In your mind, you messed up. The big project at work didn’t get done. You forgot to pick up your kids from soccer practice. There isn’t enough money for your vacation this summer. The stress is building.
For others, they don’t see these actions as stressful, but learning opportunities. How do these people transform their stress towards positive change? How do they move their stress from negative to positive?
Here are 3 simple steps to transform stress in your life:
1. Love Yourself and Forgive Yourself
The Golden Rule in engrained in our brains. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” What about “loving and forgiving unto yourself?”
When we’re focused on forgiving others, we forget about forgiving ourselves. Through the power of forgiveness, your life and mind will change. The change might come slowly, but the change will last forever. How do you love and forgive yourself? Whisper it to yourself every day. Say it out loud. We are what we think; if you keep thinking these positive thoughts about yourself, love will naturally abound. Think about what is right, not what is wrong.
Most people believe in order to meditate, they have to sit cross-legged on a cushion while an instructor talks in a low, soothing voice. This is one way of meditating, but there are easier ways to meditate.
The most effective meditation is called mindfulness meditation. This meditation requires a comfortable place to sit and an awareness of the breath. When meditating, the objective is not to become enlightened like the Buddha. The goal is to be more mindful of your actions in every aspect of your life. The meditation is simple, but not easy. Start with gentle deep breaths through your nose while sitting up straight. A deep breath that you can feel in your diaphragm. Envision filling both your lungs and your diaphragm with air holding for a count of two or three and slowly releasing to a count of 4 or 5. Whatever slow and comfortable are for you. Focus on releasing any tension in your shoulders and just letting them hang. Create an awareness that releases any tension from your head to your toes, focusing on a slow intake of breath in, hold and release. The benefits to attempting some form of meditation on a regular basis can reduce your fear and anger which in turn reduces your stress.
3. Focus on Process
We cannot control many of the events that happen in our lives but we can control ourselves and our thought process. If you did everything you could to succeed, and it still did not accomplish the result you were looking for, what now? That’s all you could do at that moment in time. The most successful businesses, sports teams and musicians focus on the process, rather than the results. With the right process, the results will come. Sounds simple but you will need to step out of your standard thought process and find the opportunity in the experience. Although you did not accomplish your end result what benefits can you find from the experience? Take for example Thomas Edison, how many times did he attempt the light bulb? It has been said he did not look at the several hundred attempts as fails but simply not the way to achieve light. Not only did he succeed in creating light but in his so called “failings” he discovered a multitude of other inventions and key scientific principles leading to other great discoveries. It is the perspective of the process that creates more opportunities and personal growth.