“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”
Hi Motivation Seekers, how has your week gone? Did you manage to have a week of believing your dreams and not your fears? How awesome if you managed that. If you struggled, remember that all it takes is small changes, made a little bit at a time. Little changes over time can result in huge changes in your life.
This week I really wanted to talk about stress management. It seems like everyone I talk to at the moment is saying that they are really stressed. Life moves at such a pace now and there is such a feeling of overwhelm, with too much to do and too little time to do it. What is the answer, how can we deal with this? Our quote this week, gives a good clue. Stress is driven by our thoughts, it’s not what happens to us that matters, it’s how we react to what happens that matters. Control that and you control your stress levels. Sometimes that seems easier said than done though. How can we get to a space where we can do that?
Self Maintenance is the answer
Self maintenance is the answer to stress control. I had never even heard of that until I did my Coaching Diploma more than 10 years ago. Even though I know all about it and in particular what works for me, ironically when I feel stressed, that’s when my self maintenance plan goes out the window. I know the stuff to do, but high stress levels can sometimes stop me doing it. Of course that’s the time I need it most of all. So what is self maintenance? It is simply learning to look after yourself, discovering what works for you and setting aside time to do it.
Nurturing and caring for you
We need to nurture ourselves as we would nurture a child who needs care, concern and re-assurance. Unfortunately, most of us are our own harshest critics. So that’s the first step in self maintenance, learning to be your own best friend. To acknowledge who you are and what you’ve achieved. To cut yourself some slack, to give up constantly judging and criticising yourself. Imagine what a difference that could make. That could be the start of a more positive outlook and a change to a mindset that works for you.
Consider what relaxes you and do it
The things that make us feel good sometimes get put to one side, they are a “nice to have” but impossible because of all the other stuff to do. Make it a priority to fit those things into your life. You will be less stressed and work more productively and effectively if you make the time for you and the things you love. Take a few minutes to figure out what that is and block out time for it.
What works for me is meditation, journalling, exercise (with others), dancing, singing, socialising with like minded people, spending quality time with family, being near the sea, walking in the bush, cooking and baking. These are all things that put me into a stress free space. I am energised by some of these things and made calm and relaxed with others. It’s really about getting balance in your life. When you feel balanced and centred, you are less likely to be stressed and more able to deal with difficult situations.
Get started this week on finding out what makes you feel that way. Click here to share it with me, or share it on my facebook page. Let’s help each other find ways to reduce stress. Have a brilliant week with less stress, more calmness and a balanced and centered life.