It’s a crazy time, unprecedented in terms of the decisions our various governments are making, so how do you maintain calm in your life?
The impacts on each of us will be different. For some it’s the inconvenience, for others it’s being away from loved ones and not knowing when you will be able to see them again, for some it’s the economic impact if jobs are lost or hours are cut. And there are some of us where all of these factors are causing us to worry.
Today I want to share the 3 steps you can take to reduce your stress and fears and maintain calm in the face of uncertainty.
The first step is to be aware of your thinking patterns. What are your inner thoughts telling you? Are you being driven by fear? Or are you being pragmatic and practical?
What we often don’t realise is that our thinking patterns have a direct influence on how we act, how we behave and how we communicate. Essentially what we think, we get.
So find a quiet moment and try and tap into your thinking patterns, see if you can identify where your fear rests. As soon as you identify the fear, you will start to feel differently, just by naming it. You can be also more deliberate about putting your fears aside and focusing on what you can control.
Which leads to the second step, focus on what you can control. I talked about it a little last week, but this week I want to delve a little more. A tool from the 7 habits of highly effective people, you may be already aware that most things that happen in your life, fall into one of two areas:
- Circle of Concern – things we care about, or affect us, but we have no control over; or
- Circle of Influence – things we can control and influence.
If you are always focusing on your circle of concern, you are being reactive in your life and decreasing the size of your circle of influence. It is more positive and proactive to focus on your circle of influence.
Reflect on the past few days, and consider where you have been focusing your time and energy. Are you being reactive or proactive? What could you change to become more proactive? These changes can be small but they result in a big impact in your life. Think of it as “letting go”, what can you “let go” of?
And Step 3, give yourself space. Take your time to sip and enjoy your cup of tea. When hugging your kids, hold them just 2 seconds longer. When your daughter is telling you a story about what happened, put your arm around her and truly listen. When you’re outside in the sunshine, close your eyes and feel the warmth of the sun as it embraces you.
Give yourself the space to enjoy the little things in life, because when it all goes to crap these are the things that will give you strength. These are the things that you can, and should, cherish. These are the things that make all the bad things happening come back into perspective. Stop the fear dominating your thought processes, and allow yourself to cherish the little beautiful moments every day has to offer.
If you need someone to talk this through with, I am here for you. I am offering all my readers a FREE 30 minute online discussion to help you identify the first steps you can take to reduce your fears and stress. You can book your session at a time that is convenient for you, here.
In addition, I am offering a four week mini programme “Living Well in Times of Change” to support you through this period of change. You can get more information on the mini programme and sign up here, numbers are strictly limited. Starting Monday 30 March, this programme is all on line, allowing you to join from the comfort of your own home (no matter where you are in the world).