Have you noticed that we generally stress about future events? The exam next month, the company restructure next year, the “having to buy a house” at some point in life, the presentation that’s due next week… And what happens when all of these events become a fact of the Now? We usually become resourceful, we pull ourselves together and we deal with it! Success is inevitable eventually, even if we have to veer off course temporarily. Why then do we have to spend countless nights awake worrying about what’s to come? How does that help us achieve a better outcome? It doesn’t and we all know it. So let’s do something about it, let’s stop worrying and start living.
Stress management in 3 easy steps:
The key to ending the stress is mastering the ability to live in the Now. You can’t be where you want to be; you can only be where you are!
Below I suggest a step-by-step approach to becoming more present and releasing the stress as a consequence:
Step #1: At the beginning of each day create a goal related to how you would like to feel that day. Let’s say today you would like to feel peaceful.
Step #2: Immediately after you’ve set your goal, spend some time engaging all five senses: smell something that gives you peace; taste something that gives you peace; look at something that gives you peace; listen to something the gives you peace; touch something that gives you peace. You can either do this “for real” or you can imagine smelling, touching, tasting, hearing and seeing something peaceful. The brain doesn’t know the difference between doing something for real and imagining it, and your body will react the same way (i.e. by getting out of Fight / Flight and activating the parasympathetic nervous system which helps us rest, digest and regenerate).
Step #3: Now that you have engaged the five senses, you have altered your state of mind and you can be present. From that space, you can go about your day feeling happy, and you are far more likely to complete your tasks successfully.
Remember: Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.