking dinner, I find myself rushing–when there is NO REASON to rush. It’s just my practice, up until now.
- Or, if the situation really does require heightened actions, take a moment to figure out the best solution and take action. Or decide not to. (Staying in the middle is stressful.)
- In either case, the next step is to LET IT GO. I take a deep breath and visualize the situation and my reactions whooshing out of my body; then another.
Avoid stressful situations:
- Stay away, choose to only participate in situations that nurture you. Graciously remove yourself from those that do not.
- If you must participate, choose to do it your way–choose to stay relaxed, not get pulled into arguments, or take a break by walking outside or going to the bathroom–take care of yourself.
- It’s not the stress that is a bad thing, it’s how we take it on–how WE define the situation or what we hold on to.
- For most of us, our stressful situations are not life-threatening and when we look at it that way, there are fewer reasons to be upset. But it’s human nature to look at the negative side of things, or even bring in the negative where it did not exist before. However, we can choose how we look at situations and therefore how much stress they cause us.
We CAN CHOOSE differently. Here are a couple of tools I use to help me do it differently and let go of unnecessary stress:
- Know there is almost always a choice. When we are in the middle of something, our blinders rise up and we forget to look for options. Here’s a simple example: standing in line at a store I can choose to enjoy the quiet moment, get cranky about the wait, or leave. Even if I do not leave, knowing that I CAN helps me relax.
- Remind myself that it’s okay to do what I want. What’s truly right for me cannot be harmful for another.
- Take a minute to step back and walk away from the situation to get a different perspective. Even if I am alone in my office it helps to go to another location, especially to go outside or look out of a window.
- Schedule time to do something to nurture yourself. Experts recommend at least 30 minutes, 3 times a week, doing what you want.
Do these ideas resonate with you? Will you make a change during this hectic time
Please let us know by commenting below or sending me an email!