With the summer weather so inviting, I’ve been taking time out to work in our rather large yard.
I really enjoy being outside, trimming down shrubs and ground covers, as well as tending to my annuals in their containers.
It’s interesting though, as much as I want to be outside doing yard work, my mind can have a tendency to want to focus on all the things that are wrong in the yard.
When that happens, I notice how my mood changes.
I notice I start feeling less joy in being out there.
I find myself no longer feeling inspired to create beauty and be in the present, but instead creating “if only” thoughts.
“If only we had a regular gardener”
“If only I’d done more work earlier in the season, it wouldn’t be so overgrown now”
“If only we’d planted (blank), instead of this weed-like plant”
“If only I had more time”
“If only there wasn’t so much work”
I’m sure you get the picture. And it’s not a pretty one, is it?
Not only is the picture I’m creating not pretty, it’s downright awful feeling, too!
My thoughts have taken me into the tunnel of despair, where all is not well, which then have me feeling distressed and stressed.
I really don’t like to feel stressed out. And, after all, this is an area I love working with my clients on. I’m not suppose to be stressed!
Truth is, I get stressed, too. My thoughts can start to take on a life of their own…if I’m being caught unaware.
Once those negative thoughts start firing off in the brain, they produce biochemicals in the body, which produce that uneasy feeling or being in a “bad mood” feeling.
Luckily, I’ve been at the “inner” game for quite a long time, so I’ve trained myself to recognize when I’m going down that “negative tunnel” of despair/distress/stress and can make some fast changes.
It starts with the awareness, the recognition, of my feeling state.
This is key! Being aware of those negative feelings caused by the negative thoughts is what provides the stimulus for change.
I’ve even learned over the many years of working on my own “inner game”, as well as with helping my clients’ on their “inner game”, that it is possible to change being stressed to being inspired.
I know that might sound like a big stretch, but it can happen!
Here are some tools I use, I know they will support you as well.
The key is to be diligent in your commitment to CHANGE where you are currently at to where you want to be/get to!
5 quick ways to get from stress to inspiration
simply to calm and feeling better!
#1-Take a deep breath!
Yes, it’s simple, but effective. It helps to stop the “bully” brain! The one that wants to beat you up, have you feel bad, get into all those negative repetitive thoughts.
It gives you a moment of altitude, so you can get out of the loop of negativity.
Sometimes you may need to take a few breaths to really feel separated enough from the negativity. That’s fine. They take just a few seconds to do!
Just do it, it works!
Test it out: Think of something that upsets you or has in the past. Notice the feeling in your body. Notice how your mind wants to keep focusing on it.
Now, take a deep breath and slowly exhale. Take another deep breath and again slowly exhale.
You can now be inspired by your ability to stop the bully brain!
#2-Toss an object (no, not at anything or anybody!!) to stimulate your brain.
Simple, but it works.
Toss/pass an object, such as a ball, keys or a water bottle from one hand to the other hand, crossing over the mid-line of your body each time. Do this for one minute.
Stop, take a breath and notice how you feel.
You will notice the stress/anxiety/monkey mind will subside.
Because you are stimulating both hemispheres of the brain. Stressful thoughts are usually concentrated on one side of the brain. This diffuses the electrical impulses causing the distress and gives relief.
Test it out:
Think of anything that causes you to feel stressed. Notice it in your body and now rate it on a scale of 1-10.
Do the above exercise for 1 minute, take a breath and notice how you feel.
What is that number now?
Continue doing the tossing back and forth for a minute at a time until the stress is gone. It usually happens quite quickly.
Quick and easy! Now that’s inspiring!
#3-Use your powerful imagination-it’s extremely powerful!
Go to a place in your mind that feels very calming.
This could be a place in nature or it could be a special room.
It’s a place you know feels very relaxing and calming.
Allow yourself to be immersed and present to this relaxing place.
Being present to the calm inspires your body to respond by relaxing and letting go.
Test it out: Use above example, except this time use your imagination and go to your “special place” and notice what happens.
#4-Change the shape and color of your stress
As soon as you feel the discomfort of the stressful feeling-STOP-and ask yourself what shape it is.
If it’s round, change it to a square or a triangle or whatever you choose.
Find out what color it is. Change it to a color you associate with calmness.
Test it out:
Pick a scenario that has caused you to feel stressed or in a bad mood.
Now, tune in and ask yourself what shape it is. Now change its shape.
Notice how you feel.Now find out what color it is. Change the color to a soothing color for you.
Notice how you feel.
Be inspired by your innate creativity!
#5-Change the self talk
As soon as you become aware of feeling stressed, in a bad mood or simply “off”, STOP and pay attention to the dialogue going on in your mind.
I can guarantee it’s not pretty, it’s not empowering and certainly not supportive of feeling
inspired by your life!
This process allows you to “see” and “hear” what it is you don’t want to say, which will guide you to what it is you want to be telling yourself.
Think of how you would kindly talk to a child or a dear friend.
Test it out: Go to a time when you were feeling less than great. Even if you don’t know what you were thinking at the time, I’m imagining you could give an educated guess at some of the self talk you were having with you.
Now, say what you’d rather be hearing. Notice how that feels in your body.
Prepare ahead of time. Start a list of the kind things you could say to yourself.
Rehearse them. You’ll be ready when the negative bully voice starts talking!
Be inspired by your take charge attitude!
These tools are quick and easy. They simply require your desire to change from feeling stressed to feeling better.
Now, go ahead and be inspired!