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Stressing Less…. Managing easier….. Relating better…. Achieving more …
How would the quality of your life improve if you could learn to do that?
What makes life challenging for most of us? I would say: Stress!
- On the physical level Stress may make you feel hot, cold, queasy, generate headaches, sleepless night, breathing difficulties or even panic attacks.
- On the mind level it may affect your focus, memory, creativity, productivity, clarity, decision making
- On the emotional level it may create anxiety, defensiveness, aggression.
Can stress be a good thing? Yes, it can be. Often a certain level of Stress is needed to help us function better. It can help us to get moving, to find new solutions, to complete a project.
However, consitant stress can have negative effects on our physical and mental health. According to UK Government figues in 2015/16 stress accounted for 37% of all work related ill health cases and 45% of all working days lost due to ill health. The main work factors cited by respondents as causing work related stress, depression or anxiety were workload pressures, including tight deadlines and too much responsibility and a lack of managerial support.
But what is actually going on inside of us that leads us to feel stressed?
We stress out for 2 main reasons:
- We doubt that we have the resource (lack of support, too much responsibility) to cope
- We perceive a situation as dangerous, difficult (tight deadlines), or painful.
Digging a bit deeper we may be able to see that the emotion linked to doubting and perceiving something as difficult or painful is essentially Fear. And the fear itself can be a result of your perception of our reality rather then of reality itself.
So how can we change perception about our situation? Is it Easy? Not necessarily. However, I often invite my stressed clients to explore 2 simple practices that have helped many to get started.
1.Take a deep BREATH and
2. Say YES to what you observe
Try this next time when you feel that stress is preventing you from being at your best. Stop for a moment, take a deep breath, observe what is happening and then simply say “YES” internally to what you observe; this may be a difficult situation, person, emotion, thought. Say yes to feeling angry, insecure; say yes to not knowing what to do; say yes to feeling overwhelmed. Yes, Yes, Yes.
Taking deep BREATHS helps to center ourselves, saying YES in this way signals to our mind that we are
- By ceasing to feel negative about or resist what is going on we allow our nervous system to relax calming our mind and our emotions
- Relaxation increases blood circulation and a sense of wellbeing; More focus and clarity is often the reward.
- When we are relaxed we are less likely to react like and emotional ping -pong ball to situations, to people, to thoughts or emotions and more likely to be calm, creating space for new insights and solutions to surface.
- Objective assessment of the situation becomes easier.
- We become more likely to act/respond/make a decision that is in line with our own inner wisdom and values.
Try it for yourself. It does need some practice. Start with saying yes to challenging thoughts about yourself or situations or people daily. Watch how it will enhance your ability to face life’s challenges with more inner strength and calmness.
And if you are intersted to find out more about reducing stress in your life then you may like to join us for the bi-annually “Unplug & Refresh” Mindfulness & Yoga Retreat MAY 12-17, 2017
on Aegina Island in Greece. For more information go to www.morelifemoresuccess.com/retreat.php
Christiane Pohl, ACC coaches and mentors senior Managers, Leaders and Business Owners on stretching their own capabilities and the capabilities of others. She is a Board member of the Hellenic Coaching Association responsible for Knowledge Development and Peer Coaching programs. In addition she offers customized Mindfulness Programs for Teams and facilitates Mindfulness retreats. For more information on coaching programs and mindfulness programs get in touch with Christiane@morelifemoresuccess.com