Got Stress? 5 Ways to Feel Calmer Quickly

5 Way to Feel Calmer Quickly

Feeling panicked and over-worked? Stressed out all the time and struggling to focus? You just described pretty much the majority of the population.

Unfortunately, being stressed and burned-out is rapidly becoming the ‘new normal’ in a world where we have too much to do and not enough time to do it in. The good news is that with the ubiquity of this issue, there is also a large array of options when it comes to treating and solving it. Here are five ways you can feel better almost instantly:

Breathe

One of the best ways to feel calmer is to breathe – deep breathing, or belly breathing – as this calms the mind and body quickly. When under stress, we often will take in short breaths which stops air flow and leads to panting and more stress. Also, cortisol is released which increases anxious feelings. Taking your breath in, using the 4-7-8 method (in slowly for a count of 4, hold for 7, then out slowly for 8) becomes an instant calmer; the more you practice, the more automatic this becomes.

Organize

You can go Marie Kondo on your home, or you can just do a little spring clean. Whichever you choose, you’ll find that having a more organized space can instantly help you to feel better about your current predicament.

It’s been said that when our space is messy or disorganized, it can lead to anxious feelings so clearing out can help you feel more in control and relaxed. If you only have five minutes, then just clear your immediate area. It’s often enough.

Eat

If you’re feeling very anxious, it might well be because you have allowed your blood sugar to drop. Something as simply as eating a meal can help to boost it back up and significantly improve your mood again. Our moods are tied extremely closely to what we eat, due to the link between our blood sugar and the release of cortisol and serotonin (the stress and feel good hormones respectively!).

There are some foods that help to regulate blood sugars and help our brain, such as fish, fruits and vegetables, turkey, and sweet potatoes. Just watch on using food as a coping skill.

Go for Walk

Walking helps to engage the ‘default mode network’ – the network of brain regions that spring into action whenever we’re not doing something highly active. The result is that your mind wanders and you feel calm and creative. Fresh air and scenic views will do the rest. A five minute spin around the block is all it takes. If you can, walk in areas with trees as they give off oxygen, which helps as a relaxer.

Meditate

Just five minutes of meditation can be more than enough to help boost your mood and help you to feel better. The aim of meditation is to calm your brain by focusing on something other than the negative thoughts you’re currently experiencing – even if that ‘something else’ happens to be nothing at all!

Meditation is not to take the thoughts away but it is geared so you don’t have to do anything about them. Just set a timer for five minutes, and make an effort to focus on the ins and outs of your breathing. It’s that easy!

Exercise

Another way that you can overcome stress and anxiety is to exercise. This stimulates the release of serotonin, not to mention being extremely good for distracting yourself!

Again, five minutes might well be enough. Just take a moment – do leg lifts in your chair, dance, push-ups, arm curls with light weights, march in place; these are all great ways to get the blood circulating and feeling better in no time.

When you start to feel stress creeping up on you, use these five methods to relax and feel better quickly; the more you keep doing them, the more mastery and good habits you will create to take back control and be able to handle those stressful days.

 

“It’s not stress that kills us, it’s our reaction to it.” (Hans Selye)

 

 

If you’re ready to get your stress under control, reach out to take back the control. We also work with leaders and teams, and do training on stress management and well-being so call today to get started (before it’s too late).

 

Routines and Discipline Are the Key to Get the Results You Want

Several years ago, a former business client of mine had been very frustrated that her online business was not going the way she had wanted.  When she sought out my services, she reported that she felt confused as to why her business was not going the way she wanted it to; she had some clients but found that her customers were not consistent in their spending and buying habits.  She wanted to gain more revenue and expand her online services.

However, as we assessed her business framework, it became apparent that a big part of the inconsistent results she was finding was due to her lack of self-discipline as a business owner.  While she wanted her business to grow, her activities were lacking, meaning that she did not have her own personal “system” in place that would keep her focused and motivated to build her business.   See if these “mistakes” you are guilty of and the solutions to get you on the right track:

  • No Written Focus – this can be your mission statement or the “why” of your business.  While my client had great ideas for her business, she did not have many of them written down.  Without a mission focus, you won’t know how or where you want your business to go. You will be aiming but not towards anything specific and it will take you twice as long to grow.
  • No Written Plan – without a written plan for your business, you are doomed to fail.  The business plan is your road-map that lays out all parts of your business and how you plan to market your services.
  • No Systems – everything you do is a system; how you gain leads to how you close the sale to how you develop your programs and services.  Knowing the steps you take in each area of your business will save you time and money as you take the same steps with each client.  A system also shows your clients that you are customer-service focused and a valid business entity.
  • No Personal Discipline – having all of the above is effective for your business but if you don’t take it seriously, you will see slow or poor results and become frustrated and disillusioned.  Self-discipline behaviors include:  waking at the same time in the morning; having clear daily task lists and staying focused until they are completed; setting financial goals and balancing the books; setting daily, weekly and monthly goals for the number of clients you want/need to contact and your results; not checking emails or iPhone until the most important tasks are done; taking rest breaks to ensure you are refreshed and recharged to do your best work.
  • No Commitment – like my client, you might have the best intentions and are taking action but your efforts are rather noncommital.  It’s like you are “half-in/half-out”, as some days you are full-on while at others times you feel ambivalent and willing to take the status-quo.  Being committed means that you fully believe in what you do and are willing to do what it takes.

