Encouragementology
Dealing with the Difficult

Dealing with the Difficult

May 21, 2019

There is no way we can know everything but we can say without a shadow of a doubt, Life is challenging, there is really no way to alter the face of that but we can look at how we embrace it. You are hit with something challenging - how do you get on top of it or around it. Are you patient and methodical or do you have a high-speed come apart? You have more control than you think. Just because it’s always the way you’ve done it doesn’t mean it can’t be changed.

Take your time, You deserve the discovery here. Sometimes we allow these things to fester because the work is too difficult or we don’t see the benefit. Then, we encounter a rough patch and we respond off the cuff...

Get a handle on your immediate reaction - by calming down and giving yourself time, you give yourself perspective.  Use the S.T.O.P. Model

  • Stop whatever you're doing
  • Take 3 deep breaths
  • Observe how your body feels
  • Proceed with kindness and compassion

Creating space in the day to stop, come down from the worried mind, and get back into the present moment has been shown to be enormously helpful in mitigating the negative effects of our stress response. When we drop into the present, we’re more likely to gain perspective and see that we have the power to regulate our response to pressure.

How do you deal in stressful situations? Do they derail your day? Affect everything else you’re doing?

What if life isn't happening TO you? What if it's happening FOR you? What if every single baby step along the way is on purpose? What if every failure was really just a lesson you needed to learn? What if every rejection was actually God's protection? What if it's supposed to take exactly this long? What if it's going to be better than you ever imagined? What if you have to walk through this valley in order to be strong enough to scale the summit? What if you were given THIS mountain to show others that it can be moved? I don't believe everything happens for a reason, but I DO believe it's possible to find MEANING in everything that happens.  Rachel Hollis (Girl Wash Your Face)

Difficult is a part of life, dealing with it is up to us. Never resolve to this is it..it is what it is and I’m powerless over change. You have more power than you believe and tapping into it will help you open doors that need to be opened and shut ones that don’t serve you well. You are in charge and knowing that is merely changing your perception.

CHALLENGE: Take the time and get to know yourself, your reactions, and your capabilities. When you feel challenged and stress, uncover the reason. It’s important to your well-being to navigate life with peace and joy and you should take all measures to ensure that. You have a choice in how you internalize and participate with difficulties in your life. Make a choice that keeps your well-being in mind.

I know YOU can do it!

In Debt or Deserving, Knowing Your Worth

In Debt or Deserving, Knowing Your Worth

May 14, 2019

Worth - the value equivalent to that of someone or something under consideration; the level at which someone or something deserves to be valued or rated. I guess it depends on what IT is and the perceived value in the eye of the beholder. If that is true, why would you buy into a set value decided by someone else? We believe things like, you either have it or you don’t. It’s valuable or worthless. We get this line of thinking in our heads and then worse, we believe it and we defend it.

Absorption of ideas happens often, early in life, and in many cases, subliminally. It would be incredibly helpful if all those ideas were positive and made us feel better about ourselves and more empowered. The problem is, they aren’t. Negative self-talk is a common problem that continues to plague generation after generation. Example: Your Mother was hypercritical about herself with an unhealthy body image. She modeled this type of behavior from her Mother, who in turn, modeled it from her Mother. Little comments like “I’m fat” or “I’m not pretty enough” or ‘I’m not smart enough” floated around and become as accepted as talking about the weather. Some got comfortable with joking about it but the seeds were planted and that hurt cut deep.

Comments like “I need to lose weight” or “I hate my hair” or “I need to do X,Y, or Z before I can be happy” means you aren’t good enough now. Things will get better and you will finally love yourself WHEN you’re better.  Now, we’ve all said it and truthfully felt that way but I guarantee we didn’t know how harmful it could be. If someone would have told you that mentioning that fact that you’re unhappy with your body over and over could give your child the same complex, would you still have said it?

