One of the best ways to deal with stress is prevention. Once you have done all you can, the second part is to let go because being stressed will only make it all so much worse. Here are a few tried and tested keys to managing stress.
Key One: Be Prepared
As the Boy Scouts used to say, “be prepared.” get organised. Sort out your paperwork, keep a good diary and make a note of vital things— birthdays, when your car needs servicing, and doctor’s appointments, for example. If you have a calendar on your mobile phone, use it to set reminders for important dates in advance. By being prepared, you can “go with the flow,” which means you can connect to Cosmic Energy.
Key Two: Don’t Get Caught up in Other People’s Chaos
I have a dear friend who lives life in a stressful, crazy, chaotic way, and as soon as you are around her it affects you. If we planned to go out somewhere, I would arrive at her place right on time and ready to go. But she would just be getting out of the bath, and then would need to pop around to her sister’s to drop her child off, then stop off at her dad’s house to pick something up—then to a cash point. We always arrived late and flustered. However, I found a simple solution. I told her, “I will see you there.” now invariably I am ten to fifteen minutes into an event, play, workshop or whatever, and she bursts in and disrupts everyone. She always has an amazing excuse. It is all lack of preparation on her part, but I don’t let her disorganisation and chaos affect me any more.
Key Three: Learn to Breathe
My nan used to say, “Take a deep breath when you have a problem.” She was right. Stop in your tracks no matter what is going on and concentrate on your breathing. When we are agitated, we tend to shallow-breathe very quickly, which brings less oxygen to the brain and so we think less clearly. By taking a few deep breaths, you bring your own energy field back under control.
If you find yourself having a crisis, stop and breathe deeply. Imagine you are in the centre of a tornado. Feel all the havoc going on around you and know the eye of the storm is the calmest place. Feel the calmness of the eye of the storm this is where you are, and tell yourself, “I am in the eye of the storm and I am peaceful and calm.”
A client had a violent husband whom she left, but she still found herself living on the edge because of him. He would turn up at her new home, shout at her through her letterbox, break her windows, and threaten her. When it came close to the court proceeding (she had applied for a restraining order), I taught her to imagine she was in the eye of the storm. She told me, “I remained totally calm in court. It completely threw him. For once he was the flustered one and I got my restraining order.”
When you are in a crisis, notice if there are any physical signs such as a headache or stomach tension. As you breathe in say the word “re- lax” to that part of your body.
To relieve ongoing stress, sit quietly and focus on what is upsetting you. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth and
Key Four: Overloading Yourself
If the stress is recurring, work out what you need to do to change things. Often stress comes from having too much to do, although invariably you could cut your workload by a third if you had to do anything from wearing clothes that don’t need a lot of maintenance to hiring a cleaner, to not seeing people you don’t want to see, to emptying your diary of all but the most vital appointments.
If you get to the point where you feel you are overloading yourself, go for a walk, go dancing or to the gym or at least do something physical. It will take you out of your mind and into your body.
Key Five: Let Go of Props
If you usually use a prop, such as smoking, alcohol, drugs or tranquillisers, first try walking, dancing or Thought Field Therapy before anything else. You may well feel strong enough to leave the prop to one side.
Key Six: Identify the Problem
Identify the biggest stress triggers in your life and eliminate them. Be honest about the cause—is it a person, or is it your own fault? Is it that outside situations are causing you all this hassle? Once you identify the cause you can then take steps to remove it from your life.
You will feel more in control as your stress levels calm down. When you are stressed you create a negative energy field, which in turn attracts more problems. Calm your stress no matter what is going on and you will find all the good things in life suddenly come your way.