Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Stress management ~ chapter 13

Stress Management

 

Stress is not real it is perceived.

            This is life and stress is going to happen.  There will never be a stress free time in your life, so what does that mean?  Does it mean I will never be happy?  Does it mean I will never get it?  What does that mean?

            Simply put it means you must learn to exist within stress.  Stress is not actually required in life but like our ego, always exists in life.  It is our mind's perception that determines the degree of existence or what control it will have in our lives.

            You are what you perceive.  You create your reality.  Your reality is your perception. Thus you create the perception of your stress and how you deal with it.

            We all have stress and therefore we all experience it.  So we deal with it or we don't. What is right?  What is wrong? How do I know I am doing enough or too much?   How do I know I am not going to loose it one day?  How do I know I can handle it all?  What do I do when it feels like too much?  What happens when it won't go away?  What happens when it all goes wrong?  What do I do?

            All stress is relative.  That means you cannot judge any one's level of stress but your own.  You may think, "Look at that person, they are handling their life" or "I don't know what they are so stressed about, my life is way worse then theirs."   All stress is handled to the best of a person's ability and everyone handles what is handed to them at the time they are in.

           

As you look at your daily life and remove the judgment and comparison to others you will lessen your stress level immediately.  Wondering what others will think causes a huge majority of stress.  By trying to live up to the imagined expectations of others you cause yourself a constant sense of not being good enough or able to handle what is on your plate at the time.

 

You must be able to give yourself the ability to deal with one thing at a time. 

By adding in the expectations of others

you automatically double or triple your stress level.

 

For example,

            -You are a student studying for an exam.  Studying itself is stressful, now add in the expectations of your parents and your stress level goes up.

            -You are a teacher making your lesson plans while dealing with a few problem students, add in the judgments of the parents and your stress level goes up, then add in the expectation of the school staff or principle and your stress goes even higher!

            - You are a sales agent having a low sales month – that alone is stressful enough; now add in the judgment or even the sight of another sales person having a great month!

            You can see how it is really easy to pile a lot of extra stress factors on yourself.  The first step in managing stress is the ability to work on what is before you and letting go of the things you cannot control at that time.  This is a choice, your choice.  Lots of people love drama, even though they say they don't, so the more stress they can tell others they have, the more justified in being stressed out they feel.

            We all know at least one of these people and to some degree we all have this quality.  What does this look like in daily life?

 

            When you are at work you are at work.  Focus only on your task at hand.

 

            Often at work thoughts run wild about what to do when you get home, cook for supper, the budget, what to buy, the significant other, the failures, the list can go on and on.  All of these are stressors and things you have no control of at this time.

            The hardest part is convincing yourself that thinking of these things does not change them.  Telling yourself you will have time do deal with this later will lessen the stress. (This same thing goes when communicating with others.)

            To give yourself permission to step back or away from a stressful situation gives you permission not to make the situation at hand more stressful. 

            So often we add so much on we do not begin at all.  We think we need to conquer the world rather than just vacuum, get a hug, get dressed or simply smile and say "I love you" to your reflection in the mirror.

            Take the time and take a step back.  When you are at work and a though comes into your head and yells like a two year old "Deal with me now!"  Take a moment and jot it down and answer your head "I hear you.  I will speak with you about this later."

            Most of us will take that situation and blow it out of proportion in our mind while adding so much baggage and eventually leading to hopelessness and in some cases depression.  Teach yourself to focus only on the situation at hand.

 

For example – The situation is "I have a project due."

Blowing it out of proportion, adding baggage and feeling hopeless

"I have not even started.  My ideas suck!  I always fail! (Then add in) I will be late getting it in.  I will fail or get fired.  I am not good enough. I can't even you're your house clean.  I suck as a parent too.  There is just too much to do.  By the way, taxes are due and I forgot to pay the phone bill.  Oh ya, that visa bill, oh I can't afford that!" 

You can relate on how these thoughts can escalate and soon you feel really down.

Try not turning it into anything so you can stay on point.

"Yes, I do."

 

"We fought again last night."

Blowing it out of proportion, adding baggage -> hopelessness

"You cannot pick them"  "He/she is going to leave you!"  "You better fix this now."

"I didn't do anything wrong!  It is all his/her fault."  I don't need anyone.  I will end up alone for the rest of my life.  I deserve to be alone.  I can't do anything right.  I am not worthy of him/her anyway.  I want to be alone.

Not turning it into anything

"Yes, we did."

 

We get ourselves wound up and feel hurt very quickly

this is not wrong if you do. 