Words are so strong and just like they have the power to lift you up and encourage you, they have the power to tear you down and negatively influence you. Children are little sponges and you might think you are just talking to yourself but where do you think YOU got it from. Learned behavior.  If your little one past or present was following you around today, what would they be learning? If they were playing a game of “copy-cat” what would they look like? Are any of you cringing? I mean it was Monday….did you start your day enthusiastic and ready for a glorious work week? Or did you kick and scream with a sour attitude all through breakfast and off to the bus? You can evaluate your entire day - what were the lessons?

Getting to know you, strong points and weak points will help you love and accept yourself. You will always be in debt and not deserving until you come to a place of acceptance. Self-Worth is knowing and loving yourself and through acceptance, you can build on your self-esteem.

"You are a walking miracle. Repeat this to yourself daily- “I am a miracle. It doesn’t matter what others think of me or how the world thinks of me. The Universe is on my side and I know that I am meant to be here. I am a miracle.”

CHALLENGE: You have one life on earth to live and before you accept fear, failure, and self-defeat, challenge these thoughts with gratitude. Find one thing that you can celebrate to start building your bouquet. Accept that weaknesses can be re-engineered into strengths and self-love is possible. You’re worth it.

 

I know YOU can do it!

Securing Stronger Connections, The Mothering Pact

Securing Stronger Connections, The Mothering Pact

May 7, 2019

We are talking about securing stronger relationships. This is all relationships, family, friends, co-workers, spouse, significants - you name it. On a scale of barely existent to ride-or-die, where are your relationships? Do you have someone you can rely on, someone who has your back, a confidant to share with, a partner in crime, a mentor, a teacher, ….who are you missing? We are going to talk through it all AND on the cusp of Mother’s Day, we are going to talk about an idea I came up with called The Mothering Pact.

A friend of mine called me one day while she was taking her morning walk. I could tell she was worried. Her Mother had been ill for quite a while and something had just dawned on her. What would she do when she didn’t have her Mom to call anymore? She didn’t have a large family and her Mother and what little family she did have lived 6 hours away.  Who was going to fill that role for her, who was going to be there like a Mother? That sparked a conversation about all the ways we’ve connected and shared with our Mother’s over the years.

You know, she’s the person you could bounce every crazy idea off of and she would be supportive even if she knew how ridiculous it was. She is always ready to chat or go to lunch even at a moments notice. Mysteriously, she somehow always has the items you forgot at the store or could make them appear out of nowhere. She always has the right recipe to get a stain out or make the perfect casserole. Every time you drop the ball she picks it up. But most importantly, she always lets you go on and on about yourself, what is right or wrong at work, brag endlessly about your kids, and never makes you feel guilty for a one-way conversation.

As we reach a certain age,  our own kids have grown, and now our parents are aging it starts to become clear that we are the ones “in charge”. We have become our parents. When that reality hits it’s sobering. See for decades, subconsciously we knew we weren’t the final say but we had back up. You called your Mom to ask every question under the sun. She was Google in your eyes. Either she had lived long enough to have all the experiences or of course, she just knew it all.

As the roles start to reverse you are the one getting the calls. At first, it’s just about technology or how to work the cable remote but then it’s other things; how to figure out an insurance bill or what goes in a particular recipe she always used to make. It can really creep up on you and you aren’t even aware it’s happening.

It was fun reminiscing that day. We laughed and cried recalling all the wonderful ways our Mother’s had been there for us and at the end, I told her, “I will be there for you.” It was that simple. Right then and there we made a pact, a Mothering Pact to always be that go-to for each other. To listen and support without judgment and provide an encouraging word like our Mothers would have. A Mother’s bond is the first and deepest bond you create and in most cases, the most significant loss you’ll ever experience. Nurturing your friendships now can help you develop a strong support system to be there when you have cause to celebrate and when you need a shoulder to cry on or a hand to lead the way.

CHALLENGE:  Make your connections a priority in your life. Stop hiding behind busy and reach out to a friend, go deeper in your relationship, and when the time is right, create that support system to be there for one another and add a little extra joy to your life.

 

I know YOU can do it!

