As the days get shorter and life’s activities seem to be taking a run in the fast lane, it may seem more challenging to focus on your health and well being.
Things may be starting to feel a bit more hectic and more stressful. But feeling less stressed and more calm is not as difficult as you may think, no matter what the external (and internal) environment may be indicating to you.
Being prepared mentally and emotionally for life’s daily demands, especially for those things that can drive you crazy, such as: traffic, other drivers, school schedules, deadlines, juggling work and home responsibilities….just to name a few, allows you to be in the driver’s seat of your life, instead of being the helpless passenger along for the ride with stress at the wheel!
Start with these 3 Steps Now and watch how much better life is when calmness and sanity are at the steering wheel!
Step #1-Become Aware of your self talk!
Awareness is the first step to making any changes. If you want to feel more calm, have less stress in your life, you need to be aware of what you are saying to yourself.
Start your day with a simple intention: Today I will be aware of my self talk.
Take a few deep breaths and simply start noticing as an observer, what you are thinking.
Sometimes you may get tuned into your feelings first. That’s fine. You may notice an uneasy feeling, a tightness in your gut, chest or shoulders. You may experience those “butterfly feelings” in your stomach or a clenching of your teeth/jaw…from here you can ask “What was I thinking to get this feeling?”
Sometimes when you just ask the question, without having to know the answer right away, you’ll find it drifts on down into your awareness.
Don’t judge yourself, don’t call yourself bad names even though you may not like what you are learning. Simply be aware.
Step#2-Acknowledge negative thoughts
Say “thank you for sharing” or something similar to acknowledge that you’ve heard the negative thought.
You may also want to imagine a big STOP sign or Delete button, indicating you are no longer willing to tolerate such thoughts and images taking up your mind space and energy.
#3 Replace negative thoughts with positive ones
Think of something that inspires you, enlivens you, and makes you feel good.
Sometimes it takes working your way up to thoughts that feel better and better. This is called “re-framing” the thought (or situation). You put it into a different perspective and as a result it feels better.
It may take a few times to get to a better feeling place, but it’s worth it.
When you feel better, you feel more calm. When you feel more calm, you’re able to figure things out from a calmer place, from the more intelligent mind, instead of the more primitive knee jerk reactive mind.
Here’s an example of how these steps might be experienced:
Awareness of thought(s): “I’m so tired of all this traffic, why are all these people out on the road?”
Acknowledging negative thoughts: “Thank you for sharing, I’m now going to DELETE you, I want to think and feel better”
Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones:
1st re-frame: “Well, I guess I just have to grin and bear it” (maybe takes a bit of the stress away)
2nd re-frame: “I guess everyone else on the road may be wondering the same thing” ( takes a bit more of the edge off, doesn’t it?)
3rd re-frame: “I’m going to turn on the radio and listen to some fun music, I know I’ll feel better then” (this re-frame starts to get to the place you are wanting to be at, isn’t it? more calm and focused on something that is enjoyable).
If you are tired of the insanity of your own stress, and the negative self talk that goes along with it, and instead want to experience more serenity, calmness and inner peace, then I strongly encourage you to give these very simple, yet profound steps a whirl.
They work. They work because you are changing your neural pathways in your brain which affect how your mind thinks and your body feels.
Commit to practicing this every day for 21 days and I promise, you will feel sooo much better than when you started!
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