Take the time to know you are always doing your best. 

You control what you think and what you perceive.

 If what you are choosing to do is not working for you then find another thing that does. 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning to stay focused on the situation and become solution oriented

1) Take a step back and look objectively at a stressful situation (only one) in your life.

Write it down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) Look again at the situation you wrote down.  What baggage are you adding to make this situation look bigger than it is?

 Example – I hate my job.  I can't get a new job without school. I don't have enough money to go to school.  I am too dumb to go to school.

Note how you are totally off topic and heading for hopelessness rather than just knowing you can hate your job and there is a solution if you want one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Focusing on the stressful situation without the baggage to allow you to see the actual SINGLE situation.  Write down thoughts that enable you to feel more content within the situation even if there is no solution at this time.

Example: I thought I needed to quit my job because I hated it.  I can see I was adding in the fact I really don't like the way my coworkers act, and that I really don't hate my job at all.   Therefore, I do like my job; I just have to find another way to deal with my co-worker.

 

 

 

            By looking at the exercises you have just written, you can see how are you handling yourself in life.  You can also see what thoughts you may be using against yourself to prove to yourself you life is not good, your job sucks, you are broke or your relationship is bad when in fact once you remove and separate the single situations out nothing is really that bad.

            Often by looking at why we are finding one thing so stressful, we find it is not what we thought it was at all and learn we actually like the majority of our daily lives.

 

2) Be aware of your daily thoughts.  There are two thoughts that often create daily stress and/or exasperate a stressful situation.

 

                               The thought of -

Not enough time

Living up to other people

(Needs, expectations, judgments, etc.)

 

            These two thoughts exasperate the stress we feel on a daily basis.  You may wish to argue this is not true! There is more to it isn't there? 

 

This exercise is not to rid yourself of stress but to teach yourself how NOT to exasperate your stress level.

a) Jot down all the stress you feel regularly.  Leave room to write beside each one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b) Go back reread those statements and write beside each one whether they are triggered or exasperated (made worse) by time pressure or people pressure. 

 

Remember not to worsen your stress by feeling pressured by the

expectations of others or the pressure of time.

 

 

c) Write a more personally supportive statement to give your mind another thought to ponder.

 

For Example:

"I must hurry, I am going to be late!"

"I have to get this done!"                                -I have enough time

"I never have enough time!"  

 

 

"I have to lose weight"          

"My house needs cleaning"                            -I live my life for me.

"I look like crap"

 

 

I am running out of time

             Your thought could be

 

                              ____________________________________________________.

 

I am not good enough          

            Your thought could be 

                                                                                                                                                                                    __________________________________________________.              

 

 

The Idea of this exercise is to teach yourself how not to make your stress worse or begin to blame others for the stress you are experiencing.  By doing this, you will find you soon will choose to change your mind rather than increase your stress.  You will find you are able to allow yourself to focus within and choose not to listen to the pressures given by others.  This is an ongoing life process.  You will not wake up one day and never have any stress again or never again being effected by others opinions, you will just learn to deal with it in different ways more efficient and conducive to your life.

 

 Do not put these exercises away and never read them again.  Take the time to go back, look at and redo the exercises when your life shifts and changes.  Find your way through life, it is your life. 

 

Although the exercises seem repetitive, they aid your mind to break things down and see you are capable and have more than enough time, as time is only a perception as well.

 

3) Journal your thoughts, ideas and stress, just journal.

            If you have trouble sleeping then journal before you go to sleep.  By writing down what needs to be done tomorrow it allows your brain to let go of those things until morning.  Journaling is not a record of the day's events; this journal is for all the garbage and stressors you are carrying.  Journals are not perfect, nor are they to be reread.  Journals are garbage cans for all the things keeping us stressed and unfocused.  Journals are to keep our minds seeing "Yes, I am capable and it will be what it is meant to be."

Example:

            I totally screwed up at work today!  I am so behind I don't know what I am going to do!  Johnny is in trouble at school and I could just kill him for talking to me the way he has been!  I am so angry with Ted; he can be such a jerk!  I am so frustrated I could just cry!  I wish I could just run away!

            Okay, what is my worst-case scenario at work?  They won't fire me.  My screw up is totally fixable, I just feel stupid.  I am worrying what others will think.  I do though!  That is okay.  I don't like them either anyway!  Okay, settle down.  You make me laugh! 