The Extra Mile, Giving it ALL you Got!

The Extra Mile, Giving it ALL you Got!

April 30, 2019

There are plenty of other terms we could use like, pulling out all the stops, knuckling down, going to great lengths, putting your best foot forward, leaving no stone unturned or one I had never heard of, “not resting on one’s oars”. You see where I’m going here...it’s giving everything you do 100%. Tonight, giving us a new term and a new perspective will be a very special guest, educator & author, Teri Campbell. She is going to be joining us in the second half of the show and telling us how this idea has impacted her life and why it’s important to never give up.

Now, I’m sure it’s been a long day, you are frazzled from work, the kids, the house, the pressures of life and to even consider you are giving anything less than 100% seems preposterous. But let’s take this hour and get honest. No one is watching you listening to me so you can shake your head and even stomp your feet but whatever you do - you deserve some honesty. Working yourself into a lather isn’t necessarily going the extra mile -I guess it could be giving it all you got, for now.

Somehow we got this in our head that we have to keep every plate spinning to say we’ve successfully managed our day. There are a lot of plates out there….work, school, kids, marriage, church, volunteerism, family, friends, social media,......geez saying Happy Birthday on facebook has become another plate! You feel like, “well dropped that one I didn’t post a Happy Birthday message and out of the 800+ friends she has, she will surely realize I didn’t say Happy Birthday….that’s definitely coming back to haunt me now!”

Wow, the pressure we put on ourselves to manage it all and manage it well. Busy does not necessarily = productive. In sales, I’ve heard “Busy-ness doesn’t always = business”   Why is that….you are doing a lot of stuff, getting a lot of stuff done…..or so it seems. I found a top 5 list from Upasana Bhattacharjee who also wrote an article titled: 10 reasons rubbing a Tiger’s belly will change the way you think about life. So, I thought...she must have all the answers or at least some interesting ones:

 

  1. No Clear Goals: Let’s be honest, it’s like waiting for the bread to rise while the oven is powered off. If we don’t know what we are doing or our intention behind it then we really don’t have anything to measure our progress. With goals, there is a clear picture of what you’ve accomplished and what needs to be done. There’s no point being busy doing things that don’t help us achieve anything. So next time you feel like you’ve been busy all week but nothing’s really been done ask yourself if those things were goals set by you in the first place or not.

 

  1. Not prioritizing: This is a no-brainer and obviously follows goal setting. As it is, we are bombarded with tons of stuff coming our way from every nook and corner that it gets overwhelming at some point. With goal setting comes the challenge of prioritizing what needs to be finished. Remember, you can’t do everything all at once but one thing at a time. It took me some time to realize this but believe me it’s made my life simpler now. Everywhere you look, everyone is in a hurry. Why shouldn’t we? We’ve got things to do. Tons of things to do! But unless we prioritize, we’ll just always be busy.

 

  1. No routine: It has nothing to do with being a late sleeper. If you’re a night owl and feel you get things done more efficiently when your children are in bed then go ahead by all means. And no, it’s not that only early risers get things done well. If you like welcoming the sun and then getting things completed, good for you! It all depends on the person’s preference and biological clock. What is preventing you from not using the time properly is no routine at all. What matters is that you stick to your routine and maintain it for a period of time so it becomes your habit. We all have 24 hours in a day and no one gets an hour extra. Not even a single soul! It’s for us to devote certain extra hours either at night or morning to get things done on our priority list and make space in our schedule.

 

  1. Doing a lot: To better explain this let me tell you about a waiter we had at dinner one night. The moment we finished anything, this particular waiter would come and ask us if he could clear the table. Just so you know, the table was plenty big for all the extra plates and glasses. This was a restaurant that opened recently and not many people were around and this waiter kept going and clearing away dishes and glasses from every table whenever he could while the other waiters went only at the end of the meal. Now I know that’s good hospitality but doing it, again and again, was more like an interruption. We just wanted a quiet meal and a conversation and he could have cleared once we were fully finished! This waiter was clearly doing a lot and thus it became a bit disturbing. Does this sound familiar? We find ourselves doing more, thinking the more we do (rather than sitting idle) is the way to be. Doing a hundred things that keeps you busy but not productive is a waste of time. I’d prefer doing five things that mean business compared to twenty different things that don’t.

