Stress is most normally due to an external factor.
We have all felt ‘stressed’ at times, even ‘super stressed’ when for example it reaches house moving day or starting a new job / business, school or college. Or if there are financial problems, work concerns, or a breakdown in relationships, at home or at work, or family concerns.
We generally do get through it though, because there is usually an end to it, and once the ‘pressure’ is off, you can sigh with relief and the state of feeling stressed will dissipate. It can be frustrating if things don’t go exactly as planned, but we do generally cope, once the cause has been dealt with effectively, or a resolution is found, the stress then lessens and normally goes all together
In certain situations that a certain amount of stress and anxiety is expected and can drive us forward, like when taking an exam, doing a public speech, acting, performing in a competition whether sports, or music etc…
In a work situation feeling pressured into accomplishing a job by a certain deadline, can focus your attention to complete the task, likewise with a written assignment or project, and motivate you to do your best.
We all deal with stress differently and usually manage to alleviate it effectively and positively
Stress is a normal part of life and apart from a heightened level of cortisol, it is usually mixed in with a healthy dose of adrenaline, to sharpen our responses, (not quite to the same level of heightened anxiety which occurs in a threatening or dangerous situation – the ‘fight fright flight’ response, which ultimately can save our life). Though there can be similar physical symptoms due to the release of cortisol, and the adrenal glands releasing adrenaline, like a more rapid heart beat and sweating, but stress tends to not to include feelings of impending doom like anxiety, it is rather feelings of being pressured or frustrated, or ‘up against it’.
However, a stressed state can not be sustained day in and day out, it stops being helpful to you if prolonged, and becomes known as Chronic Stress.
When stress takes over, and you start to feel overwhelmed and constantly time pressured. Having unrealistic demands and goals to reach, in unreasonable time frames, set by yourself or others, and cease to find enjoyment in what you do.
A wonderful session with The Right Steps Dance – they are so inspiring – teaching dance from young people, to visiting care homes.
We talked around how our minds work, how stress and anxiety can have an impact on us and our clients, how to prioritise tasks, and to not take on too much, by having the confidence to say that powerful little word – No – which can be hard to do sometimes
If your organisation would like a talk, please do let me know
A much longer post than normal, I’ve always been a writer and if this helps anyone, then that’s great ✨
We are human and we all at times, can feel like we’re fighting the enemy within, trying to escape, bury, tame or pacify our deepest dreaded demons or fears, sometimes to the point of irrationality, even insanity.
Ironically what you fear the most, you generally focus on, or spend all your energy trying to avoid, which actually brings it into your reality, thus re-enforcing the fear.
So powerful are your thoughts.
What I have learnt is: Make Peace with Yourself, don’t fight with your ‘enemy’ within, you will not defeat them, you won’t win.
Get to know them, you will find you want the same thing! to win at life, to survive and thrive, to have success and happiness.
Once you accept this as the truth, you become the closest of allies, working together towards your greater good, enabling you to reach your potential, to be creative and solution focused.
Face your demons and fears head on. Really look them in the eye. What have you to lose by doing so? Identify them for what they are, how they make you feel, and why? because, by facing them what’s the worst that could happen- really?
If you don’t – they will always haunt you, and steel your inner happiness, eat at your self worth, ravage your soul, leaving you empty, exhausted, despondent and unhappy, also anxious and possibly depressed, stagnating, not moving forward or growing, as well as maybe being physically chronically unwell.
As soon as you do face them and get in touch with the emotions they evoke in you, you will realise, that your demons and fears were on your side all along, trying their best to protect you and keep you safe.
Once faced, and identified for what they are, your ‘demons’ become your closest friends, and the fears literally vanish.
Once you do this; Your mind clears, the clarity is incredible and you can then live in your truth, be authentically you, live in each moment fully, having true enjoyment, feeling wonderfully happy on the inside, knowing that’s where your happiness resides for always- regardless of circumstance and any negative people around you. (Do try and remember though, that everyone is just doing the best they know how at the time)
Your physical health will improve miraculously.
Realising the importance and power of nurturing good thoughts, will mean you will always strive to think positively, to switch negativity off and forever focus on making everything as bright beautiful and as brilliant as can be. You will be in the driving seat of your life, making better choices., and being open to opportunities.
Not to say you won’t have times where you feel sad or not in control of situations and circumstances, you may feel frustrated and angry, but you will know to get in touch with how you feel, to let go, and choose different thoughts around the situation – choose to view things in a different way, and feel better, because you know you can.