            Johnny, oh boy kid.  I remember being like that.  I am just frustrated, some days I feel like I am letting him down.  What would make me feel better?  I need to talk to his teacher more information will help.  I can do that next week.  I need to punish him as well.  I feel comfortable with taking his play station away tomorrow as we have other things we need to do anyway.  Ted will be okay with that and Johnny won't be in my hair.

            Ted….oh Ted!  I think I need to get laid!  He is being such a jerk though all I want to do is punish him.  I feel like crap when we are like this.  I miss him.  I need to be held.  I need to hold him.  What can I do?  I can sure as hell be nicer.  I have been quite the meanie.  I wish he would just get it.  Okay settle down.  You have no right to neither blame him nor be his mom.  He is doing what he needs to do.  True.  What do you want?  I want to have sex.  Okay then hop to it.  What if he turns me down?  Don't be defensive; do not attach yourself to the outcome of the night.  Oh, here he comes, I'll write more in the morning.  Good night.  I love you and thank you for my life.  I really do love it.

 

            Daily journaling is a proven stress reducer. If you are unable to sleep then journal before bed so you can empty your head and not worry you will forget something.  This will allow you to accept sleep.  Once you are less stressed you can journal in the morning.  You may journal your priority/to do list as well as doing your venting or focusing on how great life is.  Choose an average sized journal, not a notebook.  Write only three pages, front, back and front no more even though some days may be less.  We tend to not to journal when we need it the most.  No, you may not get to journal everyday but make it part of your workday routine and it will be easier and take weekends off if it works better for you.

 

Time in balance = Stress Management

 

You cause a lot of extra stress in your life.

You can choose to change this particular fact or you can choose not to.

 

            We run all day and seem to get nothing done thus increasing our stress.  We don't feel we spend enough time with the kids or even with ourselves!  It is time for some "time management".

            Contrary to popular belief, there is enough time to get things done.  Once you realize what you want your priorities to be, things can be viewed from a different perspective. 

            If life seems overwhelming, then list one big task to complete each day, rather than many.  Remember to keep your expectations of yourself realistic.  You are a success not a failure spinning out of control.

            Your schedule can include, one family night a week, one date night a month, one hour of tidy the house or laundry time a day, meal prep, and half an hour of down time, and exercise time each day.

            You work full time, your kids have lots of activities, and the housework piles up.  There are solutions to every problem.  You just need to focus on what you want your priorities to be.  Remember your priorities, not what someone else tells you to have as priorities.

            The biggest waster of time is feeling unorganized.  Keep only one daybook for all of your activities.  You may also choose to put a calendar on the fridge or wall for your kids and partner for regular activities that happen weekly.

            Time quickly passes us by.  It may be time for a lifestyle change or a new way of thinking to help you understand that you do have a wonderful and privileged life.  There is time for everything, even ourselves.

            For those single parents life can be a whirlwind.  Children can do their own room cleaning, and can learn to do the dishes and help their parent.  Single parents tend to have trouble finding time for them.  Half an hour with a good book at bedtime or writing in journal after the kids are in bed is great ideas.  You may not have any babysitters to get away so teach your children that you need alone time too.  Teach them to respect a closed door on the bathroom while you are in the shower or on the computer for a half hour.  Moms and Dad's need 'time outs' too.

            Everyone's life is different.  No one schedule will work for all people.  You must look at what you want, not what someone else wants for you.  You must also be realistic about how much stress you wish to have in your life.  Sure it may be nice to have the kids in daily activities, but are you okay with the stress it may cause.  An unhappy parent is not always worth the constant running around.

            Just be really honest with yourself, your needs and capabilities, along with your priorities.

 

 

 

My father gave this thought to me.

           

            Take a large jar and fill it with stones about 2 inches in diameter.  The jar now seems full.  Take some smaller pebbles and add them to your jar, shake the jar and watch as they find their place in-between the stones and the jar is still not over flowing.  Now add sand, shaking the jar as you do.  The sand will fill up the small spaces and now your jar will be full and still not over flowing.

            See the large stones as the things that are really important to you, your physical and mental health, your relationship and your children.

            See the pebbles as the other things you care for in your life such as your work, your home, your car, your pets, your hobbies or sports and friends.

            See the sand as all the small stuff that entails daily living such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, and acquaintances. 

            If you put the sand and pebbles into the jar first there is no room for rocks.  The same goes for life so be careful not to fill your life with sand or pebbles. 

            Rocks create memories, laughter and contentment.  Pebbles we need to exist, but do not bring as much joy as our rocks do.  Sand we must do to exist but it will always get done if we allow it to.