Once my client recognized these negatives, she was willing and able to correct and overcome them.  We refined a new vision and mission for her business and wrote a simple plan that consisted of clear goals and activities that would help her accomplish them.  She recommitted to her business with renewed passion and excitement and mapped out how she was going to spend her days.  There was no ambivalence or questioning where her business was going.  A year later, she is doing well and her life and business are thriving; she developed the discipline habits that made it happen.  You can, too!

Your Weekly Action Plan

Begin this week to assess your commitment and self-discipline for all areas of your life, such as your business, your career, your finances, your eating or exercise habits, and your mindset.  See where you can commit to improve and implement at least one positive step.  Write those down and focus on them daily.  Monitor your progress at the end of each day and reaffirm your commitment.

 I hope you have a successful week – If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, or in developing your action plan, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started. I’d love to help you build the career and business of your dreams!

 

 

Why Being Assertive is Important and How to Develop It

Before you start, it’s important to understand what being assertive means. Psychologists define assertiveness as being able to express yourself effectively and stand up for your point of view while respecting the rights and beliefs of others, while maintaining control of one’s emotions (APA.org). The basis of assertiveness is mutual respect and honesty. Assertive communicators are straightforward and know how to set and maintain healthy boundaries. Their relationships value and promote trust.

If you’re serious about living an authentic life and succeeding in reaching your goals, learning to be assertive is crucial. It’s one of the soft-skills that are needed to lead and survive in the workplace.

Think about how you feel about your life right now: Are you satisfied with your personal and professional situation? Are you conflict avoidant? Do you worry about what other people think of you? Do you tend to over-do and give to others but then get angry that you did?

If you’re not happy with where you are now, the good news is that assertiveness is a habit that can be learned just like any other. With practice and commitment, you can change your mindset and live a life more aligned with your true values and aspirations.

Try these tips for introducing a more assertive approach into your life:

  • Decide what your priorities are and stick to them.
  • Work out your individual boundaries i.e. what you will/will not accept from others or do for others
  • Develop a positive open posture and look people in the eye when you speak to them.
  • Use positive ‘I’ statements about how you’re feeling instead of blaming or finding fault with the other person. Be especially wary of feeling tempted to say words such as: ‘you always’ ‘you never’ ‘you should or you must’
  • Get comfortable with saying ‘no’ to things you don’t want to or can’t do. Keep it simple and non-emotive and don’t feel you need to add an excuse or explanation.
  • Only use ‘sorry’ when it’s appropriate for the situation. You don’t need to apologize for saying no.
  • Offer alternative suggestions to proposals you don’t like.
  • Look for compromises and negotiate on them
  • Be honest and direct about your feelings, thoughts, and intentions.
  • Consider writing a script for a situation that feels awkward. Rehearse being confident.

Try to keep your focus on the impact of the situation and finding a way to work together to find a mutually satisfying solution, which is where negotiation comes in to play; there is always a workable solution. Agreeing to disagree and learning to walk away from a situation will bring you inner peace.

Above all, being assertive means staying in your power, accepting that you have control over how you approach the situation and your feelings about it. Assertiveness won’t get you everything you want all the time, but you will feel in control and deal much better with situations that would have previously been stressful.

Tired of Complaining? Take These 6 Steps to Become a Positive Thinker

Being surrounded by people with a negative attitude isn’t fun. No matter what happens, for some reason, these people are able to see the worst in every situation. It’s almost as if they are challenged to find something to complain about. Negativity is like a disease that can spread like wildfire. Soon, others will start seeing the negative in situations as well.

But, what if the complainer is you?

Being stuck in negative thinking is stressful. Not just mentally, but physically and emotionally, too.

How do you change? How do you stop the negative thinking? Is it even possible?

Many people ask these questions. There is an answer, but it takes work. It means changing how you look at the world around you, but also how you see yourself.

The first thing to understand is this: positive thinking does not mean that every time something bad happens you feel good about it. It means having a solution-oriented perspective. It means that when you are presented with a problem you want to find a solution, not complain because you have a problem. The brain will focus on what it is fed so if it is negative, then negative is all that is seen.

This begs the question, is it possible to change this way of thinking? A resounding ‘Yes!” is the answer. It will take some work; in fact, developing a new habit can take anywhere from 60 days to a year. The hard part is unlearning old behavior, implementing the new, and then practicing for it to ‘stick,’ voila – new way of thinking.

If you’re ready to work a bit on yourself, here are 6 steps you can take to become a positive thinker:

Look for the Positive

Life is challenging. Other people do things that harm us, we get ill, economic downturns can cause us to lose our jobs, and more. Looking for the positive can be difficult. It takes practice and if you don’t make it a part of your everyday way of thinking, you will lose the skill.

