Tag Archives: be calm

Personal affirmations to counteract stress

 

confident

Personal affirmations to counteract stress

I created a personal mantra to help focus my mind when I am feeling vulnerable or overwhelmed by stress. It helps to remind me that it is possible to counteract stress by regularly ‘feeding’ myself a positive inner dialogue. I call it my 4R Mantra and I’d like to share it with you…

Resourceful – I am resourceful

The first “R” is for resourceful. I remind myself that I am good at finding a way around things. Whether it means finding out more information or by finding support from the right people, I believe that I can find these resources if I need them. The idea of being resourceful is a powerful one as it suggests that if I do not have the skills or knowledge to fix a problem, I will find someone or something to help.

See yourself as resourceful and believe that you will somehow find a way. Always believe that help is at hand. The next thing I need to work on is asking for help – still working on that one!

Resilient – I am resilient

I like to remind myself that I am resilient and in times of trouble, I like to  remind myself of the tough times I have already been through. I am still here – I have lived through tough times and have lived to tell the tale. Remind yourself regularly of how you have overcome problems in the past to reinforce that you will cope better than you think you will.

Ready – I am ready

I sometimes say to myself “Bring it on”. I don’t like stress and I hate feeling anxious but I accept that it will always be something that will enter into my life in various forms. Whether it’s through a tricky relationship or a challenge at work, I like to feel that I am ready for it. I try not to tell myself that I will be happy when….I can be happy now. I am ready now for the good and the bad. When you tell yourself you are ready it takes the fear away. You are prepared. When you don’t feel ready you are sending yourself a message that somehow you need to prepare or that you lack something. You hold the key – nothing is lacking…

Recognition – I recognise my strengths

We tend to be so self critical of ourselves and rarely give ourselves the recognition we deserve. Give yourself a pat on the back for all your triumphs, no matter how small. When you do something that outs you out of your comfort zone, give yourself recognition.

The above steps can help us to counteract stress and improve our belief in ourselves. It reminds us that we can and do cope better than we think we will when life is tough and challenging.

Mandy X

 

How to decatastrophise

 

relax photo

How to decatastrophise

We’ve all been there – something triggers us and we end up catastrophising and imagining the absolute worst case scenario. We make mountains out of molehills. Try out the techniques in this blog post to decatastrophise and get back to normality. One thought can sometimes spiral out of control and before we know it we have become homeless, bankrupt, single /and/or have imagined ourselves on our deathbed. Learn to deal with anxiety and stress in a calmer way and enjoy a less stressful life.

Steps to decatastrophise

Specify the catastrophic consequence clearly:

This has to be as specific as possible. “What if something bad happens?” is too vague.

Here are a few good examples:

What if my health never gets better?

What if my partner leaves me?

Losing my job

Change any “what if” statements into concrete declarations of fact:

Examples: My health will never get better

My partner will leave me

I will lose my job

Challenge the truth/validity of your statement:

Ask yourself if anything bad has ever happened before. Ask yourself how often this might happen or whether it is very likely to happen. Also ask yourself whether there is any clear evidence to suggest that your worry will come true.

Ask yourself what a friend might say if you told them about your worry. Are there any reasons to doubt your worry coming true?

Examples: My health is bad right now but I have been ill before and improved. The doctor said I had a good prognosis.

My relationship is going through a rough patch but that doesn’t mean my partner is thinking of leaving me. My partner has given me no indication that they might leave me.

I might be performing worse at work but losing my job is a big jump. Perhaps I am jumping to conclusions. There is no evidence that I am about to be fired.

Come up with three positive alternative statements:

My health will probably get better. I’m at my worst now – even if I don’t fully recover I’m likely to get better than I am now.

My relationship will survive this tricky patch

My job will still be there tomorrow

Remember that thoughts are not facts and there are times when we allow our thoughts to get the better of us and cause us great distress. Use the above exercise to restore calm to your mind and see things from a different perspective.

Mandy X

 

 

6 Ways to live a happy life

happy life photo

6 ways to live a happy life

Don’t take things personally

We are egocentric beings which means that we tend to interpret neutral events according to our own personal influences and ideas. We all have existing biases that underlie our perceptions of the world. As a result we tend to think that other people’s behaviour is somehow aimed at us or that we have somehow caused them to behave in a certain way. One of the fundamental keys to being happy is to learn not to personalise other people’s behaviour.

