At Davids Way we believe in creating and controlling our lives in order to reduce stress. Recently I encountered an extremely stressful situation that was a huge challenge. As I struggled to regain my composure and balance, David’s wise words echoed in my mind, “Be proactive, not reactive.” This is a method of taking control of stressful situations. It’s not always easy because to be proactive means that you take responsibility for the outcome. Instead of riding the runaway train off the rails, you jump in the Conductor’s seat. Guess what…the train is already out of control. This is a big job. The only alternative is to crash. Which will you choose?
There are methods to help with this process. It’s imperative to learn to take charge if we want to be healthy, otherwise we are like a leaf, blown here and there by the winds of change. Some of these methods are old and they have been proven to work.
-Before reacting in anger or another strong emotion, count to ten. If yo still feel out of control afterward, take a break to calm down or get away from the cause of the stress. If it’s a food issue, get away from the temptation.
-Do not assume that you know someone else’s motives or thoughts. If someone does not return a call or does something that seems like a personal attack, remember, you are not the center of the universe. Everything is not caused by or centered around you. People have other motivating factors in their lives. Their behavior may not be personal at all. They have a life that does not involve you on every level. Their behavior is a conglomerate of their entire life experiences of which you are only a part. This is true whether it’s a boss or a friend.
-If you are dealing with a difficult individual, put yourself in their shoes. Try to understand the pressure that they may be under to have rolled it down on you. It may be peer pressure at school or pressure from their supervisor. This does not excuse bad behavior but it can enable you to better deal with your emotions.
-If you’re being pressured for a decision, buy time with the simple phrase, “I’ll think about this and get back to you.” It will immediately lessen the intensity of the moment.
-If you feel nervous and anxious, splash cold water on your face. This slows the heart rate by ten to twenty-five percent. Your body thinks that you just dove into water.
-Drink green tea. Do not drink regular caffeinated beverages. Green tea has the amino acid theanine in it and it calms and reduces stress.
-With your doctor’s permission always, get in a hard workout. This energizes your mind and body and as you feel your strength, you will gain confidence to deal with the stress at hand.
-Tell yourself, “I’m not tripping over this. I will not fall down.” This method was developed by Eric Maisel and he advises you to distract yourself with constructive activities to avoid being stuck in negative thinking.
-Go into nature and surround yourself with blues and greens. Walk. Breath deeply You will be renewed.
-Ask yourself, “What is the lesson here?” There’s always something to be learned if we are willing to answer this question truthfully. (1)
Always remember, “Abraham Lincoln lost eight elections, failed twice in business and suffered a nervous breakdown before he became the president of the United States.” If you are struggling, you are in good company. ;-*