Ever hear of Optimal Anxiety? Believe it or not anxiety is not the “dirty word” that it is purported to be. This particular “sweet spot” is when a person feels pressure to perform well and is prepared, but is not debilitated with fear. When people are overconfident, they may not have enough anxiety to focus and perform the task at hand. Now, don’t you feel better about being anxious? I know I do. I look for that pressure build up that allows me to perform with laser focus, machine precision, and systematic execution. What a ride.
You want to succeed? Then start to welcome your best friend, anxiety, into that realm of intense highs and lows. An ingredient that is so crucial to higher levels of performance and outcome; it takes you out of what you’ve known, and propels you into the unknown. The challenge here it to find where your performance level “peaks” and understand when to use it to carry you to higher levels of success.
Here’s the other dirty word in our vocabulary: stress… eww. But guess what? It’s meaning and impact has the exact opposite of what we think. Without it, there’s no motivation to do better. And if you’re living a life that is forward moving, and have major benchmarks and goals to reach, guess what is waiting for you in abundance? Yeah…the s-word,.
So rather than join a class to get rid of it, or read a book to clear your mind of it, let’s make it work for us and what we have planned for our best lives.
Here are 10 ways you can manage your stress and make it work for you...
1. Let’s get that wall up
At its peak levels, stress might make you might feel out of sorts and full of anxiety ...uh-oh, there’s that other word again. When you feel it coming, try actively imagining a way to fight it off. Imagine it bouncing off you and going elsewhere. Keep that wall up until you’re comfortable with processing it out of your system. When you master putting that imaginary “brake” on, you'll be able to manage stress a lot more effectively.
2. Stop living in the world of what if…
Stress amplifies thoughts beginning with the word “what”.
What if this happens?... What if I can't do that?... What if I make a fool out of myself?
Most of our worries never happen. But what does happen, is that we are held hostage and paralyzed because of the “what” questions. Keep you eye on the ball. Keep your eye on “what is” and not what may never happen. And what to do if something goes wrong? Here’s an opportunity to learn and do better. Don't be afraid to take a chance.
3. Positive people, only apply
Seek them out. Find them. Join them. People with a positive outlook have a greater impact on you than you can ever know. And by all means, don’t exclude someone who is going through something stressful as well. They are in the best position to understand exactly what you are going through. The point is to surround yourself with people that are productive and are actively trying to manage stress.
4. Let it go
If your situation has you feeling burdened, you will probably feel out of control the more stressed and anxious you are about it. The more you try to control a situation the more stressed you will feel. Acceptance is a necessary tool here. It not only subsides the levels of stress and anxiety that you feel, it allows for free-flowing thoughts that ultimately can bring a resolve for your problem that would not have come about in a high state of stress and anxiety. Unclench your fists, lower your shoulders and stop screwing up your face. Take a breath and let it go - for instant stress relief.
5. Deadlines are key
If want to get something done, give it a deadline. By knowing from the onset, how much time you have to do something, ensures that you will actually get it done because you have a finite number of hours or days to accomplish the task. If not, you’ll end up talking about all the unfinished business in your life and what a mess it is! And guess what you’re inviting in? Yup, you got it.
6. Live in the now and be mindful
We usually stress over what we’ve done or what we’re about to do, right? Look at what is right in front of you, this moment.
The more often you can live in the moment the less stressed you're going to be. The past is over, and the future hasn't happened yet. Are they really worth all that worry?
7. What do you WANT
What you focus on and apply energy to, you’re going to get more of it in your life. Stress? and there are no prizes for guessing what you'll get in return. Re-channel your energy to focus on your WANTS, and that is what your gravitational pull will be. Working from a positive perspective and not a negative one. You’ll be busy on figuring out how to get what you want (positive) by writing down your targets and goals right you have right now, and let that be the center of your universe.
8. Gratitude, gratitude
Gratitude chases away stress and anxiety, making room for appreciation and reverence for what is, practice it, rather than worrying about what you don't have. Focus on your top 3 things that you are grateful for. It takes only 5 minutes of your time to do so. Do it. Everyday.
9. You got this
Inviting stress into your mental orbit, is a choice. Your choice. If you can reinforce your mental process with the knowledge that you can “handle this”, you’ll feel more confident to deal with any situation and go after whatever it is you want.
10. Take serious action
If you feel like your stress is becoming out of control, seek professional help and advice. There is nothing embarrassing about admitting, to yourself and to others, that you need outside help. By doing so, you are taking greater control of your inner turmoil, rather than it controlling you. Find a coach, a trusted guide that can help you navigate through all of the clutter and haze that does not allow to you to focus on what truly matters, rather than spending all your time on what does not. Book a session today, and be forever changed by it.