Mastering the basics is important in any area of life if you want to progress forward.
A professional basketball player didn’t progress to that professional level simply because he can perform intricate and complicated maneuvers; he got to that level because he mastered the basics of basketball- ie. throwing the ball to exactly where he aims, dribbling with precise control, and changing direction with an excellent sense of balance.
In this complicated world, we can have the tendency to think that the way of progress must be equally complicated. But this is not the case. One must simply master the basics and progress will happen.
Let’s look at some basics of effective stress management.
Stress is almost always a result of an emotion or feeling. When someone says “I’m feeling stressed”, what they really mean is that they are feeling overwhelmed, impatient, frustrated, anxious, etc. Stressors- situations/circumstances/events perceived as “negative” or “bad”- trigger inner depleting or negative emotional reactions such as these. It is this emotional response that is resulting in your stress.
So, what? Why is this important?
Well, it may not seem like it all the time, but you have control over your emotional responses to situations/circumstances/events. This means that you have control over your stress!
The first step to mastering the basics of effective stress management is to acknowledge that you have control over your emotional responses and therefore you have control over your stress.
The second step is to increase your awareness of your emotions. Did you know, there is never a moment that you are without an emotion? Even when you are not aware that you are experiencing an emotion, you are experiencing one. Some emotions run in the background, like background music in a movie. But whether or not you are aware of them, your emotions are profoundly affecting you- driving your physiology, colouring your perception of the world, influencing your decisions, and determining your level of engagement with others and life.
The third step is to take responsibility. Stress doesn’t just happen to you. You are not a victim to stress. You are the key factor in determining your level of stress. If you don’t like the level of stress you are experiencing, it is up to you to change that level.
If you believe that you don’t have “stress”, then consider if you are happy with the level of anxiety, frustration, impatience, overwhelm, sadness, dissatisfaction, guilt, shame, irritation, etc in your life…because these negative/depleting emotions are for sure creating stress, even if you don’t want to admit it.
The fourth step is to learn to regulate your emotions in a healthy and effective way. Not suppress them. Not ignore them. Not fight them. Not force them to go away. But transform them. Decrease the depleting emotions and increase the renewing emotions.
These are the basics of effective stress management. Master the basics and you will see that your happiness increases, your relationships improve, you make wiser decisions, you feel more connected, you have more purpose, life seems easier, you love the life you live.
Now, that is progress forward.
Learn to master the basics. Choose the coaching program that’s right for you, here.
Here’s to conquering stress.
The Stress Experts
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Practical Strategies to Deal with Daily Stressors
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