“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”
Hello Motivation Seekers, how are you? I hope the week was a good one and you got some new daily habits going, following on from last week’s Motivator. If this is still a struggle for you, get in touch to discuss that with me, click here to contact me.
I wanted to talk about stress this week. This is the thing that seems to be a big problem for everyone. When talking to people, just in daily conversation, everyone complains about being too busy, having too much to do, never having enough time, feeling overwhelmed, all of which leads to feeling stressed. Even children are now feeling stressed. Is it modern life? Higher expectations of us all? Less work/life balance? I think it’s all of those things and I think it does feed on itself. You tend to go round in circles about these feelings. You feel stressed and then feel stressed that you feel stressed! So, what can we do about it? Well, I have some suggestions that I am going to share with you. I will also put lots of tips on Facebook during the week, so keep checking my page to get some more tips and please feel free to comment and add tips of your own. Helping each other in this, sharing the load actually makes for a less stressful life. So here are my first 3 Steps, that you can start practising this week:
3 steps to reduce stress.
- Exercise regularly. Oh no, you probably didn’t want to hear that. If you are pushed for time, won’t this make it even worse? Actually, no it won’t. Exercise produces “feel good” hormones and helps relax you. It is the perfect antidote to stress. I always hated exercise, I struggled with it for years. I only did it because I wanted to keep my weight down, I would join a gym and go crazy for a month, then drop out and feel worse than I did at the start. Then I discovered that if I did exercise that I liked and worked out with a friend, it became much more enjoyable and it started feeling good. I knew I was doing great things for my body and my mind, and I was motivated to do it. The key is to start small, find someone to do it with you and try different things until you find what works for you. Yoga is very popular these days, and it is a fantastic mind/body work out. I do Tai Chi as well and that has the same benefits. Walking, running, swimming, biking – are all better with friends, so get together with someone and come up with a plan. Then get started. You will feel incredible.
- Breathe! What is that about? Don’t we do this all day, every day? In fact, we don’t breathe like we should. Babies know all about good breathing, check out what they do. It’s deep, diaphragm breathing. Breathing like this, oxygenates your blood, it lowers your heart rate and your blood pressure and reduces the stress hormones, so it’s worth trying it. You can do this during the day as you need it. Just take time to take 5 deep, diaphragm breaths, slowly inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Your tummy pushes out with the inhale and sinks back with the exhale. It’s so simple and has such great results.
- Change your thinking. As out quote says, the best thing you can do is to choose your thoughts. It’s not the stress that’s bad, it’s how you react to the stress that’s making it worse. You may not be able to control the amount of stress in your day, but you can control how you think about that. You and only you, gets to choose how you think at any given moment. Practise positive thinking, practise gratitude and get into the habit of seeing the good in any situation. If you can’t do that, sometimes just accepting “it is what it is” and that tomorrow will be better, reduces the panic and overwhelm. Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend who is feeling stressed. You would help them, and be kind to them, reassure them and make them feel better. Frequently, we don’t do that for ourselves. Instead we admonish ourselves for not “doing” things right or for feeling the way we do. Remember to be your own best friend at these times.
There are so many more things to tell you about this huge topic, but I don’t want to make this too long – who has the time for that???? Anyway, there will be tips during the week, so do keep an eye on my FB page. Have a great week, feeling less stress all week.