In today’s hectic paced world, stress is a word that most of us will hear only too often. We all seem to be under a great deal of it and not have enough time to deal with it. Taking time out to relax often seems impossible, as if even considering that idea is laughable.
The problem with stress is that overtime it can (and will) have a detrimental impact on your health and well-being, leaving you feeling depressed, under the weather and run down.
The one thing however about stress that you may not realise is that your mind creates its own levels of stress, purely through the thoughts it has in each moment of the day. For example, imagine that you got up for work this morning, the birds were singing and the sun was shining. If you slept well you probably felt happy, ready for the day. However, if you ended up stuck in traffic on the way to work, your child was acting up on the way to school and your best jacket had sprung a hole for no reason whatsoever, you may end up getting into work feeling frazzled, irritated and wound up.
Here are 6 tricks to follow every day to naturally reduce your stress from now on in.
1 – Stress comes from your own thinking
Your reality is created by the thoughts you have, be it good or bad thoughts. You cannot have a sad feeling without first having a sad thought about something. You cannot find something funny without thinking of a funny situation. Our thoughts and feelings are connected. Our emotions come directly from what our mind is saying to us at any given time. If you have a rushed mind, too much to do, not enough time, too many demands on you, too much going on, fairly soon your mind will be brimming with stress.
A negative thought = a negative feeling = a stressed out mind.
2 – Know that inner peace is possible
When you literally start to slow down, your mind will slow down too and the issues that used to bother you into stressful thinking will no longer feel so important. Two people can experience the exact same situation and react to it in a completely different way. Imagine that Tom and Peter both lose their job through redundancy. Tom feels frightened. Worried that he won’t be able to support his family and pay his mortgage. His worried thoughts quickly spiral him into a depression. He struggles to find a new job, fearing constantly that he isn’t good enough or that he is too old to find new work. Peter on the other hand, although also feels the same shock and concern initially as Tom did, tries to keep an open mind. He never really liked his job anyway and sees this as a perfect opportunity to use his redundancy money to set up his own business. He is the same age as Tom and knows that he has many years experience in his field of work. He uses this as a catalyst to do something that he has only ever dreamed of. Both men were made redundant, but only one used positive thinking to reduce stress.
3 – Getting what you ‘want’ isn’t always the answer
We all want things that we can’t have. Things that seem just out of our reach. There is a strange belief that if we could somehow have everything we desire, then all will be well. If this was true however, most of us would already be extremely happy and stress free because we all have received the things we want in our lives. And yet still we struggle on. The more we have in life, the more we seem to be set up to want more. More money. More kids. More clothes. More holidays. The list goes on. If getting what you wanted all the time was the key to a perfect life, why are so many rich A-listers in rehab? An important step in reducing the stress in your life is to admit that while getting what we want is nice, it isn’t the ultimate answer. A far more powerful, lasting solution is learning to find peace amidst a speeded up world, even when you can’t get what you want.
4 – Learn not to deal head-on or struggle with a problem
Tempting as it may be, struggling with a problem rarely solves it. In fact, the mental struggle that problems themselves cause are the very key to creating internal stress in the first place. Stressful thinking creates stressful feelings. When you are feeling stressed, you are usually in a low mood and trying to figure out a solution to a problem in a low mood is like covering yourself in honey and not expect to be surrounded by insects. Your negative thinking will feed the problem you are trying to fix. Fact. Wait until your mood rises and you feel calmer. Your problems will then naturally be worked out through your free-flowing thought process.
5 – Don’t allow passing thoughts to become full blown thought attacks
A single thought can’t hurt you or bring stress into your life. Your mind experiences many thousands of thoughts daily. This is human. However, stress is the result of taking your passing thoughts too seriously. When you begin to see a thought as important, your brain will hold onto it and make it bigger. The bigger that thought gets, the more stress will come into your day and suddenly you are having a full blown thought attack. Imagine your teenage daughter failed to acknowledge you on her way out of the door this morning. It was nothing major. But in your mind that single memory of this mornings event begins to grow. What was wrong with her? Was it something I did? How rude was she to do that to me? I’m not having my daughter ignore me like that? How dare she? Who does she think she is? Now suddenly you are having a full blown argument with your daughter inside your head. Just wait until that little monkey gets home? I’ll have her when she gets in. Just wait and see. The truth is that her ‘moment’ may have been something as simple as that she just didn’t hear you say goodbye….or you didn’t hear her.
6 – Lower your tolerance to stress
Try to notice your thinking when you begin to feel stressed out. It will always be something you thought about that has bought on this feeling. If you turn your thinking on its head, you can lower your stress instantly. Don’t allow it to bubble up to the point of explosion. Don’t tolerant stress any more. The next time you start to feel irritated, slow down, take a step back and retrace your thoughts. Good thinking habits come from noticing them happening in the first place.
Need help with your stress management or want to feel calmer, happier and more focused?
Contact Nicky at The Skin Cafe today to find out about wellbeing and life coaching programmes that you can do in your own home, in your own time. Tap into your very own life coach and change how you approach your own life – forever.