In reaching our greatest potential and becoming the very best version of ourselves personally and professionally, we MUST be protective and selective of our energy.
In this context, energy means your overall output as a human being. This includes your thoughts, beliefs, intentions, and behavior.
All too often, I find that a major block to clients performing at their highest and achieving their life’s goals is that they are spending a great deal of energy STRESSING.
They are worrying, scheming, plotting, analyzing and their blood pressure is escalating throughout each and every day. They are feeling overwhelmed and burning the candle at both ends in an effort to make it all better. This becomes a major distraction to our higher, more wise and intentional selves.
From a general health perspective, I think we all know stress can really take its toll.
On a cellular level when we have a negative (stressful) thought, our brain stimulation produces the hormone cortisol, which is basically a toxin in the body. From there we experience a feeling that we label an emotion and we tend to take action from that place.
Let me walk you through an example. If you have the thought “I am not prepared for this meeting,” you will create cortisol, have a yucky feeling in your body which you might translate to anxiety and then take action from that place, perhaps over-preparing and bringing your anxiety into the room when you present. This then hinders your ability to be authentic, to effectively think and speak on your feet, to have channels open to receive what you might need during the presentation, and the energy might be felt by your audience and viewed negatively.
Yes, one thought has that much power and can create your reality.
When you think about how much time in your day, week, month and year you are stressing and how much energy that consumes, think about what else, more productive, you can do with that energy…
So I wanted to share some strategies to combat stress. This only touches on the surface level and I go into much more detail when working with clients individually and in the group setting.
- Become aware that you are stressed. Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings and body sensations. I encourage clients to put a reminder on their phone three times a day to check in with themselves and rate their stress on a scale of 1 to 10. Just bringing awareness to the stress then allows you to do something different with it.
- Name it. Just say it out loud. I am stressed. This takes away its power. Its no longer subconsciously messing with you.
- Identify how the stress is currently impacting you. You can say to yourself something like, “I notice stress has me feeling nervous in my belly, has me speaking rapidly, has me disconnecting from what’s going on in front of me, is taking too much of my energy, whatever it is.”
- Use a breathing technique. You can start simple. Take a 4 second inhale, one second pause, then 4 second exhale. Do that a couple times and then increase your seconds to a 5 second inhale and exhale with a 2 second pause, followed by a 6 second inhale and exhale with a 3 second pause. Do this until you literally feel yourself calming down, and more present in the moment.
- Take a break if you need to. Walk outside, get away from your desk, your kids, or whatever has you stressed. Take in some vitamin D and focus on what’s beautiful around you.
- Come back and take CONSCIOUS action. Remember your why. Whatever your goals and intentions are, I’m fairly certain they don’t include being a stress ball. So take a moment to reconnect to your why. I am working on becoming a calm and approachable leader, a more patient parent, a compassionate partner. And in doing so I must take a conscious next step that is in alignment with that.
Some additional tips that have been known to help with stress are meditation, exercise, stretching, and talking it out with someone you trust.
Know that stress is part of the human experience. I am not suggesting we can completely ELIMINATE stress, but we can train our mind, take back control, and clean up our energetic output to yield different results.
In doing so you might feel better and notice you have the energy for the things that really matter and help you create the life you want.
If stress and negative thinking is getting in your way, give me a call today!
Take care of yourselves and therefore each other,
Brooke Jean, MA