Holiday season… This beautiful time of the year brings with it some challenges. More money, more time, more work, crazy family, and more events scheduled on the calendar can all be a recipe for disaster and feeling stressed. I am confident you understand what I mean. However…
What if I told you that at any given time you have the power to make the decision whether or not you feel stressed? Your power always lies in your awareness of this moment.
For many years I have shared a set of skills with specific tools to help people manage stress, create healthier and happier lives, and think more positively. Originally there were only 4 main concepts but about 4 years ago I revised it and even added a 5th. Now this tool box has developed into a journey of self-discovery that even supports improving relationships. Challenging boss at a work party? Crazy family member you have to see this year?
The path to less stress begins with self-empowerment.
The five ideas you will do well to consider are; Awareness, Acceptance, Attitude, Action, and Acknowledgment.
AWARENESS because ignorance is not always bliss. This is first because it is most important. If you don’t know the details of a situation how can you resolve an issue? If you don’t know yourself how can you be authentic and make conscious decisions? Awareness begins with understanding yourself, your core values, and my favorite: your emotional processes. When you think, speak, and act inline with your core values you live an empowered and successful life. Core Values types of worksheets and meditation would be my first set of suggestions for developing any level of self-awareness.
ACCEPTANCE. Have you ever heard that phrase that being angry is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die? Well… get over being mad. You are only hurting yourself. AND learn to love yourself. Yes, I am aware that it sounds corny and that is suggested sometimes half-heartedly but… these are absolutely necessary steps to peace of mind. Imposter Syndrome runs rampant it seems. Try “Heartfelt or Living Kindness” Meditation to cultivate compassion for yourself. Consider writing a list of the people you are upset or angry with, why, the emotions you feel, and then burn that sh**. You don’t have control over other people and what they do don’t allow their behavior to control you.
You may not have control over people but you do have control over your ATTITUDE. Attitude is all about your perception. I mean seriously think about this for a moment… Let’s say you are looking at an image of an optical illusion and you are only seeing it one way, but then someone comes along and points out an entirely different image. YOUR perception just changed and you now have two ideas and BOTH are correct! Always, take a moment to take a breath before you speak or act. This will save you and others so much heartache. You never really know what the other person is going through and you never know what you may learn. Make authentic and conscious decisions inline with your values.
Ready, set, ACTION. Let’s keep this simple. Set some clear goals in only 1 or 2 areas of your life and write specific steps. CHOOSE WHAT YOU LOVE not what you think you are suppose to do. Then, get an accountability partner or hire a life coach. Just be clear on your vision and purpose.
Last but most certainly not least we have ACKNOWLEDGMENT. This is simply gratitude. There is no easier way to shift energy and create happiness than to practice being appreciative. Some creative ways to be grateful are to volunteer/be of service or create a joy jar where you make notes of happy moments and put them in a jar to read at a later time. I found it much easier to get into the actual feeling of being grateful when I shared my appreciation with a friend. Just do it. Do it regularly. It will bring more things to be grateful for into your life.
Each one of these ideas/skills has the potential to lower your stress level. AND more! If you would like more ideas and more specific practices for each one please contact me. I offer a downloadable extended version as well as a 21 Day Gratitude and Kindness Email Challenge.
Choose wisely. Stress Less. Be Happy.
Certified Life Coach and Mindfulness Meditation Teacher
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Amy McCae is a Life Coach and Mindfulness Meditation Teacher in Omaha, Nebraska. She is passionate about healing and helping others and especially about mindfulness and emotional intelligence.
Amy spent her childhood dreaming of being a doctor only to watch her other die of cancer when she was 20. Her life took an entirely different direction after that and she spent much of her 20’s sick with chronic illnesses.
One day Amy was too sick to take care of her newborn baby and she had to crawl to the phone to call for help. Amy then went on a quest to heal and looked in places she never knew existed before that day. AND she healed largely through fitness, nutrition, and meditation.
The experience allowed her to rediscover her passion for healing and helping others. Amy now holds numerous certifications allowing her to be of support to individuals and organizations. Mindfulness Matters is an accredited 8-week online course rooted in science and inspired by her desire to help others develop emotional intelligence (especially leaders and those struggling with self-doubt and overwhelm). Please contact Amy for more information and to sign up!