When you are having a stressful moment do you realise that you have some choices to make? You can choose to immerse yourself in your stress, you can think about it constantly, you can make the situation worse by inflaming things and you can lose all objectivity in relation to that particular worry, OR, you can choose to try to turn things around, change your head space, build some resilience and really work hard to try to improve things? What choices do you make???
Now I know that we may not always have a choice about what is stressing us but we will definitely have a choice on how to react. Stress, worry and indecision are not our favourite times in life and can drain our happiness levels right down to empty. Sometimes we can actually make our situation worse by how we choose to react and at other times we can cope remarkably and react in a strong and resilient manner.
I thought it might be useful to look at some helpful choice options for those times when we are experiencing a stress:
• Choose to cope: this may sound ridiculous, but for day to day stresses, we can choose to completely loose the plot or we can make the choice to take some really deep breaths and battle on.
• Self-talk: Give yourself the same advice that you would give to a dearly beloved friend, be supportive and guide yourself in a positive manner.
• Build your resilience: Know that you are strong and that you can make it through this time. Think of other times that you have been strong and pushed through and use the knowledge of this strength to help you move on.
• Look for things that you are grateful for: Focussing on things that you are grateful for puts you on an upward positive ladder rather than a downward spiral.
• Look through the positivity lens: Look for solutions; positive moments and positive mentors to help you through.
• Catastrophe scale: Put your stress on a catastrophe scale. 1 being a minor issue and 10 being a catastrophic life changing event…..this can help put your worries into perspective.
• Get organised: If your stress is time related e.g. deadline pressures; over committed etc. get yourself better organised. Make a plan and work through it in a structured and productive way.
• Be healthy: eat well, sleep well and take regular exercise breaks. Looking after yourself will build your resilience levels and help you to cope better.
We cope far better when we choose to make decisions that make us feel good about ourselves rather than reacting in a way that brings us down. Next time you are feeling the stress build please try to remember to make positive and supportive choices for yourself……
What tips do you have to share to help in those stressful times?
NOTE: I know that some stresses are so powerful that outside help will be required, and if you feel that you cannot handle your stress…please seek help from a professional.