A lot of people who come to see me are suffering with what they think is Anxiety, when in fact it is Stress and overwhelm.
Mindfulness practice can help, even just taking a deep slow breath, and giving yourself a ‘PAUSE’ to then choose and decide how you would like to proceed – even if it is to take some time out from a situation, even for 10 minutes.
Do you need to be saying ‘NO’ to taking on more than you can cope with? If you want to do a great job for someone – which is also taking on their expectations and standards too, coupled with your own – do you really have the time to do a great job for them?
A great way to say ‘No’ is ‘Let me check I have the time, to do a good job for you‘ – then really think about whether you do have the time, or that you even want to do what is being asked of you. you can say ‘No’ but add,’ it’s only No for now, as I’m so busy and can’t take anything else on‘ or is it maybe time that someone took their own responsibility – maybe you could offer to do part of what is being asked – if they also do their bit!
You can question why you may always be saying ‘Yes’
Questions to ask yourself – which can help you with Stress and Anxiety
‘What’s the worst that could happen – really?’ Think about this question – what is the worst really? in some scenarios it could be that someone is unhappy, even angry, that you are not doing what they want. Can you deal with that? probably you can.
‘is how I feel right now helpful to me and the situation?’ then ask yourself ‘what would serve me and the situation better?’ It takes a bit of practice, but if you forget to ask yourself – you will then reflect – which is all a process of learning – do cut yourself some slack – you’re a human, with emotions, and if you are stressed or anxious, your emotions are heightened.
For Anxiety – a great question is ‘where is my evidence that what I am worried about IS going to happen?’ Anxiety is worrying and projecting that worry into the future ‘what if…’ – something that happened in the past, is not evidence for what has not happened yet! If you are able to think instead of the best possible outcome (you can if you can think of the worst!) then your ‘mindset’ changes – into one of possibility – this then means you approach the situation differently, more positively – so the ‘odds’ of things going better than expected are raised.
So, ‘what if…it goes better than expected? that I meet someone interesting, or have fun, or make a valuable connection, or I am able to make someone smile, help them and make their day better?’
YOU CAN 🙂
please contact me if you want to know more
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.
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?’