Survivors Guide to stress management: C’mon, give it a go!

Positive mini-swirlHere are some short and what you might call hopelessly simple strategies for when you ‘are in the grip’ of negativity and lacking in confidence. We all go there, me included. But now I’m much more self-aware of that slippery slope down into the chasm of hopelessness, drama and victim-hood. I bounce back up like a veritable human elastic band… but it wasn’t always the case.

... a much younger but largely 'winging it' Kiki!

… a much younger but largely ‘winging it’ Kiki – disasters and triumphs!

So I’m sharing these with you because I had no-one when I was younger, to share their wisdom and coping mechanisms. Have fun practicing these:

  1. Choose a memento or a piece of music that reminds you of ‘feelings of love’ and use that to focus on you want for your life and career in 2014 and beyond. Keep it with you, where you can see it, hear it or hold it.
  2. Practice becoming much more aware of when your heart pounds and your breathing gets shallower. Allow the discipline of letting the aggro go into the ‘Phucket Bucket’ by emptying your mind for a bit, doing your breathing exercise (see 6. below), sip water if possible rather than diet Coke. Sometimes focusing on a flower or your memento and then slowly de-focusing, really helps.
  3. Acknowledge primitive emotions (stress, fear and panic) for what they really are, a defensive and protective mechanism. Give thanks to these survival emotions as they are a part of you, but they are not ALL of you, so ask them to sit in the F-it Bucket until you really need them, like when you go bungee jumping!
  4. When you experience negative feelings, ask yourself, ‘is there another way of looking at this situation, is there another way of interpreting what’s going on? And how might I experiment with feeling and thinking differently (by being more objective and business-like).’
  5. Spend at least 5 mins twice daily ‘living in the moment’ – when possible take short breaks and focus your thoughts or observations on nature’s wonders, and better still, give thanks for what you have got as opposed to the negative aspects of your life and career.
  6. Combine this with the 7:11 breathing technique, ie 7 counts IN and 11 counts OUT to attain calmness and confidence. This gets rid of carbon dioxide from deep within the lungs, slows the heart rate and lowers your centre of gravity, especially when combined with a visualisation exercise (eg brain training the outcomes you would really like to achieve).
  7. Try not to let others’ negative feelings and outbursts evince a corresponding set of feelings in you – be a spiritual beach ball and let yourself ‘bounce’ back into your natural spiritual self.1
... the pearl inside us all, surrounded by the crud of 'outside-in' thinking.

… the pearl inside us all, surrounded by the crud of ‘outside-in’ thinking.

Remember that the poor quality of your thoughts will lead to negative emotional experiences, so remain vigilant and be more self-aware of your own thought processes, and what gives rise to the downward spiral. Remember that dramatization, negativity and victim-hood can be addictive. Taking control and making a change for the better takes commitment and discipline but it most definitely can be done.

There’s a pearl inside all of us, if only we could develop more ‘inside-out’ thinking… in other words, developing our ability to access our natural innate human wisdom… the ‘soul’s intelligence’, buried under the ‘noise’ of everyday life.

1 “We are not human beings on a spiritual journey, we are spiritual beings embedded in a human experience.” The problem is we’re all programmed to live an ‘outside-in’ existence.

Contact me if you feel trapped in your oyster shell. It’s free and it’s easy – or just text me on 07760 270 392.

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