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Are You Feeling Overpowered By Stress?

Are You Feeling Overpowered By Stress?

Unfortunately, there are many times in our lives when stress creeps in and causes great angst.  Life is busy and work, kids, school and responsibilities can seem overwhelming at times.

74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.

81% of women said this compared to 67 percent of men. 83% of 18-24 year-olds said this compared to 65 percent of people aged 55 and over. (Source: mentalhealth.org.uk)

Do you feel that your stress is getting you down? 

Here are some tips to help deal with stress and its after-effects.

Stress has become a major cause of anxiety and panic attacks.  If not dealt with, it can have an incapacitating effect on your life.  More often than not, most people with A-type personalities are prime candidates for stress induced symptoms.  The perfectionism they seek in everything they do never quite measures up to their expectations. This is not a perfect world; and it’s time those who live in it realize they aren’t perfect either, and nor should they be.

Most people deal with stress in different ways; either they ignore the initial problem which caused it; retreat within themselves or fall apart. However, those who recognize the signs nip it in the bud before it completely takes over.  Using simple exercises can relieve the onset of stress.  For example: While sitting at your desk at work, breathing exercises can bring you back to a calm state.  Going outside for some fresh air also helps.

Walking or running for 20 minutes can release endorphins which relieve stress. Listening to classical music lowers the blood pressure and brings calm within.

Sometimes, however, stress reveals itself in other ways.  Light headedness, an inability to focus, feelings of pressure and palpitations are all symptoms of stress.  Moreover, continued stress can produce anxiety, panic, and the fight or flight syndrome.  Here is one such case of how stress can simply overwhelm and, in some cases, debilitate.

A secretary was called into her administrator’s office, which was quite large and comfortable. As she was taking dictation, she suddenly found it hard to breathe; began to lose focus; and a queasy feeling in her stomach emerged.  She could no longer concentrate and left the room suddenly.

Unbeknown to her, she had just experienced an anxiety attack brought on by stress.  However, while there was nothing stressful going on at the time, she later identified the cause.  An unpleasant thought had entered her mind while she was taking dictation, causing fear to take over forcing her to leave the office.

Upon further examination, it was determined the stress in her home life simply became too much, and filtered its way in to her working day.

This happens all too often and vice versa, where work stresses can filter in to your family life causing arguments. health issues and in some cases total disconnection from your loved ones!

If stress is getting you down, examine the cause.  Determine the origin and discuss it with a professional or a loved one.  Stress, if not acted upon, can cause serious health problems.  Avoid it wherever and whenever you can.

You can learn more about reducing stress in our Personal Transformation Mastery self-study course.

If you need any further help reducing stress or creating healthier habits to move you towards success you can email me or take a look at the services we offer here. Using the FLOAT system we take our clients from Chaos to Calm in both life and business and help you create the success you deserve.

You can also come and join us over on Facebook in The Positivity Hub, where we talk all things, mindset, confidence and positivity.

 

Here’s How You Can Break Free From Negative Thoughts.

Here’s How You Can Break Free From Negative Thoughts.

Have you ever had a negative thought? Of course you have, we all have negative thoughts. We have between 50-70,000 thoughts each and every day. Have you ever uttered it out loud, even in jest?  Of course you have.  Negative thinking can be damaging not only to our self-esteem, but can begin a cycle of thought and behaviour which negatively impacts our own perception of events in our lives.

For example:

Perhaps you’ve been assigned a special project at work. You’re confident in taking it on, but upon completion you notice one tiny error. You begin to berate the way in which you handled the project, even though the error was not significant. While your boss is telling you what a great job you’ve done, you begin to make excuses for it. Your negativity has belittled the entire project, and magnified one area of it.

What steps can you take to avoid this pattern?  Take a step back and look at the project objectively.  Not only did you complete it in an efficient manner, but it will become the template for future projects. Forget about the mistake; think about what you’ve achieved.  Focus on what went right, not what went wrong.

The holidays are approaching, and you need to begin cleaning the whole house ready.  You look around and decide it’s just too much; you can’t do it; why bother.  Stop! Take a deep breath and consider dividing up the tasks. Get your family involved to help by giving each one a specific job.  Once you begin the process of prioritising, you will feel better and it will get done.

You’ve started a diet before your holiday.  One day, you have a craving for a particular dessert.  You quickly decide your diet is over, and it wasn’t worth the effort.  You walk over to the mirror and utter to yourself, “I’m fat, and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Wrong! 