            Set priorities bring contentment to life.  The rest is just sand. Joe Martin 10/12/33-14/06/94

 

 

Setting up a time management schedule.

1)    List all of the things you would like to do each day.  Work, workout, and tidy your homes, time with the kids, time for yourself and list them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2)    List all the things that you would like to do each week such as laundry, a night out, meetings or activities.

 

 

 

 

 

3)    List all of the things that you'd like to do monthly, maybe a date night with your spouse, a road trip or a beauty salon appointment.

 

 

 

 

 

4)    Take the time to look at your lists and cross out ones you wish you did not have in your life.  Committees you volunteered for, or shopping daily.  Make notes of your thoughts as to why you wish to eliminate the activity from your list. 

Saying no to someone can be hard, or deciding to stop one of your child's activities may cause guilt. In time you will see that your choices will work out for the best, less stressed you.

 

5) List the activities you wish to cut out and realistically when (in time) you can achieve this.

 

           

 

 

 

 

            Transfer all of the things that you listed onto a schedule, not including those you wish to eliminate.  List your daily ones first, then weekly, then monthly.  You may need to organize and reorganize. 

            You may need to try out a schedule and then tweak it a bit or totally change it to make it livable and comfortable.  A schedule is only to show you that you are capable of getting all things done that you wish to. 

           

Remember that some days a schedule just will not work, as life is just that way.  So let's look at breaking down daily stress.  Remember it is your perception of your stress that can make it bigger than it really is.  

 

Daily Stress Management

If your goal is each day to be "caught up" you will always fail.  There will be something for you to do each moment of each day for the rest of your days.  Knowing this you must really look at your priorities.  The word priorities is thrown about loosely and made to be so large and overpowering.  Simplify your perception of the word priorities.  Take the time to analyze what your priorities in life are at this time in your life and in each day.  Jot them down.  You may wish to do this exercise for one month daily or a similar exercise once in awhile to check in with yourself.   If you want to wash your windows do the windows, don't decide you have to do the walls, the windows, and the basement all at once, most of us then never begin at all because it looks to big of a task.

 

When I wake up my priorities are

 

 

 

At work today my priorities are

 

 

 

After work today my priorities are

 

 

 

Tonight my priorities are

 

Take the time to write things down.

You will see you are capable and your life is not out of control.

 

            Post your time management schedule where you can see as well as a knowing of what things you need to let go of or change, look at what you can do daily to continue managing stress.

            You wake up in the morning and immediately there is pressure.  Look at this pressure and see what is a priority for today.  Be realistic.  It is important not to live your life for others while keeping your expectations on yourself reasonable and achievable.

            There is an assumption that stress causes us to achieve higher, strive to achieve more, however I have never personally seen an example of someone who runs off stress and is content with their life.

1) List your priorities to visually see you are not overwhelmed.

It can look like this or a simple point form.

Some of us need day-timers in order to keep our stress levels lower.  Once we write things down our mind is able to focus on other tasks at hand.  There is nothing wrong with this.  There is no right or wrong in life.  There is what works for you and only you know what that looks like and you may not require this long list or even a schedule.

Example of a long form schedule

6:30 wake up and journal

7:00 shower and get ready

8:00 kids and breakfast

8:30 off to work, school

9:00 clean, work, and work out, what ever this looks like in your world

12:00 lunch (and do take a break!)

1:00 what does your afternoon look like?

3:30 pick up kids

5:30 make / eat supper (in whatever that looks like during activities)- visit with kids

6:30 chill time – kids homework, tidy up your home,

7:30 kids get ready for bed (even though bed may not be for awhile) you exercise

8:30 shower if needed, visit with kids for a bit

9:00 fold some laundry, switch around loads, time with your best friend, a book or TV

10:00 get ready for bed, read for a bit, and spend some time cuddling before sleep

Another secret to stress management is not to use a schedule as a tool to tell yourself you are failing or to use it to overload yourself.  

 

1a) List the specific extras you need to do today.  The purpose of the list is to show your brain you have enough time to complete the tasks at hand.  Do not attach yourself to the outcome and decide you can force all of the things on your list to occur.  Tomorrow always comes.

For example

Vacuum

One load of laundry/another one started

Work out for an hour

Complete project

Groceries

           

           

 

 

 

Remember life changes all of the time.  Do not just do this exercise once and decide you are done.  Make this apart of your life.  Allow it to change and shift.  These are solutions only if you make them yours and allow them to be a solution to lessen your stress.

