How to cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life.
Of the many diverse issues and problems that are presented to any hypnotherapist or NLP Practitioner, one condition stands out as one of the most common concerns: STRESS!
We’ve all felt it. You know, those times when it all just seems too much. We doubt our ability to cope with what life has dished up. Yet, how do we know we are stressed?
Here are some of the symptoms:
Not sleeping well, eating less or more than normal, digestive problems – indigestion or bloating, feeling anxious or jumpy, or feeling low or down.
Of course, these symptoms seem to add to our burden of feeling over loaded. What can we do to help ourselves? Here are my 7 tried and tested steps:
1. Put things in perspective
Ask yourself what is it about this situation that will really matter in 5 years time? Work out what’s important and concentrate on that. Let go of what isn’t crucial.
2. Clear the clutter
If your surroundings appear chaotic that can rub off on your mind and you won’t see clearly how you can help yourself. The simple act of clearing your space seems to miraculously clear your mind.
3. Organise yourself
If you feel overwhelmed by the amount you have to do – STOP! Take stock. Ask yourself:
a) What exactly needs to be done?
b) What is more important?
c) What could I manage without if I had to?
Then look at your list and place things in order of importance.
4. TAKE ACTION!
Don’t allow problems to build up, they become a burden and weigh heavily in the back of your mind. Instead decide what action you can take to begin to ease your load. Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins and ends with just one step.
Also note the differences between how men and women typically handle stress:
Men handle stress differently to women. Research shows that women are more likely to reach out to others when stressed to find a solution or share their predicament in a response called “tend and befriend”. Women therefore tend to feel more comfortable discussing personal issues and their feelings.
On the other hand, men often feel the psychological weight of stigma and are more likely to have a “fight or flight” response. Through not openly discussing feelings, causes men can internalise stress and bottle things up, or blow up and take it out on the people around them. It’s common for men to try to distract themselves from their stress by using activities and hobbies as an escape.
5. Say that little word (No!)
If you find it hard to say ‘no’ practise in low key situations first. You may feel selfish not helping someone out or acquiescing to their demands, but there are times when it is more important to look after yourself and your own needs. It’s what I call being ‘healthily selfish’.
“Don’t beat around the bush or offer weak excuses or hem and haw. This only provides an opening for the other person. Don’t delay or stall either. Provide a brief explanation if you feel you need to; however, don’t feel compelled. The less said the better.”
6. Take time out
Take at least 10 minutes to just unwind. Here’s how:
a) Select a relaxing or inspiring piece of music to play
b) Lie on a blanket on the floor (not your bed, as you might fall asleep!)
c) Concentrate your attention on your breathing, and take several slightly deeper breaths. Imagine breathing out all your unnecessary tension with each out breath.
d) Begin to relax each set of muscles, starting with your toes and gradually working your way up your body to your head.
e) Mentally repeat the mantra: ‘I am relaxed’. Don’t try to relax, rather just let relaxation take over.
7. Have fun!
Do something to divert your attention from your troubles. It can be temping to drink excessive amounts of alcohol when you are stressed, but in reality it just makes your situation seem worse. Instead go see a funny or uplifting movie. Enrol in a belly dancing or jive class, or go and see your favourite band. Here are 84 suggestions for activities that can help you destress!
I hope you find my 7 steps helpful. Let me know! You can comment at the bottom of this article. I’d love to hear from you!
All the best, Christina.
Originally for isiscentre.co.uk