Setting yourself up for failure by thinking negatively about the way you look does not solve the immediate problem.  Instead, admit to cheating; promise you’ll try harder, and allow positive thoughts to guide you through.

Improving your self-talk and re-framing your beliefs relating to it can help you think your way to a better you.

Once you discover the belief that is holding you back you can start to challenge and re-frame it.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to challenge that belief

  1. Why do I believe this is true?
  2. Where did these beliefs come from?
  3. What is it that’s holding me back from achieving success?
  4. What can I do to change it?

Re-framing your thoughts in to positive ones is incredibly powerful and once you’ve cracked the habit of doing it, it becomes easier to catch those daily negative thoughts, stop them and give yourself a more positive thought in its place.

You can learn more about creating more positive thoughts in our Personal Transformation Mastery self-study course.

If you need any help creating better, healthier thoughts to move you towards success you can email me or take a look at the services we offer here. Using the FLOAT system we take our clients from Chaos to Calm in both life and business and help you to create the success you deserve.

How to Create More Powerful Habits

How to Create More Powerful Habits

We humans are creatures of habit. We have evolved over thousands of years to like routine, to like predictability and to become ingrained in a certain series of events.

Most of us therefore have a routine that we pretty much follow every single day. Maybe you start your day by waking up, making breakfast, having a shower, getting dressed and then watching the news for 10 minutes with a cup of coffee before running out the door.

This is no coincidence. This comes down to the entire way we are hardwired. The way our brains work and the way our biology operates. Repeating the same actions or thoughts over and over again essentially means that we are repeatedly using the same neuronal pathways and causing the same connections to light up and fire.

If you repeat one action followed by another often enough, they will become so ingrained as to become automatic and beyond our conscious control. We call this a ‘habit loop’ which consists of 3 phases; The trigger, the behaviour and the reward.

In short, the more we repeat the same behaviour over and over, the harder it is for us to change that behaviour.

If the behaviour in question involves smoking, then this is bad news. But if the behaviour involves going to the gym, then it’s great news. I have done some form of exercise since I was 7 years old. That’s when I took up gymnastics and trained 3 times a week. (I’m 45 this year). That means that I’ve been doing something consistently for 38 years. As you might expect, I now find it almost impossible to not do any form of exercise. I love working out in one way or another, it’s a part of who I am.

In other words, harnessing the power of habit can be a powerful tool in helping you to get whatever you want from life:

Often you will read that the best way to create a new habit is to repeat that action for thirty days. If you can do that, then eventually you will have ingrained the behaviour deeply enough that you will be able to keep it up.

This makes it a little easier setting your goals around creating a new habit. If you know that you want to exercise first thing in the morning for thirty days only, then that can be easier to get your head around than thinking you have to do it forever.

A good tip for creating a new habit is to attach it to your old habits and your surroundings. So, if you want to create a habit of flossing your teeth, then the obvious option is to attach this to a habit you already stick to such as brushing your teeth!

Likewise, if you want to get into the habit of ironing your shirts, pick a specific point in the day for it to come after – such as making your morning tea.

This works because it connects the new behaviour to old ones inside your brain. You have a network of neurons that fire whenever you make your morning tea. Now, when that network of neurons fire, they should also cause the new network – the ironing shirts network to light up. The two are now connected.

This also works on a practical level: you need to find a convenient time for your new habit to take place and you need to find a convenient time and place in which to do it. You need to know that said time and place is always going to be convenient.

I wanted to take up meditation a while back for example as a regular part of my routine. I struggled at first because there always seemed to be more important things to be doing and I could never find the right time. So, what I did was to attach my meditation session to my morning routine. I started setting my alarm for half hour earlier (I used to need a few snoozes) and after a while I was able to get up and fit my meditation in before I did anything else. It’s now ingrained and part of my day.

One action is a habit but if you string these together, then you have a routine.

Looking at the practical aspect of stringing habits together and knowing where you will be and what time it will be when you do that thing is incredibly important for accomplishing goals. If you can build a routine for yourself that contains multiple good habits, then you’ll find that you massively enhance your likelihood of success in all areas.

Creating a routine is a powerful way to accomplish your goals.

You can learn more about creating more powerful habits in our Personal Transformation Mastery self-study course.

