The Stress WMD!

Hi folks!

Over the past several posts I have offered you all different ways of combating stress with different relaxation techniques. As the final post in this series (I hope you all have found something that works for you!) you may wonder which technique is the best. To be honest, they all have their merits and I recommend that you use all of them.

To me I consider the techniques to be individual parcels of a bigger “Stress Buster” package. Individually the different techniques provide beneficial affect in helping you alleviate and reduce stress, but as you use the techniques together the affect is tremendous! Just think of a Weapon of Mass Destruction blowing away stress!

How does the WMD work? It works by you employing all the techniques daily as you combat the stress you face. During the day do a body scan when you feel yourself getting tense. Stop and do deep breathing and visualise the stress melting away. When you have a break throughout the day, you can do some subtle progressive relaxation and deep breathing. At the end of the day you can take 20-30 minutes out of your schedule and do some meditation and/or visualisation exercises.

When you use the techniques in combination you will maximise the benefit that they have. Just think of it as a “Stress Buster Synergy” – the effect of the whole is greater than the individual parts.  Remember that it is important for you to do this daily. In a month, stop and take stock of the stress level(s) in your life and you will be surprised at how much more relaxed, calm and at peace you are.

Don’t Worry….Be Happy!

Hi folks!

Can you all remember the Bobby McFerrin song that was such a huge hit in the 1980s? It was so catchy and it was all about not worrying and being happy!

How much time do we spend worrying about was has been? We can’t change the past. How much time do we worry about the future? Who knows, the thing that you are worried about will probably never happen! But what is happening while you are worrying is you are robbing yourself of the enjoyment of now!

Worry is a liar and a thief! It lies about things that might not happen. It always comes in with “What if…” statements. But those statements have no real factual basis, it is just worry building up a weak, baseless case built around our fears. 

Worry is a thief because it steals our enjoyment. We are so anxious about things that may happen. We find that we can not enjoy “NOW” because all our thoughts and emotions are tied up with thinking about worse case scenarios! Our happiness is taken from us!

I used to worry a lot about a lot of things! I used to worry about what people would think about me (heck I even thought I knew exactly what they were thinking about me! Not good thoughts either!). I used to worry about the future (What if such and such happens? What will I do? How will i cope?) But I have realised that my worries were fictitious! It was just my fears, self-doubt, and insecurity collaborating together to created fairy tales!

How did I overcome my worries? First by challenging the accuracy of my thoughts. How sound is the argument put forward by my worry? You will find that the arguments are usually weak! Next I also realised that “whatever will be will be”. That might sound blase, but if the thing that you worry about does come to pass, then just deal with it in it’s own due time. You may even find that it was not the “mountain” you made it out to be. 

Another thing that I learned was how to practice “mindfulness”. If you don’t know what “mindfulness” is, then you can easily do a Google search. But here is a website that you can check out: 

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-courage-be-present/201001/how-practice-mindfulness-meditation

Simply, in a nutshell, mindfulness is the practice of enjoying, to the fullest extent,  the moment that you are in now. 

So, forget about the past, you can not change what has been. Do not stress or worry about the future, that can still be changed for the better anyway. Just be happy in the “NOW”. Enjoy the moment that you are in. 

If you do that, then you truly will find that you “Don’t Worry”, but rather that you will “Be Happy”!

 

 

Put the “Negative Nellies” out to Pasture!

Hey guys and gals!

Have you ever had someone around you who is constantly moaning about something. No matter what, they are always finding something to whine about. You probably live with these kinds of people, you might work with them. Dare I say it? You might be one! They complain about the smallest thing. They make it sound like they’re hard done by because someone has done something they don’t like. They take the smallest thing as a personal attack.

These people are “Negative Nellies”! You can actually feel them draining the energy out of you by their constant complaining! It is usually over the smallest things too. They whinge and moan and complain and wear you down with their negativity! Do you have to put up with them? No!

So how do you deal with these “Negative Nellies”? You put them out to pasture, where they can roam free with their own kind. If you notice, these people like to gather and share their tales of woe! How do I put them out to pasture? You do it by ignoring their comments. Don’t let them spill their negativity and complaints on you. When you see them gathering, don’t get involved in the gripe session. Just refuse to put up with their whinges, moans and complaints.

Let these “Negative Nellies” out to pasture. Let them roam free in their paddock of negativity, where they can whinny and kick their hooves to their hearts content! Then you can enjoy the peace and quite of your own paddock. 🙂

 

Breathe!!

Hi folks!

Today is time for something practical! Are you excited? I bet you are!!!

Admit it. You have had a day when everything seems to be going wrong! You feel all stressed, your body is tense. You just want to relax. Here is an exercise that you can do that will help remove the tension and even will calm down your racing mind. (It takes about 3-5 minutes)

  • Find somewhere quite where you can be alone.
  • Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Hold it, and then slowly release it. Take another deep breath, hold it and release  it. Keep doing this for the duration of this exercise.
  • Focus on the different parts of your body. Start with your feet, imagine them relaxing, then your calfs, your shins, your upper legs. Both legs together. Imagine them relaxing, feel the tension melt away as you breath in and then breath out. Carry on up your body and then finally focus on your body, as a whole, relaxing. Focus all your attention on your body relaxing. Imagine it is relaxed, limp and quite.
  • Finally end the exercise with several more in breaths and out breaths.

You can do the breathing aspect of this exercise whenever you feel yourself getting stressed or becoming irritated. It also works if you are feeling nervous or anxious. Just focus all your attention on the breath entering in, then focus on the breath leaving your body.