There could be a number of other reasons as to why someone seemed to ignore you, or appeared to act angrily towards you and believe it or not, these reasons could have very little to do with you. Cut yourself some slack and give yourself the benefit of the doubt. “Act dumb” – if no one tells you there is a problem, assume everything is just fine and dandy.

Be adaptable and flexible

The more you can embrace change and the lack of certainty in life, the better off you’ll be in the happiness stakes. The more rigid your rules about life are, the more often they will be broken. Learn to go with the flow sometimes and you will find that you will ‘bob’ along the waves and ups of downs of life quite nicely instead of exhausting yourself trying to stop the waves coming.

Don’t over think

Over thinking can lead to faulty assumptions and we end up building our own stories upon things that didn’t even exist to begin with. Whilst it’s important to be self aware and have a general purpose in life, it’s a very bad idea to spend too much time in your head. Worry is generally unproductive unless it is resolution focused. If you are wondering why someone said something or whether something will happen in the future, remember that the only thing certain is the moment right now. Learn to live and take action rather than living in your head endlessly where anxious thoughts are bound to creep in unnecessarily.

Believe in your own abilities to get through tough times

Have courage and faith in your own ideas – never let others dilute your resolve. Others can be negative and can end up a source of anxiety in your life. Remember that they don’t always know more than you do, they just might be more persuasive and manipulative though. Trust your instincts. If I listen to my own advice, I am taking responsibility for my own decisions. If I take someone else’s advice and it doesn’t work out, I may end up resenting them and feeling worse. Believe in your own ideas and know that you are much wiser than you probably give yourself credit for.

Life a life with integrity

When you live a life according to your values, it is much easier to like the person staring back at you in the mirror. For me this means being kind and not gossiping about others behind their backs. I dislike two-faced people and would much rather someone told me what they felt to my face even if I didn’t like what they had to say. Be the same person no matter whose company you are in. When we stick to our core values, we develop a strong inner core that helps us feel strength and stability when things around us seem not to be constant.

Be true to yourself

This involves being assertive when you need to be. It doesn’t involve over indulgent people-pleasing. Follow your heart and live the life you were meant to lead. We all have a calling in life but sometimes we never really listen to what that is.The more you feel you are living life to your true potential the happier you will be.

The above 6 ideas are a great start to recapturing that illusive thing called happiness. Happiness comes when you are living the life you want and appreciating what you have, not chasing the one you think is still out there.

Mandy X

 

 

Tips for Mindfulness

365/259 "Mindfulness means...", Sep....

365/259 “Mindfulness means…”, Sep. 16, 2011 (Photo credit: ConnectIrmeli)

Practising mindfulness is essential if you want to stay sane and healthy. Too much stress and not enough down time can lead to long term health problems as well as anxiety and depression. Being mindful is difficult in a world where our attention is constantly in demand. We have more information available to us than ever before and in some ways, having more choice can be a bad thing.Learning to shut off from the world and retreat for quiet and calm is a great skill that will keep you younger and happier than any skin creams can.

Here are a few tips for mindfulness:

1) This is one that I use regularly. When you are in your car, put on a favourite song and do your best to listen to the lyrics. I often find that two or three lines into the song I have started to think about tomorrow or have become preoccupied with some worry or another. As soon as I realise that I have disengaged, I put the song back to the beginning and start again.

This is a simple exercise that we can all do and it’s a great way to practise mindfulness. Being present in the moment fully is something that many of us find tough. Our brains are programmed to be busy and to fire off signals constantly.
The more you can engage your five senses (sight, sound, touch, taste and smell) the less time your brain has to focus on stray random thoughts. You can practise mindfulness when you are brushing your teeth. Focus on each tooth, be aware of your posture, of your feet on the floor. Take in all the sensations. You can do the same when you have a bath or shower. Focus on the water touching your skin. Use bubble bath and see how many bubbles you can count!

When you are in a restaurant, chew slowly and really taste the food instead of wolfing it down. Slow down and take in every moment.
Another tip is to sit still for fifteen minutes and practise disengaging from your thoughts. When a random thought begs for attention, visualise a large mental broom sweeping it away. I sometimes imagine a smooth marble floor with an emblem in it, I see thoughts as dust and dirt covering up the emblem and I use the virtual mental broom to sweep the emblem clean so that I can see it again. Do whatever works for you but try not to get caught up in thinking. Don’t let it take you off on a mental journey that you don’t want to go on.

Mindfulness is a great tool to help you become a better thought manager. The better you get at controlling your thinking the happier and calmer your life will become.

Mandy X