Nine tips to handle stress
What is the story that you are telling yourself and others - is it a story of stress? I teach my clients about looking at their reality filters. There are many ways you can see the same situation and it is always up to you how you choose to spin your story around the things that you experience. I was talking to a lady at the pools with her children the other day, she was telling me that she chose to not go swimming because she has had a migraine for the last three days. I asked her what she does when she gets a warning that it is coming and she said "I try to not take anything until it gets really bad and I can't cope anymore." I asked her way she didn't take Panadol as soon as she feels it coming on and suggested that if she were to catch it right at the beginning she would find it would not progress into a three or four day experience. The lady looked at me and said "true, I hadn't thought of it that way"; her reality filter was stuck in a position that was causing her more stress than she really needed to be experiencing. Year after year many people dread certain parts of the holiday session yet they often choose to do nothing about it and they switch into automatic pilot or survival mode mentally to cope with the stress and year after year nothing changes. If this sounds like you, I would like to invite you to take a step back and redesign what you want to do differently looking at the past as an opportunity to learn and take this holiday season to do things differently. These are my top nine tips to reduce your stress this Christmas and into the New Year.
1. Take a piece of paper and write down a list of things that stress you and on another piece of paper write down what you would like to do differently. Then pick out of that list what you are willing to take action on and just do it... you may like to think of it as a new year's resolution list.
2. Learn the art of saying "No, I can't do that I'm really too busy...."It is important to put your own needs first, you are going to be in a much better position to help others without feeling pressured to deliver more than you can realistically handle. Part of this is to start to delegate. If there are some things that you can get someone else to be in charge of, that can be an effective way of getting help. Write a list of things that you need help to do so you will feel more organised.
3. Schedule yourself in, take some personal time for yourself every day even if it is just going for a walk, a swim, getting a massage meeting with a friend for coffee, listening to your favourite music, dance like no one is watching remember that every day is a gift and you deserve to be nourished and feel happy.
4. Remember laughter is a wonderful way of releasing stress. You could get a book from the library that makes you laugh, go on line and look at Youtube for things to make you laugh. Remember when you laugh. You realise positive endorphins that make you feel good all over.
5. Talk to yourself in a positive way this may seem quite obvious but I assure you this can be one of the most challenging parts to being more relaxed. Be your own best friend or positive coach. Be gentle with your words and you will find you will like yourself better.
6. Take a breathing break by meditating on your breath. This is an empowering exercise that will help to relax you. Simply sit somewhere comfortable and close your eyes, imagine that your lungs and your stomach are like a balloon and every time you breath you feel your lungs and belly expand, hold the breath for a moment and then gently slowly let it go squeezing out the last bit of breath using your stomach muscles helping you to empty your lungs fully so you have room for the next new breath do this for 5-10 minutes it is a very powerful tool to help you to relax.
7. Often we stress about things that haven't happened yet and we can fall into the trap of imagining the worst case scenario. Do a mental dress rehearsal of how you would like to see things working out. Not only can it be fun but you are also using your mind. In a powerful way you are hypnotizing yourself into a state of success.
8. If you are feeling trapped about the way you are doing things, look for examples of people in your life who are living in the way you would like to live and have a think about what they are doing and saying that is different to what you have been doing and saying. If you wish to be successful copy what they do and you can be successful too. Remember you deserve the best that life has to offer. Enjoy developing yourself into the best version of you.
9. Put the past where it belongs in the past. Only bring forward the positive things that you wish do more of. Remember you are not stressed - you have been experiencing stress. You do not have to own it by saying "my stress." It is only something that you have been experiencing, you are able to change your state of mind by thinking in a different way. Start reframing the statements that you are making to yourself and to others into empowering statements that reinforce that empowered positive you as you engage those positive reality filters, I am sure you will feel like an more relaxed and confident you.
As a clinical hypnotherapist I find that hypnotherapy coaching is a powerful way to fast track this process effectively, helping people in reinforcing their reality filters.
Author: Meredith McCarthy