The notion of stress is extremely subjective; what may be stressful to one person may not affect another. What is important, however, is that most of the stress we feel, regardless of what causes it, is potentially harmful both emotionally, psychologicall and or physically. By reducing stress we can live happier, healthier and more contented lives. We can also carry out our work with more focus, performing closer to our highest potential.
Everyday we think approximately 60,000 thoughts. Amazingly, about 90 per cent of our thoughts are the same thoughts we had yesterday. So that is about 54,000 of the same thoughts flowing through our mind on a regular, daily basis. And most of these 54,000 thoughts are negative in nature. So how can we manage and control our thoughts so that we elicit positive emotions and actions in our lives? Here are three surefire stress busters that can help you manage and reduce your stress.
Transform Your Thought Attacks
Whenever you are faced with a stressful situation and are thinking negatively about it (ie having a “thought attack”) ask your self “How else can I interpret this situation?” By doing this you will find a new way of looking at the problem and you’ll discover the hidden benefits and opportunities (the ’silver linings’) that can result from it.
Tell A Different Story
Often we are unaware that the majority of our communication consists of telling stories about the experience we’ve had. What stories are you telling about your stressful experience? Are you painting a picture of doom and gloom or could you relate it in a more positive way? Often we victimise ourselves in the stories we relate to others, but there is no benefit in focusing on the problem. Instead, try focusing on the solution.
Developing A Sense of Gratitude
When you stop and think about the things in life you are grateful for, you automatically stop stressing about the things you don’t have. Focus your attention on everything you appreciate in your life and feel a sense of gratitude and appreciation whenever you can. After all, if you always focus on what you don’t have, then you can never actually have enough.
Meiron Lees, executive director, InnerCents, a specialised corporate training and coaching company. He is also the author of D-Stress: Building Resilience in Challenging Times.