 

  1. Using It As An Excuse: But I really do have genuine things to take care of! It’s just that I am always busy and I get no time. Is this just a case of time management? It’s a sad thing but true that a lot of people have actually gotten into the habit of using being busy as an excuse. Up for a theatre show this weekend? Can’t do, I’m busy. Tried calling you. Oh sorry, been busy sorry I missed your calls! In truth, many are just plain lazy to actually come up with a better excuse. It’s disappointing because it devalues the efforts of people who are actually working hard and are truly busy.

Listen to the podcast to hear Teri talk about the writing of her book and how she leaves a legacy by always giving it all she's got! 

 

Challenge: Before you take on the next project and add another spinning plate, evaluate what you have and how productive and fulfilled you are. What you put forth will come back to you so don’t short change yourself with giving anything but 100%. You deserve it so demand it by giving it first.

 

I know YOU can do it!

 

Your Story, Documenting the Positive

Your Story, Documenting the Positive

April 23, 2019

It doesn’t matter where you are… in the first chapter, somewhere in the middle, wrapping it all up, or your stuck determining the forward. This is your story and you get a say how it goes, what people will read, and hopefully the impression that it makes. Sometimes finding the positive is a daily challenge but the importance of counterbalancing the bad with the good makes it worth the work. Let’s find a way to change your focus so that the positive aspects are too hard to overlook.

Why is the bad stuff so much easier to recall? You are having a great day, things are going your way when you hit a snag, something challenging that doesn’t go your way and BAM - you’ve had a horrible day! What happened to all the positive things? Trumped by the negative and lost forever?

If it’s all our perspective then what do we do when things actually happen that stop us in our tracks?  Well first we have to realize ..stopping us in our tracks is temporary. It gives us time to pause and yes, react but not camp out. Something happens...take note. How serious is this? Life changing, costly, troublesome, a pain to deal with or what? Then match your reaction accordingly. We all know that person and it could be you, who is having a complete meltdown and when you finally get to the root of the tantrum, it really should only be a 3 on the freakout scale.  Remember, your reaction affects your long-term health and does nothing to solve the problem.

Try limiting your reaction time. Stop yourself and say “enough” and next ask yourself “what will I do next?” Notice the questions isn’t “What am I going to do now?” WILL insinuates action. This will force you into problem-solving mode and help you move on.

After you’ve moved the issue to the side, take stock of your day thus far. What are all the positive experiences and places you could find gratitude? Add details to those events and really spend some time shaping the pictures in your mind. This mini celebration will give you a nice boost of joy and happy chemicals.

Consider journaling or adding these experiences to a calendar.  Don’t paraphrase here, when you look back on these memories, you will want to read them in great detail.

CHALLENGE: Don’t let a negative event stop you from seeing all the positive in your life. Limit your reaction, quantify the challenge and celebrate the wins. Document the positive to create a healthy legacy you can easily recall and share with others.

 

I know YOU can do it!

 

Stop Obsessing, Getting Free

Stop Obsessing, Getting Free

April 16, 2019

Obsessing: to dominate or preoccupy the thoughts, feelings, or desires of a person. Have you ever been preoccupied with negative feelings or negative thoughts?

Humans have anywhere from 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. According to some research, as many as 98% of them are actually the same thought as we had the day before. Even more significant 80% of our thoughts are negative.

Do you have a hard time letting things go? Allowing things to roll off your back easily? Or do you hold on to them and continually play them on a loop in your head trying to figure out the why

If you're like most people, you've had the experience of obsessing over something stressful that happened in your day. It may have been something someone said that hit you in the gut, it may have been a situation where you wish you had the perfect comeback, or it may be a problem that replays itself in your mind over and over with no acceptable solution in sight.

