Guest Post by Linda Prejean
Yet, stress isn’t always bad. Studies have shown that bigger goals and greater ambition doesn’t have to mean more stress. In fact, a workaholic doesn’t necessarily get there any faster (think of the tortoise and the hare). Some of the most relaxed people are some of the world’s greatest achievers.
Stress can be good for you. It mobilizes the body to respond, focuses the mind to reach deadlines. But too much or chronic stress can lead to many ailments, including depression. Even if the threat isn’t real, only imagined, your body will respond to stress with floods of cortisol creating inflammation, a danger zone for your body.
Managing stress is key.
Here are seven tips to make your new year a great one:
1. Relaxation has powerful effects. No matter what you’re doing, pause briefly and notice when you’re tense. Next, breathe deeply a few times to allow the stress a place to go. Practice builds consistency.
For example, if you’re anxiously waiting for a phone call, you can take your power back by not trying to control externals. Just notice where the tension is gathering in your body, and let it go.
2. Take small steps. Every failure in business, relationship, or personal difficulty has chipped away at your future confidence. Taking small actions can be more effective than working harder. Ask how you can live more fully, be more engaged. Success multiples like compound interest through daily consistency of small achievable goals.
4. Have a mission. We get so many ideas, not all of them are meant to act on. Connect with something that has meaning for you. Clarity keeps you connected to the pulse of life while alerting you to your deeper feelings and preferences.
5. Relaxation is faith. You send a signal to your brain that you believe everything is going to be okay. You might even adopt the belief that anything is possible.
6. Find power through adversity. Known as reframing, take those stressful times and find the growth by telling your story through writing in a journal. Studies have shown that expressive writing in times of challenging upsets provides a wealth of mental and physical benefits. A Zen Proverb says, “The obstacle in the path is the path.”
7. Find the sweet spot. Athletes move into situations that stress them and stay with the discomfort as they talk themselves through it. How many times have you said, “I can do this” or “I believe in myself,” at difficult times. This builds strength of mind and creates resilience. Self-talk during uncomfortable times can create breakthroughs and keep you from giving up.
When your body is relaxed, more positive thoughts pass through your mind. Charles Haanel, author of bestselling Master Key System, said, “Harmony in the world within will be reflected in the world without by harmonious conditions, agreeable surroundings, the best of everything.”
Relaxation is the key to making this your best New Year.
Linda Prejean is a Life Coach with a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology. She has a private practice in Temecula and San Diego. 800-491-0830. She has three books on your Ten Powers for Amazon Kindle and soon to be released, co-authored with Dr. James Vevaina of Lajolla, “Here Goes My Heart, How to Find Love and Romance After 50.” mysecretdreamslifecoaching.com