by Linda-Ann Stewart
When a stressful situation arises, your brain perceives it
to be a threat. As a result, your mind instructs your body to react to the
circumstance and keep you safe. Any change to your routine or situation is also
considered stressful, even if it’s beneficial, like a promotion. And it doesn’t
matter if the danger is mental or physical, real or imagined. Your mind can’t
distinguish between them, and signals your body to prepare for a fight or flight.
This survival mode closes down the
pathway to your Higher Self. You operate instinctively, to protect yourself,
and can’t access your intuition, which is a higher level insight.
For instance, your boss might call you into his office, and
you’re dreading a confrontation. You feel tense and worry about what it could
be about. Instead of being angry, he wants to praise your work on a report.
Your stress was caused by your imagination. If the cause of stress isn’t addressed
and relieved, that pressure can escalate to a feeling of free floating anxiety
How You Deal with
When you’re stressed, all of your mental resources focus on
handling the crisis. You feel like you have no control. To cope, your attention
narrows to what’s right in front of you and you can’t think straight or be
creative. Instead, you act reflexively, as you have in the past, whether it was
helpful or not. And you remain in this habitual state until the stressful
Although you may not be able to control outer circumstances,
you can control your reactions. By changing the way you respond to stress, your
results change. When you feel in control, you make better decisions and can
innovate to solve problems. Taking charge of your actions is vital to your
health and well-being.
Many spiritual people object to the
idea of being in control. They want to be “in the flow.” Being
“in the flow” is different from drifting at the mercy of outside
forces. Spiritual people also associate being in control with “control
freaks,” who run on fear and lack of trust. Being in control means making
conscious choices and being intentional about your actions.
How You Can Gain
Here are some ways you can manage stress, rather than
letting it manage you.
1. Delay your
reaction. Remember, as a child, you were told to count to 10 when you were
angry? There is a valid reason for this. When you pause for 10 seconds, it
gives your conscious mind time to assert itself. That allows it to move to a
more rational position and lets you recognize the consequences of losing your
temper. You also have more access to other solutions. To give yourself time, take
a walk, go into another room, or do something to take your mind off of it
2. Be mindful.
Instead of getting swept along by your anxiety, focus on the present. Ask yourself,
“What can I control in this moment?” You may not be able to control
the environment, the situation, or other people, but you have authority over
other things in your life. For example, you can do something nice for yourself
or others, remember all the things you’re grateful for, or read something
3. Take small steps.
Instead of getting overwhelmed, do one tiny thing, like wash the dishes. Then
do another. Take one tiny aspect of what’s stressing you, and deal with it. For
instance, if you’re concerned about finances, balance your checkbook. When you
take action on a single thing at a time, you’re able to calm down your nervous
4. Use self-talk.
Talk yourself through the problem. When you have an internal (or out loud)
conversation with yourself, it allows you to be clearer about the issue. You’re
able to organize your thoughts and evaluate what your options might be. Also,
you’ve shifted your attention from feeling powerless to seeking a way through
the stress. This engages your problem solving partner, your subconscious mind.
Feeling in control is your first step to reducing stress and
moving towards a beneficial outcome. As you take charge, you have more power to
change your habits and behaviors so you create the life you want. And you’re able to access your Higher Self and your
intuition, so you can mine the treasure they bring to create your ideal
The Universe is always available to help me deal with stress, but first I need to help myself. I have control over my reactions to situations that cause me stress. Once I acknowledge that truth, I can start taking action to reduce the pressure I feel. The more in control I feel, the more energy I have to create the ideal life I desire.
Watch the accompanying video, Reduce the Overwhelm of Stress.
As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html
. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.