If you need any help creating better, healthier habits to move you towards success you can email me or take a look at the services we offer here. Using the FLOAT system we take our clients from Chaos to Calm in both life and business and help you to create the success you deserve.

Here’s Why Everything You Say Matters

Here’s Why Everything You Say Matters

Have you ever spoken unkindly to someone? Did the words profoundly affect that person? Words are powerful; and when they are used to hurt someone, they can be devastating. The words you speak and the things you say do have a huge affect not only on yourself, but others as well. What you say really does matter.

Have you ever called yourself stupid, dumb, idiot? Have you berated yourself in front of the mirror because you feel fat or ugly? Do you realise that every word you say is being processed by your subconscious mind and buries itself there? It then begins to seep into your conscious self and your feelings of self-worth begin to disappear.

What you say ultimately translates into your personal belief. If you say to yourself, “I’m not very good at tennis,” you will never succeed in that sport. You are setting up a defeatist attitude even before you begin. When you begin a thought or a sentence with a negative word, your expectations can never be realised.

So too, you may call someone an idiot. While you may apologise, the word has already been spoken; you can’t take it back. The person on the receiving end of the insult may take it to heart, and can be changed forever. We live in a world where words are used to attack, cajole, embrace, nurture, disengage, provoke and inspire. We not only hurt ourselves, we hurt others as well. Anger, frustration, and disappointment contribute to the misuse of words. Even though the aftermath of unkind words are realised, we still do it. Perhaps the old adage is true, “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.”

It is important to realise the affect that words have on us. Whether we mean to say them or not, said often enough they can transform the very essence of who we are. Children are especially vulnerable to words. Yet, we continue to use unkind and often insensitive words as a disciplinary measure. Eventually, they grow up with low self-esteem, or painfully shy, or feel they’re not worth anything at all.

The next time you speak, think about the words you are about to use. Choose them wisely when speaking to your peers, and cautiously when speaking to children. Understand that one word can positively or negatively affect someone’s life; even your own.

I talk a lot about this subject in my business and with ALL my clients. How you communicate with others and yourself is vital to creating a successful life and business. If you’d like to find out more please email me.

If You’re Feeling Overly Stressed These 6 Tips Will Help You Through It

If You’re Feeling Overly Stressed These 6 Tips Will Help You Through It

We all experience it at one time or another; this trespasser called stress. It is perhaps the number one cause of most health problems in our society today. Here we explore 6 ways you can deal with the stress of life in a healthy and effective manner.

* Talk about the problems you are experiencing with friends, loved ones or a professional. Keeping everything bottled up will only create more problems later on. Talking is a great way to release the inner stresses of a situation and help you gain a better perspective on the situation that is the cause of your stress.

* Exercise often. Go for a walk for 20-30 minutes either every day or at least every other day. Exercise relieves tension and produces a calming effect. Perhaps joining a gym would work better for you. Remember it needs to be something that you will do regularly.

* Yoga is not only a great form of exercise in general for creating body strength. It’s also well known for quietening the mind and creating calm. Sit in a quiet room alone and begin breathing exercises.incorporate meditation in this and you have a powerful combination for relieving stress in the mind and body.

* Music is known to calm the stress beast. Listen to something that either relaxes you or gets you up and motivated. This is a great distraction technique that works wonders.

* Healthy meals can become an important factor in limiting your stress. Ensure you eat three meals a day, and make an effort to avoid too much caffeine and sugar. We’ve all heard the term ‘hangry’ and we’ve all felt it too. Skipping meals isn’t good for either your physical or mental health. Too much caffeine will send your head in to a spin, it over stimulates the brain and can cause what I term as the fast spin on the washing machine affect.

* Sleep deprivation is a big cause of stress. Go to bed earlier. Seven to eight hours sleep can make all the difference when possible. I used to stay up later as it was the only time I got to myself when the kids were younger, but it wasn’t doing me any good in the long run. In fact it was having the adverse effect.

Coping with stress can be challenging. Every day you seem to be pulled in every direction, trying to accommodate others, living in what feels like chaos. The first priority is to take care of YOU. YOU are the thread that holds your family together. If you’re stressed, you won’t be much good to anyone. You need to fill your cup first. You need your cup to be over-flowing so that your over-flowing cup then fills your partners and your kids cups. If you fill theirs first, then there is nothing left for you.