We can become obsessed with a person, a place, a goal, a subject, but obsessing amounts to the same thing in all cases, negative behavior. Being driven and having the motivation to reach a goal quicker and more successful is not obsessing. Staying stuck in the same cycle of thoughts with the inability to move forward is obsessing.

When these thoughts turn into brooding, that's known as ruminating. Rumination is as stressful as it is common, it takes a situation that has already caused stress and magnifies the stress and the importance of the situation in our minds. It also zooms in on the feeling of helplessness we may feel when we realize we can’t change what has already happened.

I'm going to share one of my obsessions or stuck issues with you. I have a hard time accepting when people don't like me. I can't seem to understand that everybody has their own opinion and that I might not be everyone's cup of tea so to speak. I had a relationship that ended unexpectedly and for almost two years I couldn't seem to let it go. I didn't feel comfortable confronting this person and just asking a simple question, why aren't we friends anymore? I just kept instead racking my brain and obsessing over the “why”.  Instead of being realistic and considering the “why” could have had something to do with her I was insistent that it must have been me. Because I couldn't figure out what exactly I did to destroy the relationship I couldn't let it go. Eventually, time heals wounds and because I don't like to be stuck, I let it go. But it’s shallow and lies just under the surface. I have realized, it doesn't take much to bring it back to my mind.

If you have something that you're obsessing over and you want to let it go try talking to someone. It's important to get your thoughts out and hear them out loud as you're speaking them to another person. Be open to what a trusted family member or friend might tell you about the situation.  A fresh perspective can help you look at things in a different way. Try channeling your energy and focusing on a greater mission something productive, something that gets you excited about something more meaningful.

CHALLENGE: Stop the loop. Understand there may not be an answer and your obsession is preventing you from peace and joy and you deserve both. Connect with a friend and ask to share your concerns then be open to listening and embracing another point of view. The key to unlock the shackles is within your grasp - let for freedom!

 

I know YOU can do it!

 

An Exploration, Seeking New Opportunities

An Exploration, Seeking New Opportunities

April 9, 2019

What happens next. You are never too old or too lost, or too happy to reinvent yourself and seek a new opportunity. You’ve heard it before, Life is Too Short.

We need to be reminded that life’s too short to spend every day doing work you hate. Life’s too short to hold grudges against people we love. Life’s too short not to see the wonders of the world. Life’s too short to not live life to the fullest.

Are you ready for something new? A new job, hobby, experience, journey, friend, spiritual awakening….or more? Maybe you feel stuck. Or bored. Or frustrated. It’s not that you don’t like the life you live, it’s just that you suspect there’s something more. Some greater sense of meaning or excitement. New connections. New adventures. New possibilities.

Where do you start?

Challenge your ideas about how things should work. Sometimes when you decide how things should be you limit your ability to be effective in the world as it actually is. I’m too old to start something new, I don’t have the time or the finances. I better stay right where I am! Open your mind and think of possibilities without limitations. What would you like to do? Where would you like to go? Who would you like to see?

Brainstorm ideas. Feverishly write down everything in your head and then some. Don’t talk yourself out of putting them down, just write. Get them out where you can see them. Maybe they cause you to laugh...that’s good. Like me wanting to be a barrel racer but being afraid of horses. What jumps out at you saying “pick me first!”?

Circle that one and then make some room. Now you will write all the steps it might take to make that happen. Don’t worry about getting them in chronological order right now. It’s just important to see them so that you understand there is a process. We can’t snap our fingers or wiggle our noses (older reference) and make something appear. But we can take a step in the right direction and seek a new opportunity.

1 year - 365 opportunities. But be careful. Days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months and before you know it another year has passed you by and you are still in the same spot. Or not. Carpe Diem - Seize the day.

CHALLENGE: To seek something new - the sky is the limit so dream big. Make a plan and even if it takes you all year to get there, you are moving toward what you want. Baby steps become bigger steps as you see the horizon of a new opportunity.

