5 Tips for Stress ManagementMar 31, 2023
I had a big meeting the other day. My brain was telling me, "This is going to be so stressful. It’s going to be so hard. This will never work out."
But hey? I’m a stress management coach, I got this.
What did I do?
I exercised gratitude when my dog woke me up at 5 AM barking. I thought, "This is great, extra time get a few things done before work."
2. I used the extra time to sit on the couch with my dog and my coffee, do a thought download, a short meditation and a little breath work.
Still stressed out!
So what did I do? 30 minutes on the Peloton with Dennis Morton and classic rock.
But what went wrong? Why didn't I just feel better after the thought download? Meditation? Breathwork!!!??
Nothing went wrong.
All stress does not responds to all things. We need options... we need tools ...we need choices.
Here are my Top (5) Stress management tools:
1. Do a thought download. This is a brain dump of all your thoughts, put on on paper. Write and write until you can't write anymore. When you are done, pick ONE thought and do a model. Not sure what a model is? Watch this video about "the model" and see for yourself. The thought model I use in my coaching practice is a great way to separate fact from fiction. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqd-8yNmPQc&t=13s
2. Get some exercise. And by some, I mean 5 minutes. 2 minutes. You don't need to get your gym bag, drive to the gym, talk to the 12-year-old at the desk and buy a shake on the way out. Try a 5 minute walk, one down dog in the living room, a wall sit while your kids fight. Anything to get you IN your body and OUT of your head.
3. Breathwork. I am a big fan of 4 - 7 - 8. Inhale for four counts, hold for seven, exhale for eight. Do 5 rounds. See, you feel better already. Don't like holding your breath? Do five deep breaths. Mindfully. Focus on the diaphragm.
4. Pet your dog, or your a cat. (Not sure if this works for hamsters and gerbils but hey, give it a try and let me know). And PAY ATTENTION to what you are doing. Notice the texture of the fur, the sound your pet makes, how he or she looks. Again, out of your head and into an experience. P ets know how to receive and we feel better after giving. Win-Win.
5. HUGS!!!!. No, not a hug from gross uncle George who smells like cigarettes and Jameson’s. (What?? You don't have a relative who smells like cigarettes? You haven't lived). A hug from someone you love and who loves you back. Especially a hug from someone who won’t ask you why you need hug. Kids are great for these. As are best friends. Best friend lives in Hong Kong? Call her. Say, "I was thinking about a hug. Miss you." Connection with other people instantly brings a negative emotion into perspective.
Finally, here's the most important part. Before you respond to the stress...ALLOW. That's right, allow. There’s a difference between dealing with stress, mind-FULLY and mind-lessly. Allowing the feeling...stress, anxiety, frustration, anger....will give your body the space it needs to process the negative emotion. You get to feel it, nothing has gone wrong, and you WILL NOT DIE from allowing a feeling. Everyone gets stressed. It’s a normal part of our biology. BUT, when you stuff it, EVEN by using mindful stress reduction techniques, guess what? The feelings come back.
Not sure how to allow a feeling? Try this video on from my YouTube channel.
Need more help allowing feelings and developing methods to respond to stress mindfully?
Let' talk. Book a free stress-assessment call. I guarantee you will leave with at least one actionable item.
Want to know more about what I do? Try my new course,
"Stress and Overwhelm: Causes, Cures and Coping."
In it you will find neuroscience, practices and my signature sense of humor. All at your fingertips in the Kajabi app.
I also offer 1:1 coaching for physical therapists and other people in health care who want to love their life, jobs and career again. If you’ve been thinking, “All I need is a new job, new career, new something and I’ll feel better”… I can help you feel better right now, right HERE.
Click the link to book a free 45 minute stress-assessment call and get started on your unique plan.
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