When you have a strong negative reaction to something, take a breath, a deep breath. Calm that reaction so that you know your mind is unaffected. The point is to not dwell on the feeling but to focus on what can be done. Look for a solution. Ask what you can do about it and then do it.  When the situation has passed, we can often look back and see how we could have handled ourselves differently – do this now with past situations and look for the positive, look for when you could have asked yourself what the solution might be. This way you can begin to see current challenges differently and practice looking for solutions. This will help you to respond more positively, instead of just reacting to the negative and complaining because you think you have no control.

Maintain a Gratitude Journal

Make journaling an everyday habit, whether it is first thing in the morning or one of the last things you do each evening. Using your smartphone or a pen and notepad, write about all that you are grateful for. Look over your day and recall the experiences you had that you are grateful for, including things you appreciate about yourself.  This simple habit will help you recognize the positive things that are happening your life and help you see the positive in situations much faster.

Say “I Get To”

A small change in how you talk to yourself about your daily life will go a long way toward helping you become a positive thinker. One of these is the simple phrase “I have to do this”. You say it every time you do something you don’t want to do, putting your mind into the negative. For instance, “I have to go to work” can feel overly negative, especially when there is a project you don’t look forward to working on.

Replace the “I have to” with “I get to”. This way of thinking allows you to see and appreciate the positive points of the mundane, daily things you do. “I get to go to work” can be expanded on at any time to include “I get to go to work and finish that project that has been annoying me” or “I get to go to work to finish that project so I can work on something new.” Another example could be “I get to go to the grocery and buy the stuff I need to make my favorite dinner”. As you can see, within a short time this simple change of thinking will help you feel more positively about your day.

No Problems, Only Challenges

Much like changing the word have with get, when you have a problem you can instead say you have a challenge. When you have a problem, it’s usually something that is broken and almost always something that is negative. Your subconscious connection with the word is what is creating the negativity. By using the word challenge you open your mind to see solutions.

Understand That You Have Control

Nothing that happens to us is good or bad, positive or negative until we assign that attitude to it. You have the ability to control how you see the situation and to understand what you can do about it. When you choose to respond, rather than react, with a positive attitude that asks “What can I do now?” “What can be done about this now?” “Does this really apply to my life now?” you are in control of your thoughts and your actions. Neuroscience says that we need 3 positive thoughts to override one negative – doing this action will help you control your thoughts and actions. It puts you in problem-solving mode for how you will deal with any situation.

Positive Self-Talk Only

Have you listened to what you say to yourself each day? If you said the same thing to someone else, would it make them feel better or worse? When you catch yourself saying something negative you need to stop, take a breath, and instead say something positive. Ever say “I’m such an idiot!” under your breath? Stop. Now say “That’s not true. Sometimes I do smart things like XXX” and then list a couple of examples to remind yourself of what you are capable of.  Find a way to laugh at yourself and the situation as it will diminish any negative feelings you have around the situation while releasing dopamine, our happy chemical which gives your more positive feelings.

There you have it. 6 steps to become a positive thinker. Don’t be discouraged, however, if you find this to be more challenging than you expected. You are learning, so that means you will make mistakes. If you need a reminder or ‘catch’ yourself when making a negative statement,  write down (or tick off) every time you have a negative, or have an accountability partner to remind you. You will soon see that it won’t take long before your awareness is raised and you will work on the steps above.  

Be kind to yourself during this process, as change is not easy. Shrug it off and keep at it because you will be happier which, in turn, will spread that positivity around.

Consider These 3 in Your New Month Goal Planning

Well, the last month of the year is officially upon us. Where has the time gone? I don’t know about your but I’m feeling both excited and a bit scared – a new month is exciting to think of all the possibilities available; but it’s also scary to think of the new year ahead – what will it bring?

I hope you have done your planning for the new month to finish 2017 out strong. This is a great time to review your goals and see what you can get crank out in these last 31 days; this can also be a great segue to goal planning for 2018.

Here are 3 considerations to include in your planning to make this month’s goals seem more achievable, and with ease:

  • Money – figure out how much money you need to have this month, as the holidays can add to the budget (Xmas cards/postage, gifts, food, entertainment, etc.).  How many clients do you need to see, do you need to raise your rates, or what other sources can you tap into so you create multiple streams of income? Knowing that finances are secured will allow you to feel less stressed so you can enjoy this time more
  • Time – the holidays seem to add to our daily schedule which, for some, can be over-filled; adding to it can stress some out and detract from enjoying the time. Determine how many hours you meed for each activity in your schedule and plug those into your calendar. Knowing you have allotted time will keep you on track and feeling more in control. Now you won’t miss out on any tasks, or be late = less stress
  • Mindset – the holidays can be a time of having fun and being happy or a time of frustration and irritation; it can also be a time of sadness for many.  Setting a mindset goal will help to determine how you will get through these next few weeks; it will also help you to deal with those frustrating times so they don’t keep you down. Mindset is a choice you get to make so set a goal for the type of choice you make

Being more scheduled will keep you on track to getting more done and feeling more accomplished, all of which will keep you moving forward. Take time to add these three considerations into your planning so you have all bases covered. They also will help as you move into planning out 2018. Here’s to a productive and happy December!

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! https://www.cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com.

For more great tips, isit our other blog at https://allaboutcareersites.com

 

 

 

 

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