Stressed out vs stress
“I’m stressed”. How many times in the last week have you uttered that statement? I shudder to think. It seems innocuous, harmless and everyone else is saying it so …
But saying “I’m stressed” creates a chain reaction in the body and your unconscious takes it and accepts it as part of your identity, it’s like saying “I’m British” or “I’m a woman”.
But you’re not stress.
You have stress, a situation has caused you to feel stress, but you yourself are not stress. This is a big distinction because recognising the outside source of stress creates distance, gives you clarity and provides space for you to change it. When you start to notice you’re feeling stressed ask yourself “what is it that’s causing me to feel this way and what can I do about it?”.
Create space for yourself
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But I bet when you pull up your diary you feel your heart beat increase. I bet you’re back to back in meetings, double booked, no space between meetings, no space to work, think, eat or pee. Am I right? (I know I am!)
So, stop doing that to yourself.
Block time between your meetings to actually travel between them, eat, do the work you need to do, breathe, go to the bathroom, actually respond to emails and do the work you need to do.
Treat yourself with some respect
You know how you never get that cab home after a long day but take three trains and a bus? You know how you say to someone, “no don’t worry about that, I can move my lunch” or “sure I can come over (even though I’m exhausted and you’re out of my way)”. Or when you buy the cheap seats to save some money but turn up on holiday or to a meeting exhausted and unprepared?
Your time, your energy, your needs are important. No, it’s not selfish. No, it doesn’t make you a bad person. And yes, the world will keep spinning.
Bump yourself to the top of your priority list more frequently and you’ll see your internal happiness increase, your health improve and your productivity positively soar.
Look on the bright side of life
Our internal state of being starts in our head and mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. Most people get stressed when they feel their situation should be a certain way and it is somehow “different” or “wrong” from that perception (and not necessarily bad).
This process is simply a result of perception and every experience you have, is part of your growth and development. If the glass is half empty or half full is all down to your perception and your perception can transform in a heartbeat if you choose it. Ask yourself, is this going to be important to me in a year, five years or ten years time. It’s not to say you have to be happy all the time, or need to dismiss a stressful or negative situation, not at all. Feel it, get emotional – but don’t allow that to cloud your ability to learn the lesson and look for the window of light.
About the Author
Melissa Noakes is an Experiential Marketing specialist and listed in Event 100 as a leading figure in the UK’s event industry. She is also a trained health coach, life coach Hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner and is the author of The Little Book of Self Care published by Penguin.