Stress less by shifting perception - say YES to what is happening inside you and around you

Stress Less…. Manage things easier….. relate to difficult people and situations better…. Achieve more of the things that matter to you… and not only that, Still feel that you have a Life?

How would the quality of your life be improved if you could learn to do just that?

I would like to share with you one key tool that we introduce in our ‘Less Stress, More Life’ workshops that has helped many to start acting and behaving differently in difficult situations that they have come up against.

Let us start once again by taking a look at what we understand by stress? How do you know that you are stressed? Stress affects our body, our mind and our emotions, but stress is also generated by the way we think and feel. Like a never ending circle, our stress levels increase by the way we feel or think about ourselves and the world around us and when our stress levels increase our emotions, our thoughts and our body are affected in return.

One key aspect of our Less Stress, More Life approach is about gaining a better understanding of that inter connectedness of body, mind and emotions.

  • On the physical level stress may make you feel hot, cold, queezy in the stomach, generate headaches, sleepless night, breathing difficulties or even panic attacks.
  • On the mind level it may affect your focus, memory, creativity, productivity and clarity.
  • On the emotional level it may create anxiety, defensiveness, aggression.

Can stress be a good thing? Some would argue that feeling a little stress from time to time is potentially a good thing. It can help you to get going, to find new solutions, to complete a project. Chronic stress however can have many negative effects on our physical and mental health. In fact it is considered to be responsible for 60 – 90 % of all doctor's visits and for 20% of all absenteeism from the workplace.

What events or situations make you feel stressed?

In its essence STRESS is an emotional response to the way we perceive ourselves, or others in any given situation.

We stress out for 2 main reasons:

1. We doubt (part of our perception) that we have the resources to cope

2. We perceive a situation as dangerous, difficult, or painful.

The emotion related to doubting and perceiving something as difficult or painful is in essence Fear. Fear as a result of uncertainty - the uncertainty of the new, of change, of not knowing what to expect, of not feeling in control; Fear of the Unknown. When you look very closely however you may realize that this fear is usually a result of your perception of reality rather then of reality itself.

Have you ever observed the following? Two people are experiencing the same issues, the same difficulties, but they respond to the situation differently. One perceives the situation to be a problem, the other sees it as an opportunity to grow, to develop, to learn more. We sometimes call these different perceptions the 'seeing the glass half empty or half full' view of life. That in turn indicates that we have a choice.

Therefore the most effective way to better cope with uncertainty is be shifting our perception. Simple No? It is one of the paradoxes in life ...the most simple things are often the most difficult to master. However, the following easy to adopt, yet effective exercise has helped many to succeed:

Shifting perception by Saying YES to what is happening – inside you and around you

To do this, close your eyes for a moment and remember the last time that you felt stressed or anxious about something. Just connect to how that felt. Maybe you can even recognize some of the thoughts you have in connection with that incident.

And now, simply start to say YES in your mind to this situation or person, just say yes; say yes to everything that you feel or think, yes, yes, yes. Say yes to anger, insecurity, say yes to not knowing what to do, say yes to feeling overwhelmed, say yes to any negative or positive feelings and thoughts. Yes, Yes, Yes.

How does that feel? Saying YES in this way has the following positive results:

  • It relaxes our mind, our body and calms our emotions. By ceasing to resist what is going on we allow our nervous system to relax. As our mind is a powerful tool, saying YES is the most direct way to initiate this relaxation.
  • Relaxation increases blood circulation and wellbeing; More focus and clarity is often the reward.
  • When we are relaxed we stop reacting like an emotional ping pong ball to the situations and people around us and create space for new insights and solutions to surface.

Objective assessment of any situation becomes easier - a powerful management tool. By grounding ourselves and by being more centered we enhance our ability to act in line with our own inner wisdom and values. We all have this inner wisdom and we can all connect to it. It just needs some practice. Practicing saying yes to situations and people in this way daily will enhance your ability to see the whole picture and face life's challenges from inner strength and calmness.

With my best wishes for your success!

Christiane Pohl

Author:. Christiane specialises in coaching Executives and their teams with managing change, achieving their objectives and developing their soft skills for lasting success.She is an EMCC accredited Leadership Coach & Mentor with a professional background of over 25 years experience as Senior Manager in internat... Go Deeper | Website

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