 

I know YOU can do it!

Inner Peace, Finding Joy

Inner Peace, Finding Joy

April 2, 2019

What’s the rush? Why are we in such a rush to live life. Now more than ever, we have everything we could ever need at our fingertips but we want more and more. We want to know why access to all the information we could ever ask on the internet doesn't come to us faster.  Our lives seem to travel at warp speeds, with our minds taking in and spewing out information faster than we can keep up with, and our bodies running ragged, trying to get up early and stay up late just to get it all done.

What’s the rush? Have you ever looked up just to realize it’s already the weekend again, or summer, or Christmas? Have you ever said these words “Friday couldn’t get here fast enough!”. Does it feel like just yesterday you were, in high school, graduating college, getting married, having kids, turning 40, or retiring?

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

Are we complicating life? And the big question is why? What are we gaining by keeping all these plates spinning? Do you feel more fulfilled? Happier? More connected and appreciated? My guess is no. Just as you can feel overwhelmed by the clutter in your personal space, so can you be overwhelmed by the clutter in your inner space. Time to purge and prioritize to find time and space for you to truly experience life, joy, and happiness.

So what has to go? It may be a good time to take a personal inventory of what takes up space in your mind, daily.  

Once you get a handle on what’s hijacking your brain and taking up valuable space in your day, here are ways you can turn the tables and get control over the situation.

  1. Get control over your personal space.
  2. Make a list.
  3. Get rid of file 13.
  4. Take a time-out.
  5. Control your intake.
  6. Release worry.
  7. Refocus your energy.

Are we getting there? Are we feeling like we may have a handle on eliminating some chaos and clutter to find more space for peace? Are you already planning ow you can clear more mind so that you can start filter what you let in? Even though stillness and meditation is usually a singular act, JOY is found in connections.

Joy is relational. This means joy is generated by joy-producing relationships; when someone we care about is glad to be with us. The connection produces warm, happy feelings.

CHALLENGE: Make a date...do it tomorrow. You’ve declutterd your day to make room for space in your mind to invite in peace. Step outside of yourself and reach out to make a healthy connection and invite in joy. Harness them both for true happiness.

I know YOU can do it!

Becoming Real, Honestly YOU!

Becoming Real, Honestly YOU!

March 26, 2019

Why do we have to be sitting at a critical crossroad in our life to realize we need a change? No pain no change?  What are you searching for to make yourself happy? Friends, love, acceptance, an awakening, a hobby, stuff, more stuff, and even more stuff. When you sit alone with your thoughts...did it work? Do all those things = happiness?

Life tells us to find a steady job, a safe routine, work your way up, save for the future while at the same time you’re supposed to be creative, inventive, and successful. Be an entrepreneurial spirit, have all the latest tools and gadgets and be connected and active on the social media journaling life as you go. Do you have that down? Does that make you happy? Is that who you are?

Lisa Pool shares her findings on a recent life transformation she calls: "Sweet Bedlam - a Single Mom's Journey from Fear to Fulfillment"

“Let go and give yourself permission to be who you truly are and give this to the world in everything you do, at all costs, no exceptions. This is your journey to living an extraordinary life.

I can tell you without the slightest hesitation that the one greatest gift I have to share from my life thus far is this:

If you want to live an extraordinary life you first must know who you truly are, and to get to that place you must go find out who you truly are. It won’t happen stuck in fear, it won’t happen frozen in doubt and it certainly will not happen without a dramatic shift in your perception of what the purpose of your life is.”

Here are a few questions to ponder and work through as you start your journey to find you...Honestly YOU.

