I have not met a single person in my life who has not experienced stress at least ONCE in their life! Deadlines, financials strains, investor expectations, career decisions, problem children, spousal demands…the causes may differ for each of us, but the effects are the same. Stress damages our health, our cognitive capabilities, our relationships, and yes…our business and professional success can also be hindered. Medical and holistic practices have been created to address stress, books have been published, and numerous articles written…all offering remedies on how to deal with stress. AND there have even been more recent books written encouraging us to take on more…to ‘Lean In’ for goodness sakes! So, when I meet with clients and executives who are stressed out, there are a few basic tips we go back to time and time again, when we are bubbling over due to the demands of life and work.
1. The 3 S’s: Stop. Slow down. Be Still. It is almost always the first thing to go…taking time for and by ourselves. Yet, without it, we will burn out and burn up. Try to find time to be quiet. Take a walk – in silence. Turn off the car radio. Silence the iPhone – for a few hours, at least. I began to mediate for just 10 minutes a day – and my blood pressure is now lower than it has been in years! Susan Piver offers an amazing online meditative service, for those who are new to this practice. She is amazing.
2. Reintroduce yourself to you. This can be challenging for many especially when your hair is on fire. Many who are climbing as hard and fast as they can are so busy posturing and positioning that they forget who the “real me” is!! This may sound silly to some, but I can assure you, it is standard practice for many. My clients know that I believe self-awareness is the critical step to alignment. And I also believe when we are aligned we are at our most powerful. Thus, we need to take off our masks and truly look at ourselves in the mirror.
There are 3 questions I hone in on: 1) What do I love to do and what truly fulfills me? 2) What am I good at doing? AND (this is very important) 3) Is this tied to a purpose greater than just me? That is my definition of alignment – and without those 3 questions being asked (and answered) it is very easy to topple over, and stress is one way in which this manifests!!
3. Stay healthy in body and mind. This is all about breaking a sweat a few times a week. Stay connected to our physical body and our mental state of mind. Take a warm bath or sauna or a nap!! Work out in a mind/body/spirit ritual like Pilates or Yoga. Embrace the holistic elixirs such as Siberian ginseng (1/8 teaspoon, 3 times a day) which can calm your nerves and help you to cope.
4. Continue to keep perspective. “Changing the frame” has become a common cliche (just like ‘Lean In’!). Yet, it takes time, thoughtfulness, and an open heart. When icky things happen or a change of events upsets the apple cart, how can we view this through a lens of abundance versus scarcity? This can be tough – I get it. But I also believe that when we view these situations as working for us versus against us, and we embrace what we can learn through the experience, it is amazing how we relax into the moment, and know that this, too, will turn out okay.
The final point I will offer relative to “changing the frame” is that thoughts truly do become things. Dr. Masaru Emoto offered a ground breaking study showing the power of our intentions and thoughts through the impact they had on water through their energy vibrations. The video is compelling and will change the way you look at the world AND your life. Check it out – and then realize that the way we meet the world and embrace the world is undoubtedly what we will create in our lives.
What ideas do you have to share to help us deal with the stressful conditions in our lives and work?