How to Break Free From Stress – 5 Facts You Need to Know
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
How to Break Free From Stress – 5 Facts You Need to KnowChange Your Weekly Routines And Break The Cycle Of Reacting To Life Events
There are many different stresses that can affect people today, including fears and anxieties related to world news, their jobs, families, children, money and health. Many of us have inflated expectations of what we should be doing or what could go wrong. On a personal level, I have noticed in recent years that the clients who seek my help today tend to be more stressed than those who came to me when I first started working as a hypnotherapist in 2005. Many of the issues that are having a negative impact on their lives are close to my own heart because my life fell apart in 2002. I was a typical working mum trying to please everybody and the helper people turned to, but I had had some health issues too and while I was busy being strong and taking on too much, I lost myself.
The result of not listening to my own needs was that I had a mental breakdown. No one finds it easy to talk about an experience like that, but the reason I mention it here is so that you can learn from my mistakes and do things differently.
A breakdown can creep up on you unexpectedly as a result of being under too much pressure for too long. Fifteen years ago, I would have said that I was the least likely person for it to happen to, but what my own experience taught me was that if the stress is great enough, anyone can buckle under its weight. So, if you feel overwhelmed by life or perhaps just want to progress to the next level of positivity, use my five facts guide to work out what you need to change, then follow the tips below to help you make your life as amazing as it can be.
1) Being overloaded. You may identify with ‘running in your life’, chasing your tail, an overload of work or technology, an over-stimulated brain or perhaps family pressures. If so, you need to try to identify the stressful parts of your week, re-examine your lifestyle and find different ways of achieving things that enable you to remain relaxed.
Tip. Write down the hotspots of stress in your week so that you can make conscious decisions to avoid them next week. Then restructure the plans in your diary, but be prepared to say ‘No’ to things. Listen to yourself and start putting yourself first.
2) Being tired. Most people are tired simply because they are doing too much. If you have children, they will also get caught up in the fast pace of your life, which will make them tired too. Remember that you are creating your crazy life, so it’s YOU that needs to slow it down.
Tip. Visualize last week being very calm, with everything being done easily. Now visualize next week with everything going smoothly. See yourself having extra time for YOU. Also see tomorrow going well. Say to yourself ‘AMAZING’. Even when things are going wrong you need to learn to find the AMAZING within them. By persisting in saying ‘AMAZING’ no matter what is going on, you will begin to see the AMAZING in your life. And as your life begins to run smoothly, you will be less tired. Try going to bed earlier too.
3) Feeling anxious. Expectations are so high from employers that many people are earning less than they used to for doing more, and their job security is uncertain. At school, children are being tested constantly and every year the bar is raised; exams are becoming more difficult and teenagers are having to work harder. Many of the teens I see are burnt out before they have even begun their adult life. Competitive parents can make things worse by pushing their children to do more, when in fact they need to do less. People worry about money, relationships and the future, often seeing the worst-case scenarios in their mind, which causes them to be anxious. Try to listen to the questions you are asking yourself: ‘Will I keep my job?’ ‘Will I get into the university I want to go to?’ ‘Will I catch my train?’ ‘Will I find love?’ ‘Will I have enough money?’ ‘Where is my life going?’ There are techniques you can learn to help turn those negative thoughts into positive ones so that you can take control of your anxious feelings.
Tip. Change your language from, ‘What if it goes wrong?’ to, ‘What if it’s amazing?’ or ,‘What if it works out okay?’ Imagine putting your anxieties on to clouds in the sky and letting them float away. Rub your tummy area with the palm of your hand in a circular motion to calm any past churned feelings as you watch the clouds float past. Your mind listens to your thoughts, so a positive conversation will help create more positive feelings, and as you see your worries floating away, you will break free of the habit of worrying.
4) Feeling down. There seems to be an epidemic of feeling down or depressed. If this is the way you feel, it might be because you are running on adrenaline so, when you stop, you crash down to a low mood. Maybe your life is not what you had hoped or expected it to be, or you feel dissatisfied with the life you have because you’ve lost the ability to feel contentment. Your mind is like your body: if you push it, it will become strained; and if you ignore it, it may slip into a dark place. You need to look after your mind by living a fulfilling and interesting life that is enjoyable for you. Depression can be caused by your mind becoming stuck in low feelings from earlier experiences in your life. I teach my clients techniques that enable them to break free from depressed feelings and repetitive negative thoughts.
Tip. Visualize yourself climbing out of a black hole into the light. You can use your hands to pretend that you are pushing yourself out of the hole. Keep repeating this process in your mind until you only see yourself in the light. Then rerun past life events in your mind as though everything had gone well. For example, if you failed to get a particular job, see yourself getting the job and celebrating. If you had an illness, see yourself totally fit and well throughout that time. If you had money worries, see yourself financially stable with money in the bank. If you were heartbroken, see yourself happy with a wonderful partner. The idea is to rewrite your past with a more positive memory so that you can break out of low feelings.
5) Being time short. Maybe you have little or no time for yourself. You might not have enough time to have children, or perhaps you do have children but there’s not enough time to enjoy them. Maybe work pressures are making you ill. Many people seek my help because they drink wine in the evenings to relax them so that they can switch off from life, then find that doing so leaves them with less time, because they lose their evenings and weekends as a consequence of feeling sluggish or hungover. Some people worry about their unhealthy lifestyles making them ill, which creates more bad feelings and wasted time or disturbed sleep. Also, when you are time short, you may sleep less well.
Tip. Take back control of your time by rearranging your week. Use your weekend to refresh yourself. Don't burn yourself out on a weekend by socialising too much or getting drunk. Instead, have warm baths, early nights and create nurturing routines of healthy activity and eating fresh foods. If you have children, create happy, relaxed memories such as sitting playing a board game together rather than rushing off to the cinema. If you are lonely and have too much time to yourself, find ways to fill your life with purpose.
Cut the negative out of your life, find the AMAZING way through, rise above the drama and make changes to avoid the same thing happening in the future.
Editor's Note: Click here to pre-order Cut the Crap and Feel Amazing by Ailsa Frank and receive exclusive free gifts!