The topic covered was Flushing the Stress, and as many of you know, I learned to “handle” stress not by being pro-active, but because stress (and not dealing with it) literally kicked my booty. On the show I shared part of my story (available here) and we ran out of time when I was sharing some tips on how best to identify and handle stress when it rears its ugly head. So instead of leaving the listeners (and you) hanging, I promised to “finish” up, share my words of wisdom and take some of Sandy’s questions and share my answers here :).
Q: What are the first signs that you are letting stress get the better of you?
A: It’s interesting, but our bodies naturally tell us when we have too much on our plate. We may be tired, unable to focus, less productive or any number of other signals, but no matter what message our body sends to us, it’s up to us to listen. And sadly many of us don’t, instead of slowing down, we drink a caffeinated beverage, decrease the amount we sleep and ignore what our body is telling us to do. Maybe it’s because we really believe that we can do it all, for long periods of time, but that just isn’t true. So often when life gets crazy, the first thing that gets set aside is our own needs, and that’s what leads to more stress and eventually some form of illness. It may start out with small things like
- We cancel lunch with a friend because we have too much on our plate
- We say YES because it’s easier than disappointing someone else
- We skip our exercise class because we are too busy
- Healthy eating becomes a rarity (you use sugar, caffeine and carbs for quick energy)
It may also be so simple that you know in your heart that it’s time to take a break and slow down. No matter what the “sign” listen!
Q: What are some key steps that our listeners can do to “Flush The Stress” from their lives
A: I have found that there are 5 Key Steps that are simple (but not always easy) that we can take which will decrease the amount of stress in our lives.
Make yourself a priority: Many of us take care of the world and put our own needs behind everyone else in our lives. It’s not easy, but in order for you to decrease the amount of stress that YOU have, YOU need to take care of YOURSELF just like you take care of everyone else, and you have to do that first! You hear it on the airplane “put your life mask on before helping anyone else”, there is a reason they say that you know…. 😉
Cut the YUCK
Wein yourself off of coffee, soda, sugar – they all give false energy that signals your body to keep going even when it’s telling you to slow down. Getting rid of the caffeine and sugar will help you tune into what you need much more efficiently.
Cut the negativity and negative people out of your life. If you are surrounded by users and energy suckers you will be more stressed. Cut the people, cut the stress. (Not so easy I know, but VERY necessary)
Cut the un-necessary. All the things that you “should do” doesn’t mean that you should do them. Take some time and really look at all you are doing, and decide that what isn’t filling you up needs to go. And then let it go, even if it’s only for a short time. (I know for me I let go of work for a period of 6 months, not what I wanted to do, but what I needed to do to get better).
Surround yourself with positive people, places, and things that you love. When you smile and laugh your stress decreases!
Get moving. Exercise even if its only stretching at your desk increases your blood flow and decreases toxins. The more you move the better you feel!
Get spiritual. I know that for each of us this means something different, but enough can not be said for the power of consistent spiritual practice. Whether its meditation, prayer, yoga, walking in nature, or reading the bible taking a time out from life and connecting to something bigger than yourself helps us focus, relax and think clearer.
I hope you enjoy the interview and that the information helps you kick stress to the curb! I’d love to hear your “stress kicking” techniques and how you eliminate stress from your life!
~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at TheDirectionDiva.com