            At first you may make a long list of time management and things to do.  However, if you are still allowing yourself to change and grow, remaking your schedule on a regular basis, and allowing it to change, you will see how ingrained stress management behavior becomes.  This does not mean stress won't happen, it means you will know how to handle it for you better.

 

           

The idea is not to be happy all the time but to

Be content with your daily life. 

Be able to accept your life situations.

Be thankful for your existence.

Dealing with High Stress Situations

The high stress job, being a parent, trying to have a good relationship, having a loved one die, dealing with death and sickness of any form or working with our own health issues.

 

How do you deal with these while trying to live daily life while dealing with high stress?

 

-Give yourself respect and understanding you deserve and do not expect anyone else to fix you (keep your close friends by for good ears and hugs though) Remember feeling weak and beaten does not go on forever and you may feel weak however this feeling will pass.  Have faith in yourself and what you believe in.

 

-Journal how you feel. Writing about the situation for the time when it is peaking aids your mind to feel heard and therefore aids the particular situation to pass quicker plus enable you to shut your thoughts off and sleep at night.

 

-Do not force your decompressing and trust your own process remembering you must feel it first to decompress and you do not need to vent or blame anyone else for the way you are feeling.   Do not decide when you will be fine or what your life will look like after.  As you move through stressful situations extra stress is caused when you think of what may happen when you deal with the situation (divorce, selling a home, a baby, death of a loved one and now living without them)

 

-Be honest with yourself and those you love.  "I am feeling stressed."  Then follow through by telling those around you what you need, without making your emotions their problem.  For example "I need sometime alone before we sit down for dinner.  I will be out to help make dinner shortly."  For children "Mom needs some down time.  I cannot visit with you right at this moment, but I look forward to hearing all about your day during supper (or when I tuck you in)

 

            You must be honest about what you need rather than deciding other people are making your stress level worse.  The problem is sometimes you cannot think fast enough.  This is when the statements "I need a moment to think" or "Not at this time" stated in a firm, calm and clear voice come in very handy.

Life is messy.

Life is not a TV show and there is not version of perfect.

There is only life itself.

 

Therefore,

 

I decide if I can exist in the life I am in.

If I decide I do not like my life and the stress it causes,

Then I must decide what I must do.

I do not get to blame others for my stress.

Keep this in mind at all times.

 

1) List some high stress situations in your life then read #2.  (Remember NOT to add baggage to the situation.  Deal with only ONE situation at a time)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you?

a) Acting with your ego and allowing the life situations to seem worse by blaming and playing a victim

b) Being Solution oriented to find the gift and lesson within

c) Choosing affirmative or accepting thoughts

 

Using the examples before, evolve them.

I have a project due.

Acting with Ego

 "I have not even started.  My ideas suck!  I always fail! (Then add in) I will be late getting it in.  I will fail or get fired.  I am not good enough."

Being Solution Oriented

I have enough time. I will do my

Choosing Affirmative thought

I am doing my best.  I accept my ability to complete this job.

 

"We fought again last night."

Acting with Ego

"You cannot pick them"  "He/she is going to leave you!"  "You better fix this now."

"I didn't do anything wrong!  It is all his/her fault."

Being Solution Oriented

"I have to do nothing right now.  I do not know what to say right now and I am feeling hurt and stupid.  I will say nothing until I know what my responsibility is.

Choosing Affirmative thought

This is going to be okay

 

"I am out of money"

Acting with Ego – "What am I going to do?  How could I have been so stupid?  I                                       am such a looser!  It is everyone else's fault!  There is no way                                              out of this!  I deserver everything I bought though and I deserve                                          more!"

           

Being Solution oriented – "There is a way out.  There is a solution.  I am capable                           and I am able to ask for help.  I am an adult and I am able to deal                                                 with this and not blame everyone or everything else.  I will call                                            my bank tomorrow and begin a solution process. "

 

Choosing Affirmative Thought- " I am enough I have enough.  What I own or owe does     not make me who I am.  This is not the end of me or of my life.

 

 

2) Look at the list and see how you are dealing with them now (a, b or c) Make a note beside each as to if you are arguing, being solution oriented, or choosing affirmative thought.  Be honest.

 

 

 

 

3) Go back and ponder each situation and find one solution/supportive thought conversation for each stressful situation.

Example: "I hate my job." 

            Affirmative thought back to you  "Yes, I do and I am choosing to do it right now as it serves the perfect purpose.  I am okay with the money I make." 