Only you control how you are, how you feel, and that you just don’t ‘live there’ anymore, in a ‘bad’ negative or defensive place, you’ll choose a better place to be, it is amazing.
For me this also includes sometimes surrendering, and offering up to the universe, what’s going on, and having faith and belief that everything will work out in the best possible way, or that you will grow through having had a valuable lesson.
Change is the only constant in life, and you will learn to naturally go with the flow more, to choose Happy, this becoming your constant.
You will also choose to Love who you are, know yourself better, nurture your body, mind, soul and spirit. Believe in, validate and value yourself and your place in your world, and the world, the universe, as a whole – that everything in your experience – your life, begins and ends with You. Your thoughts, feelings, perception, actions, energy and happiness.
Believe me, it’s possible, you’re worth it, and it works.
Andrea Barker Confidence Coach
I am currently running a 10 week course on Confidence, and it is the most amazing experience to see the confidence of the attendees emerging. We have just had week 4 – and the participation, and sharing of experiences is so good, which enhances the learning for all. The environment created is a safe one, where the attendees are supported, and only required to share what they feel comfortable with, and as a group, we all agree to absolute confidentiality ‘Chatham house rules’ – ‘What’s said in the room, stays in the room’
A lot of what we are doing is quite thought provoking and about getting to know yourself better, so you can make better choices for yourself, and feel confident stepping out into new situations, to do what it is you enjoy, to stand up for and look after YOU.
So far we have covered;
week 1 – What is Confidence and Self-confidence? What is confidence to you?
week 2 – Understanding yourself, and how your mind works and what makes you You, getting to Know yourself
week 3 – How we learn and why we kind find change difficult, even if it’s good for us!
week 4 – Perception, Beliefs and stepping out of your comfort zone
week 5 will be – Communication. Saying No and saying Yes. Body language. Getting your message across and being heard
…and so much more over the 10 weeks
I present a subject, and we have discussion, there is active participation, worksheets and lovely things to try and ‘homework’ 🙂
I absolutely Love what I do. Seeing the small shifts, and big leaps people make, the smiles and laughs – is priceless
Why I love what I do – click on the link if you would like to watch the video
We all have times where it’s not another person’s behaviour that surprises us, it’s our own.
This can sometimes be in the positive, though quite often not.Facing up to yourself, even though it can be hard, is the best thing to do. You will never regret it.
To dwell is not to grow, so even if the lesson is a painful one, it is far better to learn from it, than get stuck in blame or regret and beating yourself up.
Try to separate the behaviour from the person.
The person we are, is not our behaviour in times of stress, anger, hurt, feeling uncertain, or unsafe, we are merely doing the best we know how at the time, to survive a situation, not always very well, and usually not with the intention to hurt or harm, but the outcome is rarely good.
Reflect on your actions and take responsibility.
Try to understand yourself better, and what triggered your behaviour, in a kind gently challenging way, as you would a best friend, so that you can be open to finding a way to let go, and learn how to ‘pause’ and choose how you would like to act, rather than to react, in the future.
Do say sorry if you need to, be sincere, and know it may or may not be accepted.
Forgive yourself and others – you’re only human after all, and it’s hard to get it right, all of the time.
If you would like help to feel better about yourself- to step into a better version of you, to understand unhelpful patterns of behaviour you may be experiencing…
Then do get in touch for a free chat
I help you from a place of genuine experience, and wanting you to feel so much better, and embrace who you are.
We all make mistakes- sometimes costly ones, but you can break the cycle and be a happier You
50 things seems like a long list, but it will take you only a few minutes to find something that works for you
We all have challenging times with circumstances that we have created* or situations beyond our control.
*Our thoughts, feelings and actions, or reactions, whether intentional, or without proper thought have a cause and effect, and can sometimes create circumstances we feel we have no control over, or fear facing up to.
Either way, we can feel unhappy, with ourselves, with others, or the circumstance / situation. Feeling unhappy does not help our situation. We can also feel that our level of happiness is at the hands of, or the responsibility of others, or that some ‘thing’ will have to happen to ensure our happiness.
However, there is a lot we can do to change how we feel and get our happy on! This in turn can change the way we feel about ourselves, others and the circumstance and situation, and can lead to us dealing with it, or resolving things in a better, more positive way, which of course then increases our happiness levels.
It can be quite a concept to get your head around sometimes, but what happens when you do, is amazing, as any one situation or person, will not affect your whole day, or week, or whether you feel happy.
