Stress is the #1 cause of disease and an epidemic in its’ own right. Money (and anything related to this currency) and time (not enough) are probably the 2 largest contributors towards influencing people’s perceived stress levels today.
Stress is also the #1 contributor to today’s astronomically high divorce rate. You can argue that money is the #1 contributor, and that wouldn’t be false. What is the by-product of the negative connotation that money brings in this relationship that it destroys? STRESS!
Before you continue reading I want you to understand that the information I will be provided in this article is NOT a long-term solution for solving your stress “problem”. I will be providing ways to achieve immediate relief from your perceived stressors, which if implemented consistently, in the long run, can play a major role in the long-term solution.
You Must Understand This First…
You create your own stress!
2 Effective Ways To Obliterate Stress Instantly
I will be touching on 2 effective ways to completely obliterate your stress on the spot. I can attest to their effectiveness and each strategy is nothing short of life-changing I can assure you. Neither is easy to do and must be practiced daily on even the most minute stressors.
These 2 ways are:
- Changing your perception/Reframing
These are definitely not the only 2 ways to reduce stress levels immediately, they are the only 2 I will be touching on in this article. I chose these 2 strategies based on personal experience, as I have used them on myself and others with outstanding results.
How To Reduce Stress By Changing Your Perception
I know, you might be thinking…
“NO F*cking way, this happened to me, that happened to me, this person did this to me, that person said that to me, THESE ARE ALL THE THINGS THAT ARE CAUSING MY STRESS NOT ME!”
I hate to break it to ya, it is not the circumstances of your life that cause your stress, it is your perception of those circumstances that cause your stress. Within that perception, you developed the meaning you have given to each circumstance.
So long as you remain a victim of circumstance, you will be a prisoner of your own mind
(In this example I will use one of my clients. For sake of privacy I will name the lady June and leave the event nameless)
June and her husband created a special event to gather more awareness to a specific topic. The purpose of this event was not to make money, and solely for awareness. The couple had worked tirelessly on creating this special event, putting in countless hours, and funded it with their own money.
The couple had just hosted their 2nd annual event. The turnout was good considering the poor weather, as the event was hosted outdoors. During the event, one of their trusted board members approached them with some sour news. This board member informed them that another board member is conspiring against them.
The plan was to hijack the event, and ultimately steal the rights to it. There was much effort put into the hijacking and was planned months prior. Without the act of the one board member who fed June this information, the hijacking probably would have been a success.
June and her husband are now in an on-going legal battle with the hijacker, in order to ensure rights to the event they had created from scratch.
Junes’ perception of the event: It was a personal attack
June took the attempted hijacking as a personal attack against her, as a person.
Can you imagine how much stress that would inflict on you to take the majority of your unfortunate circumstances personally? To make the entire situation about YOU?
How a shift in perception brought June immediate stress relief
June’s New Perception: The attempted hijacking is actually a compliment
How is that horrible action a compliment you may ask? June created such a phenomenal event that someone actually put their reputation on the line in an attempt to steal it from her. People don’t do that unless what they are going after is worth their own reputation.
Nothing in life has any meaning except the meaning we give it
– Anthony Robbins
How the power of questions changed June’s perception:
Question: “Why would anyone ever want to steal an event from someone?”
Answer: “Because they want to own it for themselves”
Question: “And why would they want to own the event for themselves?”
Answer: “Because they see potential in it, they see value in it, maybe they envy it because they don’t believe they can create such a phenomenal event, and need to steal it from someone else, maybe they saw all the hard work has been done and want to now ride the wave of success?”
Question: “Why would someone put their entire reputation on the line in an attempt to steal something that is not theirs?”
Answer: “Because they see enormous value in it”
Question: “Who created this enormous value from scratch?”
Answer: “June did. Congratulations to June, as she just created an event so phenomenal that someone was willing to put their entire reputation on the line for it. Trying to hijack it was their way of complimenting you on creating such enormous value.”
2 Questions you can ask yourself to get curious:
- What else could this mean?
- If I had to find something positive about this what would it be?
Practice Reframing By Using Past Unwanted Circumstances
Get a piece of paper and write down this exercise:
- Choose a situation from your past that still brings unwanted emotions when you think about it
- Ask yourself the 2 questions above to get yourself curious
- Write down all the answers you can come up with, the more answers the better
Practice this with as many unwanted experiences from your past as you can. The more you practice, the more you train your new thought patterns, and you end up breaking your old thought patterns that have created much of your unwanted stress in the past.
How To Reduce Stress With Mindfulness
For those who are unaware, mindfulness means being fully immersed in the present moment. Your mind is not anywhere else except being aware of the very moment you are in at any given time. Mindfulness provides immediate stress relief due to the simplicity of being in the present moment.
How does this happen? Stress is caused by thoughts about either the past or the future. Thoughts, and therefore stress cannot exist when we are immersed in, and fully aware of the present moment.
This sounds so simple, yet the majority of people struggle with being mindful. The main cause for this is not being aware of being aware, this awareness is what many spiritual experts call the “witness” or “impartial spectator”.
In order to catch yourself in thought, you must first be aware that you are thinking. Without this awareness, mindfulness will not happen very often for you, and you will live mindlessly, and the chronic stress will continue to eat away at you.
You cannot be both unhappy and fully present in the Now.
– Eckhart Tolle
Develop A Trigger For Your Awareness
When you are thinking and acting mindlessly, you must have a trigger that brings you back to the present moment. A trigger that will bring awareness to the “witness” or “impartial spectator”.
Examples of Triggers:
- Focusing on, and taking a deep breath
- Wearing an elastic band on your wrist and snapping it
- Focusing on a specific colour
- Focus on 1 of your 5 senses
- Pinch yourself
Your trigger can literally be anything, do what works best for you. Try different triggers and choose one that resonates with you. Start off by using the trigger any time you catch yourself experiencing an emotion you don’t want to feel and bring yourself back to the present moment.
Taking Action And Adjusting Expectations
I completely understand how difficult can be to implement either one of these strategies. It may get frustrating at times, you may feel like you aren’t making any progress, but as long as you are doing your best to implement the change then you are making progress.
Adjust your expectations so that no matter the outcome, you win. If you establish an expectation that it will be easy to implement one of these strategies and that it will work immediately then you are setting yourself up for major frustrations.
Establish the expectation that you will give 100% effort every time, regardless of the outcome, and you will win.
Start small and practice each strategy daily. Eventually, both strategies will become an unconscious act, and your life will change forever, as did mine. Repetition is key!
If you have any experience with either of these strategies please let everyone know in the comments below!
Learn from all of your experiences, opportunities are everywhere.