            Being solution oriented – "I do not wish to go to school right now.  I have a way out if I want one, but right now I don't.  I could go work somewhere else, but I like my job all in all, I just had too much to do today."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We can choose to argue, we can choose to blame, we can choose to take a step back and find solutions.  You choose whether your life is a nice place to be or pure hell on a daily basis.  No matter which way you look at it, it is you who will choose how much stress you have, what you do about it and how you think about it.

 

Life situations are going to happen.  You will change jobs, relationships will end, you will have health hurdles, and people will die, as things will always change, that is life.  There will always be some degree of stress however all stress is life and therefore always comes to an end and does not need to be blown out of proportion or have the rest your life evolve around it. 

 

The first exercise (not blowing situations out of proportion etc) showed you how to focus on one situation at a time rather than inundate your brain with demands.  The second showed you how to manage time to show your brain you do have enough time to live and enjoy your life.  The third showed you how to refocus your conversation so you do not spend your time blaming yourself (act with ego, be solution oriented, choose affirmative thought.)  The next is to show you how to stop arguing with yourself, as often this happens when learning life is wonderful your ego decides it is once again time to prove you wrong.  It is the evolution of the third exercise.

 

In your thoughts you can choose to

            -Argue with your ego (or a person); find a solution while not letting the ego convince you there is not one.  This entails NOT arguing with yourself or anyone else and choose not to be swayed stressed or bullied by your ego.  This is a peaceful feeling on contentment in the brain while you know the solution will show itself as you continue doing your best and taking responsibility.  This is not denial or ignorance of life.

 

Once you are good at allow your thoughts to relax, you will not have lengthy conversation of arguing with yourself or painful solution finding.  You will allow your brain not to think and know things will work out.  You will wake up knowing you will do your best and things will get done.  You will be able to focus on one task at a time and not already be living in the next moment of to do's or stuck in the situations which occurred moments, days or even years ago.

           

This is a process and the reason these exercises are written the way they are.  Get to know how you think.  Get to know how you speak to yourself.  Get to know how your really see your life and then learn to accept your life, your thoughts and yourself – just the way you are, which is – perfect in each and every single moment. 

 

There are no right and wrong choices here, they are your choices and you must be content with the one's you make.  If you enjoy stressful thinking and feeling life is always giving you more than you can handle but not others, that is fine.  Don't complain about your choices, as they are right for you.

           

If you choose to keep a running dialogue in your head and form different thought processes, then do so, but do not complain or act like it is so much work you have brought upon yourself and it is someone else's fault.

           

If you choose to not engage your ego and choose to still think life sucks that is also fine.  If you choose not to engage your ego and choose to be content that is fine too.

           

Simply accept the choices you make as right for you at this time.  Only you know what is working for you and what you are willing to accept or shift. 

           

If you ask for knowledge and it is given you do not blame the other for giving knowledge you asked for or assume what you are doing is wrong.  We do not need to change that we are, we only choose to shift our perceptions of our world and ourselves. 

 

Change is a word many use however we never notice our changes as our core being always stays the same.

           

As you ask for knowledge and prayers to be answered they will be. No one, especially your god or universe, is saying you are a failure or wrong, that is the voice of your ego trying to keep you from being content in your world.

 

 

Read over this next section and see if any of these examples ring true and then see if it is possible to shift your thought perception more regularly.

 

"Well my co workers cause my stress! " 

Argue - "No they don't."  "Well you try working with them!" 

Being solution oriented - Respect and don't try to fix your coworkers/friends/partners or try to    make them get something you think they should.  Unsolicited advice is never appreciated. This is your ego. 

Choose Affirmative Thought – I love my job and I am good at it.  My coworkers are human too.  I            choose not to be their friend.  Work is work not a place to develop or deepen friendships.

           

"My job sucks, but I need the money!" 

Argue - Why don't you change jobs?  "I just can't right now!"

Being Solution oriented - Be grateful for the job, the money, and finding seeing a current                solution knowing things always change.

Choosing Affirmative Thought- I love the fact I am earning a pay cheque.  I am allowed to have a bad day.

 

To not engage the ego, do not return a thought rather think one of your affirmative thoughts.  Know you are okay.

 

"I hate my marriage"

Argue -Get out then! 

Be Solution oriented - Chances are you don't really hate your marriage so do not think it let alone say it.  Chances are it is something else so be honest and find it.

Choose Affirmative Thought- I am allowed to be frustrated and angry.  I am not allowed to blame anyone for my feelings.

 

            Try actually ignoring your ego when it throws a fit like a two year old.

