Tip No. 6: Manage Your Stress Levels

How well are you managing your stress levels?

Imagine stress as what you experience in the moment, and anxiety as the stress you create about something in the future or the past. Either way they are both created by the way in which you are reacting to events, rather than by the events themselves. Being frightened and running away from something genuinely terrifying is a really important reaction to have. If we are conditioned to be hyper-sensitive to perceived threats however, and we don’t believe we’d cope well in a certain situation, we’re going to react with stress and anxiety because we perceive the threat as genuine. This is why people with phobias react to non-threatening situations as if they were real… they are real to the sufferer.

If your general stress level is quite high, it stands to reason that you’re more likely to ‘go into the red’ more quickly than someone who’s general stress level is quite low. Imagine a ’stress-o-meter’, with a dial numbered 1 to 10. 1 is completely relaxed, 10 is ‘in the red’ and very stressed. Most people have a level that they can get to and yet still stay relatively calm and in control. If they can stay below this number, they’ll prevent themselves from getting really stressed or anxious. Whereas if they go above this number, they’ll get stressed very quickly, begin to lose their perspective and find it much more difficult to calm down and think rationally.

It’s useful to be able to gauge your stress levels and actively manage your thinking so that you can keep yourself calm and in control. But what do you do if it all goes a bit wrong? Then you need to hit the reset button. If you’ve got yourself stressed, angry, upset or anxious, you can reset to a much calmer emotional state quite easily and quickly, by following these three steps:

🔸Recognise – that you have got yourself stressed, and that your ’stress-o-meter needle’ is in the red.
🔸Realise – that you have created this state by the way in which you have reacted to events – even though you might not know how you’ve achieved this right at this moment.
🔸Reset – your thinking and attitude by telling yourself ‘everything is alright’ and ‘I can cope with this’.

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