Dealing With Stress, Step 5: Clinical Mode On

(This article is a part of a series; please start here)

Observing dispassionately allows control. Once you managed to take the previous step (dis-identifying Yourself from Mind) – or even at the same time – start observing yourself as you would an item in a museum.

Start by observing what happens inside your body. It is easier with the body, because it doesn’t play the identification trick. Scan your muscles, your gut, your heart, your face. Notice the tension in your arms and legs, notice the feeling of a solid rock in your belly, notice the fast-paced, shallow breathing, notice the sensation of heat in your cheeks.

Once you noticed those sensations, stop. Don’t take it further, don’t judge “I shouldn’t feel that, I shouldn’t be red-faced”. Just take the information in and file it without tagging it “good” or “bad”. Go back to scanning and do it as many times as you need to cool off.

After you get familiar with observing your body, you can take the next step and do the same with your mind. Observe what feelings it puts out. Name them as exactly as you can: “my mind is making me feel ashamed“, “my mind is making me feel furious“. It is good information. It is not something you should believe or act upon. If you can trace the source you’re even better off: “my mind makes me feel ashamed I made a mistake because in the first grade the teacher always made crude fun of me because I wasn’t talented at math“. Seeing the source is valuable, because it shows you that your mood has less to do with Now and more to do with The Past. The link is emotional, not rational.

If you have ever been in a negotiation with an used-cars salesman (or any slick, fast-talking sales guy), you know how you look at him working his number, recognize the tricks in his book and smile inwardly “You won’t catch me this time, dude!

The same goes with your mind. It won’t catch you again, because you will recognize its trick, see right through them and take appropriate action, as opposed to the hasty things It wants you to do.

“Response” is the name of the game. “Reaction” is a thing of the past.

Continue with steps 6 and 7 by clicking here
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By Catalin Octavian Blaga – Trainer Great People Inside

Trainer who turns business experience and psychology into impacting training programs… and more!  You can find out more about Catalin by clicking here

Dealing With Stress, Step 4: You Are Not Your Mood

(This article is a part of a series; please start here)

Your Mind and You are two different things. Any other part of your body hurting, you would say “my body part is hurting”. It is only with the mind that you say “I am hurting”.

Have you ever been overwhelmed by a feeling of dread, only to scan the near future and find nothing to explain that? It happens to me in the morning, usually. This is one of the many tricks in the mind’s arsenal. What happens is we surrender to the mood without questioning its validity.

But a bad mood is just that: a transient state of the mind. Brains have a way of taking over that other organs don’t. You just have to identify that for what it is: a state of one organ. Important, powerful, useful, but an organ nonetheless.

You can start by dis-identifying Yourself from Mind. Instead of simply surrendering and saying “I am anxious / furious / stressed out” switch to naming your feeling: “I feel anxiety / fury / stress“. This trick helps putting some distance between The Whole You and whatever happens inside.

Next, start calling out the perpetrator: “My mind is making me feel anxiety / fury / stress“. If you can, take a step back mentally and “see” your mind playing its little tricks.

Stop identifying yourself with the workings of your mind. Take a step back. Cool down. It is the most direct way of replacing reaction with response.

Read part 5

 

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By Catalin Octavian Blaga – Trainer Great People Inside

Trainer who turns business experience and psychology into impacting training programs… and more!  You can find out more about Catalin by clicking here

Dealing With Stress, Step 3: Don’t Fight Feelings

(This article is a part of a series; please start here)

Fighting the feeling will only enhance its grip. That is something adults almost never tell kids, when it comes to “proper emotional reaction”. At least where I am from, “boys don’t cry”. I’ve been told that many times; I’ve never been told how to fight tears (and, of course, the more I tried, the more they would trickle down my cheeks, red-hot with shame).

One doesn’t justify feelings. They are what they are: a natural, honest and strong reaction of the mind (and body) to an unpleasant set of circumstances. You wouldn’t even dream to justify breathing and explain metabolism. Why would you need to treat feelings differently?

That “good” feeling / “bad” feeling dichotomy is a purely social construct. “Chase away the nature, it will return at a gallop” say the French. And, as Nature would do, the harder you fight it the more it will return with a vengeance.

So, next time you feel something you “shouldn’t” feel, stop fighting it. If it is fear you feel, allow it; if it is anger you feel, say to yourself “This is fear that I feel; I will allow it to rise and go away without fighting it“. Name it, observe it and let it be. Eventually, it will go away.

That is not to say you should indulge in manifesting your every feeling. Having that feeling is one thing; acting on it is a different beast altogether. Do not allow yourself to act under the pressure. Bad moods alter the worldview, and consequences could be more than you bargained for.

If need be, you can explain: “I am feeling very nervous right now and it has nothing to do with you. I do not want to talk / explain / tell the story and I do not want to engage further because I don’t really know what I can do, so please let me be for now and I will come to you later“.

Please, do not make the mistake of taking it out on whomever stays in front of you at the moment. Even if you explain later that “it had nothing to do with you, I was just angry“, some things cannot be undone.

Feel your feelings. Name them, call them out, let them come and go without resisting. Where they’ve been, the landscape will clear out and refresh, more often than not.

Read part 4

Do you want to find out more? Get in touch with a consultant now or request a free demo!

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By Catalin Octavian Blaga – Trainer Great People Inside

Trainer who turns business experience and psychology into impacting training programs… and more!  You can find out more about Catalin by clicking here

Dealing With Stress, Step 2: Feelings are natural

(This article is a part of a series; please start here)

Feelings are natural, they are not a flaw. We are wired to feel down, empty, nervous, anxious or furious. Don’t blame yourself.

When you’re happy, content or joyous you never second-guess your feelings, do you? Why would you do that when you’re down, adding a supplementary layer of negative? Aren’t they all the same: feelings?

It bugged me since I was a kid, hearing “You shouldn’t feel [down, unhappy, sad], think of all the kids out there who don’t have half of what you have!” I couldn’t point out why, but I was (at least) annoyed. It was like my feelings should have had some kind of universal scale of measurement and go through a global referendum, in order for said feelings to be “valid”.

Nature wired us for feeling emotions. “Bad” emotions are like “bad” breathing – they don’t exist. Fury, anger, sadness, desperation – all are natural. They are what they are and they make you feel what they make you feel. You cannot deny, choke or feint them – at least not forever. They are your emotions, and are natural (acting on them is another thing entirely…).

You don’t have to feel anything. What you feel is what you feel. Numbness is what should get you worried.

So, let feelings be. They are Mother Nature’s way of letting us know something isn’t quite right. Just like breaking the bulb of an alarm lamp does not make things right, denying feelings serves no purpose. Notice your feelings, give them names, get friendly with them. Just don’t act on them.

Read part 3

Do you want to find out more? Get in touch with a consultant now or request a free demo!

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By Catalin Octavian Blaga – Trainer Great People Inside

Trainer who turns business experience and psychology into impacting training programs… and more!  You can find out more about Catalin by clicking here