 

 

 

"My job is so stressful"

Being Solution Oriented - We all have stressful days and some worse than others.  Know tomorrow always comes.

Choose Affirmative Thought- I love my job and I am good at my job.  I am capable of feeling, accepting and letting my stress pass.

 

"All I do I fail at I do or try." 

Choosing Affirmative thought -The truth is I have always done the best I could do.  If I had known then what I know now, I would have done things differently. 

            Give credit where credit is due.  Look at how well you do every day, look at all the successes you have every     moment in everyday. 

            Be grateful.  When we are grateful to what we believe in for every second in our lives our thoughts become filled with "thank you" as we realize all the gifts there are in each minute just for us.

            True stress reliving Thought- thank you

 

Back to the exercise

1) Ponder your situations at hand and write one down. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allow yourself to think the way you need to in order to free your thoughts, yourself and shift your situation along with your perception of it.

a) Note how you are currently thinking and handling the situation right now.

 

 

 

 

 

b) Find the solution

 

 

 

 

 

 

c) Take a moment to silence your brain and see how it feels not to think every moment, now add your inner knowing and faith by saying "thank you" with in your thoughts, to what you believe in.

 

 

Working with your own reality perception by managing your thoughts, you can lessen your stress level.  By staying on point and focusing on ONE situation at a time rather than flooding your mind all of the time with stress, you will find your enjoyment of life rises, you will become more content and you will be solution oriented and no longer a victim of your own life or situation.

 

FOCUS- on one situation at a time

Be aware of your thoughts

Know you have enough time

Journal – to gain focus or at night to let things go

Speak to yourself with respect

Change your mind – Change your reality

 

Blind faith is very important in life.  This does not mean you need to go to church or do not have a spiritual sense already.  We are all born knowing there is something out and it does not need to be defined.  If you cannot bring yourself to believe in something outside of yourself then-

 

Choose to believe everything is what it is and it will be what it is meant to be.

It will all work out.

            This is your choice.  You choose your thoughts.  You choose how you see yourself and your life.  You choose to accept responsibility for your feelings, thoughts and how you react with in them.  You choose.  Only you.

            This is your life.  No, life does not seem to be easy some days, but would you want anything else rather than being alive?  This is your life, your gift.  You are perfect, your life is perfect, and it is what it is right now.  Accept it and see all the gifts you have been given to date.  Be proud of yourself and always be grateful and filled with humility.

 

You need enough sleep. 

You need to eat well. 

You need to exercise at least 15 minutes a day. 

You need to drink water. 

This is life.  These are things you need to do to live – period.

 

Points to remember while in extreme stress situations.

 

Stress intervention.

            There are times stress will be so severe you will go numb.  This is survival mode.  Allow yourself to feel this and the severe stress will pass.  Be in denial of this stress and you will not get past it.  That stress will one day rear it's ugly head and bam! You will be forced to deal with it then.  Take heed and allow yourself to feel.

            This means you need to take down time.  What does that look like?  For some stresses it means journaling those things down to get them off your chest, talking to someone to vent, going for a walk to calm your head, working out to vent some energy, watching a movie to not think, or just admitting you feel stressed.  Some meditate, some pray, there is only your way, not a right nor a wrong.  What works for some of your stress may not work for another part of your stress.

Extreme Stress

All extreme stress is a form of grieving.

            Life is full of loss due to the fact life is full of change. 

            Change is the only constant in life. 

            Fear causes need to control life.

            The truth is the only part of life we control is the way we perceive our life.

What does that mean?

            It means if you choose to accept your life as a series of events neither good nor bad, you will be able to move through them easier (as so to speak).

Remember to

            -Give yourself respect and understanding

            -Journal how you feel at night.

            -Do not force your decompressing

            -Be honest with yourself

 

Remember not to overwhelm yourself.

 

Reset your daily priorities

Take time off if you need to.

Take help and ask for help.

Remember you are not a victim.  This did not happen to you, it happened.

 

"My Father, Mother, Partner or Child died"

Acting with ego – "This shouldn't have happened to me! I should have done more.  I am an awful person.  I deserve to be alone.  I don't deserve to live."

Being Solution oriented  - Being accepting and patient – "I am sad and that is okay.  I do not feel like doing anything I normally do and that is okay.  I really wish I could    crawl in a hole and I am going to for a while. I am not alone, but I feel so lonely. I am         so sad, I feel like I will never be happy again, but I know I will one day.  I know I am      not losing my mind even though I cannot think.  I need to take care of me right now.  I am not superman/ superwoman.  I can ask for and receive help."