I have personally spent time getting my head around this, and it isn’t that I don’t ever feel unhappy, I just don’t ‘live there’! I live more in the moment, and spend far more time engaged in what is going on around me, and being present with others, knowing that I alone control whether I think or feel happy, resulting in my overall happiness levels going up 😊
The key is taking responsibility for your own happiness and knowing that it truly comes from within.
50 things to do, to get your happy on!
- Listen to uplifting happy music
- Sing at the top of your voice
- Dance – maybe look at joining a dance class to learn to dance, or for social reasons or both
- Do a silly dance! Great to do with young children, they love it
- Go for a walk outside – even 10 minutes can help
- Exercise – there is so much you can do: cycling, swimming, running, walking, football, cricket, bowls, go to the gym, aerobics, Pilates, yoga, Zumba, karate, climbing… even better is to buddy up with someone, or join a group.
- Get away from your desk – especially do move away from your desk for lunch.
- Have a power nap
- Write down how you feel and then rip it up – very satisfying and literally gets bad thoughts out of your head
- Shout and scream! Somewhere where you’re not going to frighten anyone! I sometimes go to a quiet beauty spot and sit in my car and yes shout!
- Eat or drink something tasty and nutritional – maybe try out a new recipe, and have fun finding the ingredients, an then cooking the dish
- Eat something that smells amazing like an orange, or use essential oils. Up-lifting smells have a very positive affect on us.
- Watch a comedy, or a funny clip
- Think abut something you are proud of achieving or overcoming
- Think about the people who love you, and who you love
- Be nostalgic – research has shown it helps your happiness levels
- Have a hug – touch is unbelievably therapeutic
- Be with your favourite people
- Stroking and caring for pets, has proven benefits for our happiness and well-being
- Do something childish, with or without a child in tow!
- Plan something lovely to do
- Read poetry
- Do something for someone else, or give a compliment, send a nice message or buying someone dear to you their favourite treat – seeing others feel happy helps boost our own happiness
- Smile – just the act of smiling reminds us to be happy
- or pull silly faces – sounds daft, but the dafter the better – it will make you laugh
- Tell some jokes
- Treat yourself – this does not necessarily mean a purchase, it could be watching your favourite tv show or film, or reading – uninterrupted
- Take ‘time out’ to actually do nothing, day dream, cat nap, just be and relish the silence
- Practice mindfulness – the benefits are huge – and a lot of what has been mentioned is a form of mindfulness – though you can sit quietly and become aware of your breathing, notice the chair you are on, things in the room, or if you are outside
- Meditation – is a deeper level of mindfulness, and can really work for you
- Practice Gratitude – this has an amazing affect, if practiced daily. Try having a note book you write down three things you are grateful for, or that make you smile, everyday either before going to sleep or as you wake up.
- Buy some flowers, for yourself or someone else
- Watch something ‘cute’ – why do you think animal posts and videos rank top!
- Ensue you are getting good quality sleep – have a good bedtime wind down routine
- Have a bubble bath
- Go for a bracing walk by the sea, or in the countryside
- Spend time with family and friends
- Look at photos from happy times
- Do something you have been meaning to do, like read a book, sign up for a course, do some drawing, plan your next trip
- Declutter – it could just be your desk, a draw, or wardrobe / room
- Give items you don’t use to charity
- Maybe sell some items and make yourself some money for a project, or something you want
- Ease off on the pressure you could be putting on yourself, or the need to be ‘perfect. Easing off, actually helps us be more productive, and this then increases our happiness levels
- Get into your pyjamas as soon as you get home and put fresh washed bedding on your bed
- Makes the best hot chocolate ever, with real chocolate and marshmallows!
- Have a break from social media
- Ring someone you haven’t spoken to in a while
- Forgive someone – forgive yourself. Practising forgiveness is powerful and is about You feeling better. It is not about condoning bad behaviour, but about understanding it possibly, or not, but letting go anyway. Maybe it’s you who need to make an apology?
- Being in-touch with how you feel and having a good cry can be just the thing you need to do, to release and let go, so do allow it. It is ok to not feel ok, so long as you don’t then ‘live there’
- Practice ‘switching’ your unhappy thoughts to better, more positive ones and ask yourself things like ‘will feeling unhappy help me?’ ‘what’s the worst that could happen – really?’
The attendees shared the value of what they had learnt on the MOTIVATE course.
From more efficient task management and completing a whole task, by concentrating on it, and feeling more accomplished at the end of a day, to setting up a writing club, to aid with accountability and also support with getting a book completed, and ticking things off that were on the vision board / wish list.
Amazing everyone – great to hear of the success and that your are moving forward with your goals.
My newsletter from February 2018 🙂