  1. What do I love absolutely? Deep down, what matters to you? Write down the things that give you energy and excite me. People, places, activities, ideas
  2. What do I consider my greatest accomplishments in life? This is a moment in your lift that you felt really proud, accomplished, or successful. What did it take to make that happen? List out your steps because each of them is an achieved milestone and should be celebrated.
  3. What would be my purpose if I knew no one would judge me? If there was no fear, no worry of repercussions, no judgment of your choices, right to your most deeply held wishes and dreams. What would you do? Write it all out - even if it seems ridiculous and makes you giggle, it makes you, YOU.
  4. If there were no limits to what I could have or could want in my life, what would that be? Before self doubt creeps in what would your life look like if NO wasn’t a possibility? List out what you would be doing, where you would be living, how successful are you, what kind of person would you be? Aligning with these inner expectations, we can work toward the life we genuinely want. Our desires are also rooted in the quiet wisdom that we really do have the power to make this a reality. You may just find out it’s not that far off from where you are right now.
  5. If I had all the money in the world, what would I do? Make a list of every single thing that you would really love to see happen in your life if you had all the money in the world. After the obvious ones - Challenge yourself to think along the lines of no boundaries and fulfilling a purpose—then what would be on your list?
  6. Who do I admire most? Who exudes the qualities that you admire most in a person? Think about what really inspires you in this world, and who is living their own world OUT LOUD.

 

CHALLENGE: Spend time working on you and regions of your core that typically lay dormant. Listen to yourself without judgment and resist self-doubt at every turn. Only you can activate and honor your true purpose and it starts with becoming you, honestly YOU.

 

I know YOU can do it!

 

Beating Stress, Coping Strategies

Beating Stress, Coping Strategies

March 19, 2019

How do you handle stress? Take a moment and think about that. When something uncomfortable happens what is your go-to method for getting through it. You might have different degrees of stress with different coping mechanisms.

Daily Stressors could be:

Your work schedule

Your kids’ schedule

Financial obligations

Health problems

Where you live, what you drive

Not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you need or want to accomplish

 

You could also have deep stressors that might take a different technique:

Long term health issues

Loss of a loved one

Divorce

Loss of a child

Childhood trauma

Relationship trauma

Starting over

No matter what your stressor is today, you own your reaction to it. You OWN your reactions. You might think about that statement and tell yourself that you aren’t in control and that outside influences are doing this to you. But the fact is, stress, trauma, death, and continued life is a fact and how you get through it will make all the difference.

The challenging situations we face in life are often the ones that offer us the greatest opportunity for personal growth. Looking honestly at your situations, experiencing the emotions they bring up, and searching within yourself for the answers can bring positive outcomes that you can draw on in times of trouble.

Here is a FREEZE FRAME exercise I like to use to channel energy in a positive direction.

  1. Freeze: Recognize the stressful feeling and Freeze-Frame it! Take a time-out.

 

  1. Focus: Make a sincere effort to shift your FOCUS away from your racing mind or disturbed emotions to the area around your heart. Pretend you’re breathing through your heart to help focus your energy in this area. You may place your hand on your heart if this helps. Keep your focus there for at least 10 SECONDS.

 

  1. Feeling: Recall a positive enjoyable feeling or time you’ve had in your life; FEEL the feelings again in your body, not just a mental thought about it.

 

  1. Ask: Using your intuition, common sense or sincerity, ASK your heart, “What would be a better way, a more efficient, desirable response to this situation, one that would minimize future stress?

 

  1. Listen: Pay attention, tune in, LISTEN and reflect on what your heart says in answer to your question. (This gives you access to your own internal solutions and common sense and puts your reactive emotions and mind in check.)

Evaluate each stressor individually. When you lump them together, you can exaggerate the weight and importance of their presence in your life. Take them one by one and ask yourself some qualifying questions:

  • Do I have the power to change this situation?
  • Am I ultimately responsible for this situation?
  • What could I have done or will do in the future to avoid this from happening again?
  • Why am I allowing this to affect my day, month, or year?
  • What can I do this minute to bring myself peace/joy/comfort?

 

Challenge: Remember, stress and your reaction to it,  is not an out of body experience. You are in charge and YOU will be the only one working through the steps to take control of the situation. Don’t assume busy is productive. In all things, strive for a healthy balance to beat stress!

 

I know YOU can do it!