If you read my previous blog, 5 Steps to Transform Stress, the theory presented that stress is a wake-up call to something going on that needs addressing is not new. Stress is a natural part of life. Sometimes it is brought on by serious situations, and sometimes we elevate our day-to-day stress with our approach to handling it or avoiding it altogether.
Here are 4 more mindful activities to help mitigate creating stress or adding to the stress you already feel.
Check out your impatience quotient.
Patience is a gift and a virtue. Impatience drives fear, worry, anxiety and misunderstanding. Opportunities for having patience are readily available on a daily basis. You may be waiting on a response from someone. Traffic is slow. Impatience causes snap, automatic responses of judgment. Your reaction is an emotional response; you bypass your wisdom to be present in the situation with knowledge on how to approach it with skill and confidence. I could write a book on aspects of impatience. Being patient is something that I have worked on and found incredibly valuable. Transforming your nature from impatience to patience is doable.
Be cognizant of the story you tell yourself.
Identify the event, situation or conversation causing the stress. Often, it is the meaning we assign to it that elevates the stress. Stuff happens. Conversations don’t go as we plan. Feedback is not what we had hoped for or were expecting. What is your story that perpetuates negative feelings? What would a more positive approach provide? Examining the stories we create slows down the automatic responses and gives us an opportunity to check out the truth of the story, which frees up significant mental energy for more creative responses, strategies, and realities. After all, the stories we make up have an element of judgment in them, and they come from our perceptions of self and others. Step back, check out those views and entertain a more efficient response. This simple step makes way for entertaining other possibilities, perspectives, and ideas.
Let go of being a perfectionist.
Believe me; this is another one in which I have direct experience. In fact, I could say I am a recovering perfectionist. Now, this doesn’t mean that the value of doing your very best is questionable. There is positive energy behind the value. So, here’s the thing; notice if you are never satisfied. Do you set the bar too high, so that you can never reach it; or if you do, then even that is not good enough? It is important to give your best and recognize that you have done so, and move on to the next thing. The constant second guessing and questioning adds to the stress.
Shift your perspective on time management.
Try out the mantra, “There is enough time for everything I need or want to do.” I have used this with several clients, and they tried it and found it helpful. It is about prioritizing what has to get done, needs to get done and what you want to get done. It does require some time management and possibly tools that help in organizing and managing projects. When you have a positive outlook on knowing you can do what needs to get done, a tremendous amount of energy is freed up to do those tasks you want to complete. An interesting thing about this tip is that it incorporates the other three suggestions. Impatience, negativity, perfectionist expectations each impact how effectively you manage your time.
This article was published in Home Care For You Magazine