Choosing Affirmative Thought – "I am allowed to grieve and to be very sad, mad and alone.  I will heal in time and          life will go on.  I am doing my best.  I am okay in my state of grief."

            When you are journaling, you are allowed to think and write thoughts, just remember to not be overwhelmed and begin to believe those thoughts. 

            This recommendation goes for all situations you find extreme such as a new baby, divorce, or bankruptcy.  Remember though, YOU ARE NOT A VICTIM.

 

Basic Daily Stress Management

1)    During the day be aware of your daily thoughts – do not let your ego be the only voice in your head.

2)    When you wake up make a reasonable priority list – this reminds you that you have enough time and frees up the brain for the next task at hand

3)    Journal before sleeping – this empties your head so you can write all your worries down and allow yourself time to sleep.

 

Work with your thoughts to make your life more content

 

In your thoughts you can choose to           

a) Act with your ego and add baggage to the life situations to make it seem worse by blaming and playing a victim and not focus on one situation at a time

b) Be Solution oriented by focusing on that situation only.

c) Choosing affirmative or accepting thoughts while moving though one situation at time

 

When living your daily life you can choose to

-Argue with your ego (or a person) and hence avoid the situation all together.

-Be solution oriented and find the solution and your responsibility, gift and way out rather than letting your ego convince you there is not one and the situation is hopeless. 

-Choose Affirmative thought and add another voice to listen to in your mind

 

Live life for yourself & let others live for themselves.

            -Do not live for others (to control or save them or to prove yourself to them)

            -Live by example

            -Live with unconditional love for yourself and all others.

 

            That means being able to agree to disagree and be able to put yourself in another person's shoes to see their side even when you do not agree.

 

Above all be thankful.  Those who live in a state of gratitude tend to only see the gifts of each situation, even the difficult ones.  During your most stressful times simply say, "thank you".  Recognize that life itself is the greatest gift you will ever have.

The idea is not to be happy all the time but to

Be content with your daily life. 

Be able to accept your life situations.

Be thankful for your existence.

 

"Life is not meant to be an uphill climb, it's just life." AuKeeRa RayneAppleMark

 

 

 

Stress Buster Kit

There are many items you can place in your stress buster kit.

The one's I recommend are:

            Lavender Essential oil – Place a couple of drops on a small pillow to relax your senses, place 10 drops in your bath water for a relaxing bath.

            Peppermint oil – Place a couple of drops on a cotton ball and place it near where you work to keep a clear and focused mind.

            Tension Tamer tea, by Celestial Seasonings – this tea is designed to relax the body and lessen stress, plus it tastes wonderful without adding honey or milk.

            A black stone – such as Tourmaline, Onyx, Obsidian, Jet, or Apache tear -  Black stones aid our energy to ground down and thus aid our minds to focus.

 

Also for my stress aids I am always sure to have

-       A journal

-       Epsom salts or Himalayan salt for my bath (you can add Lavender)

-       Relaxation music for back ground music as I work

-       Various stones for different chakras

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other distressing techniques

 -Shower upon returning from a stressful day or meeting.  The water running down over your head and down to your feet is thought to ground us and remove irratic energy.

 

-Bath – only after a shower if you are really stressed or all it will do is give you time to think even more about what is bothering you.  Add oils and salts to your bath, candlelight soothes the mind so light a candle too.

 

-Himalayan Salt lamps and Beeswax candles are thought to balance the ions in our home.

 

-Incense can clear your home as it is thought to work the same as smudging especially when late with the intent of blessing your home.  Nag Champa is wonderful and smells great; also it will not cause headaches, as it is all-natural.

 

-Meditation is a wonderful tool especially when you learn to fit it in to your life the way you need it too.

 

-Yoga or Tai chi or Gi gong – are all especially good as they train us to breath.  Most of us forget to breath and therefore cannot feel the breath of life.  Sounds silly, but how often do you hold your breath?

 

-Coffee with a good friend once a week – A friend who will listen and not try and fix you, one who will only give an opinion when asked.  Have one of these and you will find your stress drops dramatically as a good friend is as good as any counselor when you are able and willing to find your own solutions or just have a good time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

No part of this document may be copied or reproduced in any manner.ãAuKeeRa RayneAppleMark

ISBN 978-0-9783106-3-9

 

1 comment:

Shawna Rudnisky said...

This is amazing advice put so simply. Thank you so much for sharing!!