I use this exercise all the time. When I feel myself getting stressed or wound up,  I make a conscious effort to focus on my breathing. Then I can feel myself calming down and my body losing tension.

Give it a go and feel free to leave comments to let me know how it has worked for you. I would love to hear!

 

 

 

Your Emotional Compass

Hey everyone!

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was from a counsellor a couple of years ago. He said “Do not allow anyone else’s emotional compass determine your direction!

I used to allow people who were heading down (south) to bring me down with them. I would be feeling “on top of the world”, next thing I knew someone’s attitude was pulling me down to the cold barrenness of emotional Antartica!

People would be stressing all around me, getting moody, and I would want to try and make them happy. Or I would get nervous because they were angry, next thing I knew my “emotional compass” was going hay-wire! It was like I had somehow been sucked into an emotional Bermuda Triangle! (Have you ever noticed when people are in a bad mood, it seems to spread. But if you are in a happy mood and others around you are in a bad mood, they don’t catch your happiness?)

But then, when I was given that sage advice about not allowing other people’s emotions dictate which way my emotions went, I decided to change! I refused to take on board other people’s negativity. If people around you want to be negative and moody, let them! Do not own that emotion. Do not allow it to come on you, for once you do, your compass is going to point “South” and you’ll be heading down to emotional turmoil! Do you think that the person having “a moment” really cares that he or she has just made you feel moody too? NO!!

So refuse to allow the moods and negative attitudes of those around you to influence your “emotional compass”. Point the needle to “North” and head upwards, not downwards. There are going to be times when the needle will be bumped and influenced by “environmental” factors (grumpy, depressed, negative people). But just make a readjustment in your emotion, recognise that it has been sent slightly off-kilter, and then get back on track. Remember these words, just as I do everyday:

Do not allow anyone else’s emotional compass determine your direction!

Once you decide that, then you will find your life become happier, you’ll have greater serenity and more peace!

 

Open the Door!

Hey everyone!

They say “Opportunity knocks”, but sometimes we think it always knocks on other people’s doors and not ours. We look out the window, like an anxious parent waiting for their child to get home, vigilantly looking for opportunity to knock.

But sometimes we have to go looking for it! That might not seem fair, but how many people do you know who play the “waiting game”? They will still be waiting 10, 20, 30 years from now for opportunity. I played that game. Waiting and hoping for a break to come my way. I was working the same job for a number of years, hoping to get that promotion. It never game. Welcome to the “glass ceiling” folks! 

Why do we wait for others to give us a break? Why do we let others control our destiny? Maybe it is because we are given the illusion (or lie) that if we work hard, then we will be recognised by the “powers that be”.  And they will approach us and give us that long sought after promotion.

We go to work every day, do the same thing, and yet we have the same result. How often have we repeatedly done the same thing over and over again, hoping that “this time” it will work. This time I will get that elusive “big break”. Guess what? It hasn’t worked! If it had  you would of stopped doing what you were doing!! You may all of heard the definition of stupidity:

Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result each time.

I am not putting down persistence, or hard work. For these are necessary qualities to get anywhere you want in life. What I want you to realise is that, if what you are doing hasn’t got you to where you want to be, then it’s time to change something. What is it that you may be doing wrong? What is it that you may be “missing”? Find out and FIX IT!

Opportunity may come fortuitously knocking on your door. If so, open up the door and let it in! If opportunity refuses to knock at your door. Track it down and knock on IT’s door! If it refuses to open the door, then kick the door down!

Life can go by pretty fast. Next thing you know, you are looking back at what could of been. Instead of looking at the “what-could-have-beens”, let your life reflect the “what-is-you-have-made-of it.”

Go out. Have fun. Track down opportunity, kick it’s door down and see where you end up! Have a great time!

 

Don’t Let your Bubble Pop!

Hey folks!

Have you ever experience the following?: You are happy, having fun, nothing bothers you then…WHAMO!..somebody says something or does something and then your mood changes for the worse!

What just happened? Your bubble just got popped!! We can be coasting along in our own happy world, oblivious to all around us, but then something touches the surface of our bubble and it explodes. The negativity has burst our positivity bubble!

The surface tension of our bubble might be different than someone else’s surface tension. It might be weaker than otherr,  or it might be stronger and able to withstand a good, sharp stab. How do you know what your bubble’s surface tension is like? If someone makes a blunt comment and your bubble pops, then you have a weak surface tension. If someone makes a sharp comment and pops your bubble, then you have strong surface tension! But the good news is that you can constantly strengthen your bubble’s surface tension to withstand the sharpest of jabs!

What can I do to strengthen my bubble’s tension? The main thing you can do is stay vigilant! Try and avoid the barbs that surround you daily. If one has just hit your bubble, immediately deal with it!

How do i deal with it? You can either walk away from the situation. Or if someone has made an unfair comment, just realise that the comment was unfair and move on. Do not dwell on it! If someone makes a sharp comment, then let them take ownership of the emotion(s) behind the comment. (Maybe they are having a bad day; maybe they haven’t developed the right “people skills”). If someone has done something to irritate you, do not take it as a personal attack!

DO NOT TAKE ON BOARD ANYONE’S NEGATIVITY!

If you refuse to allow to take on the negative emotions of those around you, then you will find that your bubble will stay intact! It’s like a force-field of peace and serenity, that only gets stronger as you protect it and defend it!

Heck, you a find that other people want in on your bubble of happiness, peace and joy! Let them in!!