How do you handle stress? Take a moment and think about that. When something uncomfortable happens what is your go-to method for getting through it. You might have different degrees of stress with different coping mechanisms.
Daily Stressors could be:
Your work schedule
Your kids’ schedule
Where you live, what you drive
Not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you need or want to accomplish
You could also have deep stressors that might take a different technique:
Long term health issues
Loss of a loved one
Loss of a child
No matter what your stressor is today, you own your reaction to it. You OWN your reactions. You might think about that statement and tell yourself that you aren’t in control and that outside influences are doing this to you. But the fact is, stress, trauma, death, and continued life is a fact and how you get through it will make all the difference.
The challenging situations we face in life are often the ones that offer us the greatest opportunity for personal growth. Looking honestly at your situations, experiencing the emotions they bring up, and searching within yourself for the answers can bring positive outcomes that you can draw on in times of trouble.
Here is a FREEZE FRAME exercise I like to use to channel energy in a positive direction.
1. Freeze: Recognize the stressful feeling and Freeze-Frame it! Take a time-out.
2. Focus: Make a sincere effort to shift your FOCUS away from your racing mind or disturbed emotions to the area around your heart. Pretend you’re breathing through your heart to help focus your energy in this area. You may place your hand on your heart if this helps. Keep your focus there for at least 10 SECONDS.
3. Feeling: Recall a positive enjoyable feeling or time you’ve had in your life; FEEL the feelings again in your body, not just a mental thought about it.
4. Ask: Using your intuition, common sense or sincerity, ASK your heart, “What would be a better way, a more efficient, desirable response to this situation, one that would minimize future stress?
5. Listen: Pay attention, tune in, LISTEN and reflect on what your heart says in answer to your question. (This gives you access to your own internal solutions and common sense and puts your reactive emotions and mind in check.)
Evaluate each stressor individually. When you lump them together, you can exaggerate the weight and importance of their presence in your life. Take them one by one and ask yourself some qualifying questions:
- Do I have the power to change this situation?
- Am I ultimately responsible for this situation?
- What could I have done or will do in the future to avoid this from happening again?
- Why am I allowing this to affect my day, month, or year?
- What can I do this minute to bring myself peace/joy/comfort?
Challenge: Remember, stress and your reaction to it, is not an out of body experience. You are in charge and YOU will be the only one working through the steps to take control of the situation. Don’t assume busy is productive. In all things, strive for a healthy balance to beat stress!
I know YOU can do it!