Big Dreams do not Equal Big Stress
Big Dreams do not Equal Big Stress
Is your day full of must dos and should have dones?
Perhaps interspersed with panics and a faint wondering ‘when is it all going to get done?’ Or maybe ‘I cannot go on like this?’ but you do. And a little voice within says this is what you wanted, what do you expect or something very like that. Is stress your constant companion and building?
Time to Invest in You – your biggest asset
I get it, been there and got the T shirt and sometimes find myself wandering back there but now I notice and know how to steer myself back into the winning waters, life is fun but it is our choice to let the magic and fun happen. The problem is that we are never taught how to ‘do’ life and my method, the ChapWell Method teaches you just that how to do life, how to thrive and keep on growing.
Simple steps to take back your day
First – decide the top 3 things that are important to you really important, this is not about goals just what absolutely matters to you. This may be children, business/work, husband, friends, mum, just choose 3 top things. Then add on 2 more but remember these are your second priorities. Decide what is essential about your top 3 things for example – children are happy, healthy and educated. Keep is short, simple and sweet, just get started it does not have to be perfect so long as it is meaningful to you.
To do lists or not!
Every night make an experimental list for the next day. I say experimental as you are going to check the list to make sure only things on the list are essential to your priorities. You are also going to learn what is realistic for you timewise. After checking what is on your list is only in keeping with your priorities than halve the list, just split the list evenly into two days. Reread your tomorrow’s list before going to sleep, ignore your tomorrow list but it is there for tomorrow night to start the process again. By writing and deciding your list the night before you are programming your mind for success and avoid any morning procrastinations and distractions. You just get on with your list and deal swiftly with any distractions.
One more thing
Every time you complete a task on your list tick it off. By doing this you are boosting your mood with feel good hormones generated when we achieve something and again programming your mind for success, can do mindset. So, make sure your list gives you plenty of little steps to tick off regularly as you go through your day.
Stuff still on the list at the end of the day?
No problem, every list is an experiment in finding out what you can achieve that day. Learn from it, check it really is important and in keeping with your essentials, if so, put it at the top of tomorrow’s list and go through the list making process again at the end of the day. Programming you for success and experimenting to allow your best be absolutely good enough!
Now about that stress habit
A bit of stress to help us perform, be at our best, is a great asset but if it is running all day or too often it will just take us apart. So, I have selected these mindfulness-based techniques that you can do as you go about your day to reduce the stress and grow your natural ability for calm and focus.
1. Even Breath
· Take 3 deep, slow breaths through your nose- on the in breath count 1, 2, 3, pause and the out breath count 1, 2, 3, pause.
and you could extend it, try this
· Stop whatever you are doing
· Become aware of your breathing and focus on the in-breath and outbreath
· Feel it going in through your nose, into your lungs, expanding your chest, filling your stomach out and releasing slowly from your tummy, your lungs and out through your nose.
· Count each in and out breath, slowly
For both exercises you can close your eyes or stare at a fixed point.
2. Soothing Mindful Breath
· Stop whatever you are doing and get yourself comfortable, relax your shoulders, straighten your back and either stand, sit or even lie down.
· Become aware of your breathing and focus on the in-breath and then the outbreath.
· Feel it going in through your nose, into your lungs, expanding your chest and pushing your tummy outwards.
· Release the breath slowly out through your nose
· Now soothe the breath and on the in-breath count to 4
· Release your out-breath to a slower pace of 8
· Breathe in to the count of 4 and out to the count of 8 (or whatever feels comfortable so that the outbreath is longer than your in breath).
Try this exercise for at least 4 or 5 breaths and lengthen when you feel able, focusing on the breath all the time. If your mind wonders when doing this exercise that’s fine just direct your focus back to the breath. Remember it’s perfectly natural for the mind to wander the power is in you directing your mind back to focusing on the breath.
3. Stress and Anxiety Soother
Practice this with the instructions in front of you. Once you are used to the exercise you will be able to use it as you go about your day. Maybe taking just a few minutes here and there to start showing your mind how you need it to work for you.
· Notice and acknowledge the uncertainty as it comes to mind. Accept these are anxious times.
· Pause and focus on your breath. Notice your breath coming in and going out.
· Remind yourself this is just the worry talking. Tell yourself this need for certainty is not helpful and not necessary. There is nothing more for you to do. It is only a thought or feeling. Don't believe everything you think or feel. Thoughts are not statements or facts. They are just thoughts.
· Release the thought or feeling. It will pass. Imagine the thoughts and feelings floating away in a bubble or cloud. Far away until you cannot see them.
· Focus on your present moment, because right now, in this moment, all is well. Remind yourself you are doing okay.
· Notice your breathing and the sensations of your breathing. Notice the ground beneath you. Look around and name everything you see, hear, touch, and smell.
· Refocus your attention to something else - on what you need to do, on what you were doing before you noticed the worry.
· Refocus mindfully with your full attention on what you are doing.
4. Get into the NOW
This is a lovely active meditation adapted by a young client who used it to calm himself in the classroom. He’s happy to share and many clients have reported how useful it has proved. The beauty is that you can do it anywhere, anytime. You can even do this with others too.
This is adapted from the popular walking meditations for more information visit https://www.fionachapman.online/blog
Just make sure you are comfortable, either sitting or standing. Try to make sure your feet are firmly on the floor and legs are uncrossed.
1. Decide which seven fingers and thumbs you are going to use. If you are left-handed use the finger and thumb on your right hand and your fingers and thumb on your left hand. Curl your ‘spare fingers’ out of the way.
2. Rest the ‘working fingers’ on your lap or a table in front of you. Make sure you can tap with each finger onto a surface.
3. Lift your seven fingers and thumbs and tap each one down. Counting each downward tap one to seven.
4. Now here comes the fun bit – when you reach tap 7, reverse your finger taps starting at 2 and count each finger tap to 8 (using multiples of 7).
5. When you reach tap 8 reverse your finger taps. Let the next finger tap start at 3 until you reach 9. Keep going up and down with your finger taps always counting on one as your starter number i.e., starting at 1 then 2 then 3 etc. Always count on in sevens before starting again at the next highest start number.
6. So, you would start at 1 to 7, then 2 to 8, 3 to 9, 4 to 10 and so on.
7. Continue counting on each tap unless you stumble or hesitate. Then just go back to counting from 1-7 and upwards again.
8. Essential Point - If at any point you get lost, confused or hesitate YOU MUST start again at 1 to 7 and then 2 to 8 and so on. Not only does this keep your mind busy, in the now, away from building those stressful emotions but it also gives your mind a powerful message, it’s OK to make mistakes, I can sort it easily!
9. When you decide to stop tapping focus on your ‘now’ and carry on with what you are doing, until you next tapping session! Just 5 minutes over a day will help you to discharge some of that stress and impact positively on your well-being.