Take a helicopter view of life
Noticing your thoughts about stress immediately deflates the power of that stress. If you’re standing waiting for a train that’s late, instead of running a script that says, ‘I’m going to be late for work and then the boss will… because…’ imagine yourself looking down on the situation objectively. Notice feelings as feelings, as opposed to being stuck inside them. ‘I’m stressed because the train is late’. Breathe into it.
Label what you’re truly feeling
If you’re able to articulate your emotions, then that’s an incredibly helpful first step to enable you to deal with the situation more easily and effectively. For example, rather than simply saying, ‘I’m stressed at work’, you might come up with, ‘I’m disappointed with my career direction’ or, ‘I’m struggling with my sense of belonging at work’. When people do this, it helps them to be more emotionally agile and become less stuck.
Find the gift
What’s the beacon behind your stress? For instance, if you’re struggling with a sense of belonging at work, that could be a sign that you want to feel more like you’re part of a community and that’s evidently important to you.
Make tiny tweaks
Rather than just abandoning the whole situation, such as leaving a job or relationship, once you identify what’s really meaningful for you, you can make small life changes. For example, if you’re stressed because you feel you’re always running after other people and lacking self-care, you might make a Monday evening date to go to a painting class or see girlfriends – just for you!