Keep Your Cool With This Stress Reduction Tool
It isn't easy keeping your sense of peace when everyone and
everything around you is going crazy. Short of completely
isolating yourself from the whole world, within a perfectly
peaceful environment, what do you do? This article is going
to explore quite a few tools that will help you formulate
your very own Stress Reduction Plan. This plan will help you
keep your cool even when those around you are losing theirs,
and quite possibly blaming it on you!
If you're like me, you work hard at maintaining a desired
level of peace and serenity within your life. Then, it can
easily be blown in one incident of having to deal with other
stressed out people or places. You might find yourself blowing
your cool over something inconsequential such as an irate
driver, or a longer than preferred line at the store.
When your stress levels soar, you could end up resenting other
people or yourself for losing that nice peaceful feeling you
were just starting to enjoy. On top of that, it can be frustrating
to have to start over again in getting back the serenity you
worked so hard to maintain in the first place. Now you're
stressed about being stressed. It can be a vicious, hard to
break, cycle. Luckily, there are positive steps you can take
to change all that!
Let me first assure you it's perfectly natural to find yourself
getting stressed out along with the people you're around,
or the environment you're in. Studies show that one negative
person can bring down a whole room full of positive people.
The same holds true for how one stressed out person can raise
the stress levels of those around him/her. There is also the
energy in an environment, caused by people, or the environment
itself that is a very powerful force to deal with. The more
sensitive you are to energy, the more susceptible you will
be to energy given off by other people and places. We will
talk about how to deal with that in a little while.
I feel the first thing we need to do is put it firmly in our
minds that Stress Happens! In all of our efforts to remain
calm and peaceful, it's easy to forget that stressful events
in and of themselves are not what does the damage to us. Whether
its good or bad stress, coming from within yourself, or from
other people and places, it completely depends on how you
process the stress that ultimately determines how it will
end up affecting you. Cultivating acceptance can help immensely.
That is the first, and very important, part of our Stress
The next step of the Stress Reduction Plan is to practice
staying in the Right Here, Right Now, present time. Staying
with the immediate will dramatically decrease feelings of
anxiety and fear. You will be aware of the energy going on
around you, so you can be alert to stressful energy and deal
with it accordingly. You will also be able to face the stress
head on before it turns into another tension headache or sleepless
One thing that helps me stay mindful of focusing on the present
is to practice, practice, and practice some more! Be mindful
of how your body moves, feel how your eyes are moving as they
read this article, how you are sitting in your chair, how
the air around you feels on your body. Listen to what is going
on around you, the hum of the computer, or outside traffic
passing by; birds singing, whatever you can hear, really take
time to hear it. Use all of your senses to experience everything
that is around you at all times. Practice these things throughout
the day as you accomplish your daily tasks and see if it helps
The third step we are going to take in creating our Stress
Reduction Plan is to make a list of your Stress Hot Spots.
Perhaps it's trying to get ready for your day, especially
if you're getting kids to school and significant others off
to work. Maybe it's rush hour, or suppertime, or the end of
the workday where things are the most chaotic and apt to take
you out of your Happy Place. Really take some time to create
a list of all the different areas of your life where stress
is going to be inevitable.
Once you have a list of your "Stress Hot Spot" times, ask
yourself these questions for each item listed:
- Are there ways you can lessen the impact of that stress
for yourself and others? (Maybe it's as simple as waking
up 10 minutes earlier to avoid the morning rush).
- Can you ask others for help?
- Can you allow other people to keep their own feelings
of stress in this situation without feeling you're abandoning
them if you don't join in by getting stressed out yourself?
- Are there any items that you are procrastinating about
that might make stressful times even more stressful for
yourself or others? How can you correct that?
- Can you find any humor in it at all? There's usually
a lighter side of every situation and looking for that can
really help when things start getting too heavy.
- Do you have time for a quick break, before, during, or
after the stressful event?
- What others strategies might help Stress Hot Spot times
go as smoothly and enjoyably as possible?
Part of creating your list might be to request a team or
family meeting to help brainstorm suggestions to alleviate
the stressful areas you all share together. This will help
improve everyone's stress level and peace of mind!
After you answer all the questions, add the suggestions you
came up with to your Daily To-Do list. It also might be helpful
to post some reminder signs around your house or office to
keep you aware of what you're working towards.
Another important part of keeping your cool is to release
being judgmental. For example, that excruciatingly slow driver
probably isn't really a bum out to ruin your life. They might
be having any number of personal crisis situations going on.
You never really know what's going on in other people's lives,
and most likely they're not thinking about what's going on
in your life either. Think about when you have been the most
challenged in your own life and how wonderful it would feel
if others gave you patience and understanding. Maybe you can
teach those others a lesson by being the patient, understanding
one first. You will feel more control of yourself and your
day as well!
Speaking of being in control, Free Will offers us the wonderful
blessing of being able to consciously accept or reject stress
coming from others. For example, if your boss or life partner
is exhibiting high stress symptoms, you can allow them to
keep their own stressed energies without becoming attached
and absorbing those energies yourself. Allow other people
to own their own negative feelings or stress, and allow yourself
to stay attached to your own feelings of peace and serenity.
You can still be there for the person without experiencing
their negative or stressful emotions with them. I can guarantee
that you will be a bigger help to them, and to yourself, when
you are coming from a center of peace than if you are a stressed
out wreck waiting to happen!
Another wonderful thing about Free Will is it gives you the
ability to consciously create your environment. If you walk
into a room that has negative or stressful energy, imagine
positive and peaceful energy filling up the room as well.
This will help you from being overcome with the bad energy
and help others in the area by drawing out more of their positive
energy. It's a simple scientific equation that like attracts
like. In keeping with that equation, the more positive feelings
you give out, the more will come back to you. Play with this
idea for a while and see how effective it can be.
Of course, unless you are completely enlightened, there will
be times that stress gets the best of you. When you get anxious
or afraid, allow the feelings to flow through you without
fighting with yourself over them. It really is okay to have
those, or other not so pleasant emotions from time to time;
it's how you act on them that determine if they are going
to be beneficial or harmful to you. Always remember that you
have Free Will and can make choices from a place of serenity
no matter what situation you find yourself in.
I hope these ideas help you keep your cool even in the most
challenging of times. If you would like more specific tools
in regard to your own unique lifestyle, I would be more than
happy to talk with you about it. Also, I would love to hear
from you if you would like to share how these tools I've mentioned
work for you in your life, or have any other suggestions or
Tracy Togliatti is a Holistic Practitioner and specializing
in Energy Psychology and Reiki. She also offers a free advice
service and free email Reiki lessons at www.happyher.com.