My six essential stress-busting resources ……
Not all stress is all bad. We need a touch of healthy stress to keep us moving – and sometimes to activate that life-saving flight or fight response.
But modern life doesn’t see us battling wild animals on a daily basis, no matter how hectic the school run might feel. So we certainly don’t want to be in a constant high state of alert that means we’re unable to relax both body and mind.
But how can you stress less? Or at least learn how to ditch the stress over the small stuff?
Much of my own negative stress used to come from not being able to let go of work and feeling the need to control things. I needed structure and certainty – and that led to one of my biggest learnings: the only thing we can be certain of is uncertainty.
A helping hand
I learned first hand that you can’t give from an empty cup. These days, I have lots of stress-busting techniques that work for me, including receiving massage, practicing yoga, walking in nature, dancing, spending quality ‘me’ time with myself and with family and friends.
At The Loft I’m here to give you practical help and support by offering a host of Calm Works services for your body mind wellbeing. Choose what you think will work best for you – perhaps weekly yoga, a monthly massage or meditation, bespoke one to one wellness support, an Inner Calm session, a mini mindfulness retreat or a residential retreat?
I also encourage you to take inspiration from my following my top six resources for beating stress.
1. Discover your patterns: triggers and responses
What sets off your feelings of stress? How do you respond to these triggers on a physical, mental, emotional and energetic level?
Sometimes a huge breakthrough can come when we recognise that some things are beyond our control and the only thing we can ever influence is how our response to situations.
For example, how do you feel when your train home is delayed?
Choice 1. I can get niggled and annoyed, moan about the awful situation with fellow passengers and give the ticket inspector a hard time.
Choice 2. I can accept that the journey will be delayed and make the necessary calls, eg arrange for the kids to stay with friends and cancel social plans, then pick up a cuppa and read my book while waiting.
Which option would you choose? How can we switch our mindset to respond differently about our triggers?
2. Get resourced up!
Go online and search for inspiration. There are oodles of resources on the world wide web from quotes to pictures e.g. pinterest is a good resource but beware you could get very distracted!
There are websites like www.fmtv.com who offer a range of documentaries, films, recipes and exercises to give you ideas. Plus they have free taster periods.
Create your own personal library of informative, inspiring and uplifting books, films, music and recipes! Which lead me onto ….
3. Be-ing inspired
I’ve gathered a selection of inspiring and through provoking books, films, online resources that help me to keep calm. I find I return to the work of Eckhart Tolle, Susan Jeffers and Brene Brown if I’m feeling overwhelmed or tense. ( Yes I still am working on this!)
Eckhart Tolle is perhaps best-known for The Power of Now but Tolle has written several books to explain his work. His website has more details and online teachings.
As he says: “Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally.”
In Embracing Uncertainty by Susan Jeffers she shows us how life can be fulfilling and rewarding not in spite of but because of the uncertainty. This book has been described as providing a safety net in a world of constant change.
If you prefer to listen or watch, check out Brene Brown’s wonderful TED talks on vulnerability, courage, authenticity and shame and read about her research on wholeheartedness. She delivers her research with humour too! They’re all here.
During stressful times, I know I need to sit and just ‘be’, rather than giving into the temptation of running around ‘doing’. Here is a recent blog post I wrote with simple tips to get you started.
When I create space to do this, it always gives me more support. I’ve done Transcendental Meditation (TM) courses and also yogic meditation and what I love about meditation is there are no special pieces of equipment. All you need is yourself.
However, there are great benefits to community and group meditation. How about joining in a monthly session at The Loft?
5. Mindfulness training
First and foremost I took mindfulness training to help myself – but it quickly became apparent that this would be helpful for clients too.
In the early days I used a form of reward chart to track my mindfulness time: nowadays many of the practices are completely embedded in my day to day life. It’s that consistency of commitment that has made the difference.
Coaching has helped me to learn how my thoughts were either supporting me or reinforcing untrue concepts I’d formed about myself from conditioning influences in my life.
Having an expert listen to my answers and then share their insights has been incredibly helpful. It’s brought about some subtle yet profound changes. My go to coach is York-based Jules Wyman who specialises in confidence.
Whatever you choose to do, remember you do have a choice about your mindset and how you spend your time. Keep your basic wellbeing foundations in place when you are feeling off balance and stressed.
Fuel yourself well, hydrate and move your body to get your hormones working. Override your brain by simply smiling which can help to release endorphins aka happy hormones!
For more tips on beating stress, check out my three-point plan here. Need support? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
As always wishing you wellness