Give yourself a break every now and then. Buy a new outfit; go see a movie; do something you’ve always wanted to do. Your family can take care of themselves for one day. Alone time is just as important to you as it is for everyone else. Think of yourself as a gas tank; eventually you will run out of fuel.

Laughter is a wonderful release. You’ve probably noticed those times when you’ve laughed so hard, you cried. This is probably due to the fact you haven’t laughed in a while, and the tension released through laughter is the best cure-all method for dealing with stress-related issues.

Avoid stressful situations whenever possible. If you are a working mom, it’s probably not the job but the people who are causing you the most stress. Take everything in your stride and remember that it’s not about you, it’s about them.

If you can’t finish a task, don’t worry about it. If dinner doesn’t turn out as you expected, improvise or get a take-away. We stress over so many things that really don’t matter! No-one is judging you anywhere near as much as you’re judging yourself, so give yourself a break and stop being so hard on yourself.

Life is too short; and stress can reduce it even further. Nothing is more important than your health or state of mind. Eleanor Roosevelt wisely said, “No one can make you a victim without your consent.” She was right; it is, after all, up to you.

If you’d like help managing your stress then feel free to book a FREE 30 minute call with me where we can discuss how I can help you further.

 

Overcoming Your Fear

Overcoming Your Fear

Do you want to become the most incredible, unstoppable version of yourself?

Then the answer is to overcome your FEAR. Your fear is what’s holding you back. Your fear is what is making you less capable and less formidable. And your fear is what’s taking away from your happiness and fulfilment.

It’s time we destroyed fear once and for all and unlocked our full potential!

Fear keeps us frozen and prevents us from moving forward. We are naturally risk averse which means we’d rather cling on to what little we have rather than go forward to win the big prizes.

To get around this, we can borrow some concepts from stoic philosophers and formalise them into a process that anyone can use to get over their crippling fears.

The process goes like this:

1.First, identify the goal or thing you would like to change. Let’s say you want to quit your job and start your own business.

2. Next, write down all the things you are afraid of and all the things that could go wrong. First, your partner might think you are irresponsible, and they might leave you. Second, your new business might fail and you’ll be left with debt. Third, your house might get repossessed. Fourth, you might end up vagrant. Fifth, your friends might laugh at you. Sixth, it might all go to plan but you find you hate your new position even more. You get the idea!

3.Now score each of those things on how realistically they are to happen. Would your partner really leave you? It’s unlikely unless there are problems in your marriage to begin with, so we can give that a ‘2’. Would you end up destitute or would you find another job, even if it’s a step down from what you were doing before? Give that one a ‘3’.

4.Next: do these things really matter? Score them 1-10. If your friends judge you… who cares? They will be judging you based on their own fears anyway.

5. Now, you’re going to go through that list again and you’re going to write down all the ways you could cope with the things that go wrong. These are your contingency plans and the things that you could do to cope. For instance, if you ended up broke you could get benefits, you could dip into your savings, you could ask your parents for help, you could take on a part time job. If your partner left you, you could still fulfill that dream of travelling the world.

6. Then go through the list one more This time, write down all the ways you can mitigate the risk so that it is less likely to happen. Worried about getting into debt? Then write a business model that doesn’t involve a big upfront expense and bootstrap your way to success. Worried about leaving your job? Then start your business in your free time first.

Now you’re going to do something else: you’re going to think about the worst-case scenario if you don’t follow through with your plan.

It might be that you end up stuck in a job you hate. That one day you’ll be 80 years old and you’ll look back on your life and feel that you never made anything of it. That your body and your mind atrophied from lack of challenge or experience.

What’s worse? I know how I’d feel!

Focus on what we discussed in the section on stoicism: bad things will happen. You can’t possibly avoid all bad things happening.

Meanwhile, you are only responsible for your own emotions. You can’t make everybody happy all of the time, so don’t even try. People pleasing is a total waste of time and does more harm than good, but that’s another subject for another day. What you need to focus on is accepting this reality and then just doing what you need to for your own emotional and psychological well-being.

How others react to your decision is up to them. But you can’t let that define your actions.

You can’t hold on to things just the way they are. You can’t prevent bad things from happening. All you can do is live life to its fullest and richest right now. That’s why you have to take those chances.

If you need any help releasing your FEARS, this is something I do with all my clients. You can book a FREE 30-minute clarity call with me here. You can also come and join us in The Positivity Hub facebook group.