21 Mar 3 steps to beating stress
You are about to take your SAT’s and your hands are shaking- why?
You see your crush across the room and your hands start to sweat and your heart races- why?
Because emotions are energy! And that energy needs to be released… As such, your emotions are an important factor when figuring out how to deal with stress.
Unreleased emotions (energy) can keep you from being the best that you can be. The energy can cause you to react impulsively rather than respond thoughtfully. To avoid this, listen to your emotions, don’t stuff them.
Instead of stuffing you emotions, your first line of defense/offense when stress wants to play in your game is:
NAME THE EMOTION: When you are aware of the emotions that a stressful situation creates, you stop the cycle of reactive (and often destructive) decisions. When you name and own the emotion, you become less overwhelmed; it becomes something that you can control.
For instance, as you notice the toilet paper stuck to your shoe as you leave the bathroom in front of fifteen people, and your heart starts to race, and you notice you feel uncomfortable, you can name the emotion: Wow, I feel embarrassed.
Your next line of defense is to:
CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS TO SOMETHING POSITIVE: Definitely don’t go to the dark side and start putting your self down because of a momentary toilet tissue situation. You might think (with a smile on your face): Wow. That’s sort of embarrassing. What to do? Run and hide? Nah, its actually kind of hysterical. Plus, now everyone is checking out my sweet new kicks.
Your next step is the action you take based on your thoughts, aka:
CHOOSE YOUR RESPONSE: You will likely step on the paper with your other foot so it disconnects from your foot, toss it in the garbage, and then either take a bow or simply walk away with a smile on your face. You are not the only person this has ever happened to and you have better things to do.
Note to self: if you are not the one pointing and laughing at other people when these small life events happen, then people will likely not do that to you. Compassion is contagious.
Another note to self: the reason these things are SO not embarrassing when people are ancient (like for your parents) is because of life experience. For example, if a parent, spouse, or sibling dies, and grief goes through its natural stages, then other things just don’t matter as much. You see life anew – brief, precious. You don’t really care so much about toilet paper on your shoe or the people who might point and laugh. You see so much more important things in life. People who have this kind of perspective often have less stress.
When you use those three steps to
NAME THE EMOTION
CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS TO SOMETHING POSITIVE
CHOOSE YOUR RESPONSE
then you are much less likely to allow stress to overwhelm you.
Feeling overwhelmed by stress stinks… it not only affects you emotionally but it affects your mind and body as well. Read the next posts to find out how…
What emotion would you feel if you had toilet paper on your shoe?