Stress is an unavoidable part of life. We all have it, yet we all deal with it differently. We can choose to manage our stress properly, or let it eat away at us until we are curled up in a ball on the living room floor.
Check out our list of 4 realistic ways to combat stress when faced with tension.
1. Say Your Affirmations. Our minds cannot process two conflicting thoughts simultaneously. If you start to feel stressed out, saying an affirmation to yourself will literally change your mindset... even if you don't believe what you're saying. A great affirmation for managing stress is, "I am calm and at peace with my feelings."
2. Develop A Daily Mantra. Some days we wake up knowing it's going to be a hard day. Hello, Mondays! Developing a daily mantra is a great way to remind your mind, "Hey, I got this!" Think of your mantra as your theme for the day. A few favorites include, "Today I focus of the control I have over my thoughts," and "Today, I choose to be happy."
3. Anchor Your Positive Feelings. We use anchoring a lot in hypnosis. They serve as a reminder when old, negative feelings start to creep up. You can set your own anchor easily.
- Take 5 minutes to yourself. Get into a comfortable position, close your eyes and spend some time focusing on your breathing, just enough to relax.
- Once you feel relaxed, think of a time you were really stress free. Perhaps everyone around you was stressed, but you were calm and peaceful. If you can't think of a time, just visualize a situation like this.
- Feel like feelings associated with this situation -- as if you are experiencing it for the first time.
- Take your left hand and squeeze your right wrist. Not too hard, but enough to feel it.
- Open your eyes.
- Repeat this process two more times.
- Once you have set your anchor, when you feel stressed, you will simply squeeze your wrist and it will actually trigger your mind into thinking those previous feelings of peacefulness. The more you use your anchor, the stronger and more effective it becomes.
4. Self-Hypnosis. Self-hypnosis is a wonderful fast and effective way to reduce stress and calm your nerves. It's similar to meditating. The major difference between self-hypnosis and meditation is meditation is used to clear the mind. Self-hypnosis is used to achieve a goal. In self-hypnosis you focus on achieving an outcome (i.e., reduce stress, build confidence, etc.).
- Prepare. The great part of self-hypnosis: It doesn't take long or much prep time. You do need to be prepared but not overly. Set aside 20 minutes of uninterrupted quiet time. To track your time you can set a timer: one for 15 minutes and one for 20 minutes.
- Get Comfortable. A huge factor in the success of self-hypnosis: Your level of relaxation. If you're wearing leather pants or haven't had a meal all day, you won't be comfortable. Put on some sweats and grab some food. You will need to be comfortable in order to relax.
- Get Your Trance On. Don't worry. It's not as weird as it sounds. "In a trance" is not a new thing. You have experienced it before. Probably several times a day like when you're reading, driving your car, etc. So how do you get to this state?
- Sit down, close your eyes and begin to focus on each breath you take.
- Once you are relaxed, you will need to deepen your trance. To do this, start counting backwards from 10. Imagine you are heading deeper and deeper into a relaxed state as each number passes. Feel each part of your body getting heavier and harder to move (start at your head and work your way down, all the way to the tips of your toes).
- Positive Thoughts, Sweetheart! Your goal: Confidence. Think about what you want. Similar to the way you would repeat affirmations: focus on your intention. "I radiate confidence. I am secure with who I am. I am enough". Focus on confidence. IF a negative thought comes into your mind, push it out. Positive, confident thoughts only! Do this until your 15 minute timer goes off.
- BEEP! Once your timer goes off it's a safe bet you've spent adequate time repeating your intention. It's time to emerge. Start counting from 3 to 1. Tell yourself when you get to 1, you will fully emerge, feeling fresh, renewed and confident.
Try these techniques next time stress creeps into your day and watch how drastically you can reduce your stress simply by changing your thoughts.