3 weeks ago · lizzie · 0 comments
Learn How To Relieve Stress In 3 Easy Steps
It’s easy to say “just relax” but not so easy to do when you feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of tasks ahead of you each day. One of the major causes of stress in our lives stems from a desire to meet internal and external expectations that may or may not be reasonable. These expectations are formed through your personal experiences and results in the creation of particular rules you have decided to live by.
Stress Management Begins with the identification of your rules that result in potentially stressful outcomes
A common stress inducing scenario is – running late. Do you ever feel stressed when you’re running late?
This type of stress is caused by an expectation, such as ‘if I happen to run late, there will be a negative consequence’. So you quickly develop a rule that states ‘I must always run on time’ in order to ensure you meet this expectation. Thus, any time you break this rule, your stress levels significantly rise.
Another common stressful scenario is panicking about not having enough time. Do you feel highly stressed when you are working to a deadline?
This stress is caused by an expectation, such as ‘if I don’t achieve my demands on time I will get into trouble’. So you quickly develop a rule that states ‘I must get everything done on time’. in order to meet this expectation. Therefore, any time you break this rule, your stress levels rise.
Stress Management – The problem with these rules
The main problem with the rules we create for ourselves, is that life is not predictable. You can try your best to keep everything running smoothly, but sometimes external circumstances will get in your way.
In the first examples above, you may leave your home right on time, but a train is delayed, an accident on the roads causes a traffic jam, or a road may be closed due to road works. AS a result your perfect timing is thrown into disarray and you begin to feel stressed about a circumstance that is no longer within your control.
In the second example, another priority may come into your life which causes you to de-prioritise your current tasks. If these competing tasks are not managed well, your stress will begin to rise and is likely to impact on your performance too.
If your rules are rigid, you will find yourself stressed on a daily basis, because life is not always predictable. So the answer is not to try to control everything as much as possible so you can adhere to your rules. Rather, the answer is to use your rules as a guiding principle to live by, but to be flexible when things don’t go according to plan. When you live life in this manner, your stress levels reduce dramatically.
What can you do today to reduce your stress: The 3 steps to relieve stress today?
Step 1: Review your stress triggers
Take a look at your level of stress this week. Can you pinpoint a time when you were really stressed?
Step 2: Assess the rules & expectations that reinforced your level of stress
In that moment, have a think about the rules and expectations that were guiding your behaviour. Where you worrying about what someone else might think? Have you placed way too high demands and expectations on yourself?
Step 3: Evaluate where you can make a change to your rules and expectations
Take a look at what you could change that would be more realistic and adaptable to suit your lifestyle and your needs.
Use this example to help you follow these three stress relieving steps
Let’s say you’re a new mum. You bring your baby home and your baby cries a lot more than you expected. She takes a long time to settle and has difficulty breastfeeding. You feel your stress levels rising every time she cries, won’t latch on, or struggles to settle. You notice your expectation is that motherhood should be easier and your baby should settle because you’re doing everything the experts say to do. Your rules include ‘if I do what the books say, my baby should settle’. So on top of everything, you’re feeling like a failure.
Instead of letting your rules get the better of you, you decide to do some research into child temperament. You download the Help For Mums free ebook on ‘How To Become An Empowered Mum’ and you realise, children are different and your baby’s temperament is slow-warm-up, so she needs a more gradual approach with a lot more reassurance and comfort. You realise your rule was inaccurate because your expert parenting book should be used as a guide and tweaked according to your child’s temperament. Your expectations now change too. You don’t expect your baby to settle the first time. You know it will take some adjusting as you both settle into motherhood.
The outcome: YOU FEEL MORE IN CONTROL AND ARE NO LONGER STRESSED
By following these 3 easy steps you will quickly learn how to relieve stress from your daily life, dramatically reduce your stress levels and feel much stronger, happier and relaxed too.