This is a 3 part series of simple stress relief tools to support you easily and quickly in getting rid of stress.
Stress Relief Tool #2-The Stop Sign!
This is really simple, but very effective. When those those monkey mind worry thoughts start taking over, or when you start noticing that you are feeling on edge, feeling tense and generally ready to burst….picture a big STOP SIGN in front of you.
I love the acronym of STOP! This is a perfect image! Use it to STOP those runaway negative thoughts and feelings.
You get to be in control! By picturing this STOP sign, you are telling those negative thoughts and feelings to STOP running amok!
Practice with it, just like you did when you were learning to drive.
You learned to stop, then you had to think about your next action, which was to observe if there were any cars coming and if it was okay to then proceed.
Now, STOP those runaway thoughts, take a breath. Think how you want to feel. Think what your next action will be. You think more clearly when you’ve given yourself time to stop. Observe how your body feels, take another breath. Observe again and notice how your body is feeling now. Proceed only when you feel more calm, have your thoughts together and feel more in control.
Once those negative monkey mind thoughts have stopped…you can think more clearly. You can use Stress Relief Tool #1 from last month’s article, along with this one, if you’d like. Take a good deep conscious calming breath.
Now, go ahead and rehearse this at least 3 times…more is better…so you are fully prepared for when the actual triggers that stress you out show up.
Here’s how to practice: think about a recent situation when you felt really stressed. Just let it come in….now as soon as you begin to feel the upset in your body and you notice those jumpy runaway thoughts….Say STOP…and immediately see this picture of the STOP sign in your mind.
You stopped feeling so stressed, didn’t you? And, I bet you started feeling even a bit more calm, eh?
Do it again
Think about a stressful situation….then immediately say STOP and see the STOP sign. Feel and notice how much better you feel.
Do it again.
Repetitive stressful thinking is what got you feeling so stressed originally.
Now you need to repeat the act of changing your thoughts and feelings to ones you want, instead of the ones you don’t want.
Do it again. Repeat this exercise: recall a stressful situation. Notice your feelings and how your body feels. Now say: STOP and see the STOP sign.
Get that STOP sign working for you!
This a training for your mind! This is how many successful athletes train, too. Not only do they physically rehearse their athletic endeavors, they incorporate the power of their minds as well.
This is how you make a healthy habit.
When you practice this tool often, it embeds into the subconscious mind where it becomes an automatic response-a healthy habit-that gives you the instant relief you want, when you need it most.
Tell me how your STOP sign tool works for you in the comment box below!