1. The Mentor Method: think of your favorite person. Someone you love, admire, trust, like a mentor or someone from your spiritual tradition. Simply thinking about them will help you change your focus from the stress hooey to a more desirable response associated with your favorite person. Also, you do not need to wait to get stressed out to do this as thinking of your hero's always makes you feel better. Pictures of family and loved ones also help so make sure you have these at work. Think of happy and/or silly times you've had with these people. Feel better already don't you? Good. Now relax, take a deep breath and enjoy yourself even more as you read on. . .
2. Create Worry zones and Stress times: pick a specific location for your worry party and limit yourself to this location for things worth worrying about. Get serious. Get wigged out. Get ready to worry! Do your rants/raves only in this place you have chosen and for the time you have specified. That's right, there is a time limit to the moaning/groaning!
When stuff happens that you habitually worry about then go to your zone and take care of business. Remember the time limit. . .5 minutes max. If this does not seem like enough time then you must get better at worrying in a shorter time frame! Behave yourself everywhere else.
Make sure the zone is not a place where you spend most of your time or has other people in it. Keep the kitchen and family room as cheerful as possible. The bedroom is for sleeping and other pleasant activities so no worrying is allowed there. Ditto for the office, the bathroom, the car, church meetings, movies, restaurants, etc. Pick only one place for the worry zone.
3. Use " hello to life" activities to break out of your routines that produce stress. One of my favorite people, Truman Madsen, introduced me to this one. Do something radically different that is enjoyable. For example, instead of walking/worrying do some skipping instead. It's OK to continue with the worrying but your main focus should be on the skipping. You skipped as a kid. It's time to do it again. Not only will you feel better but just think how ridiculous you'll look to other's who see you skipping in your work clothes, carrying a briefcase and talking on the phone at the same time! At the very least, it will make others feel better! They may not realize you are angry or worried. They'll simply think you are nuts.
4. Touch your nose: yes, you heard me. First, get yourself in a great state like hilarity. Get yourself laughing and goofing around feeling terrific. In this peak state of enjoyment, touch your nose. Get others in on this and make yourselves laugh more and more frequently touching your nose as you laugh, giggle, smile. This creates a neurological “anchor" where your brain associates the good feelings of laughing and goofing around with touching your nose. In the future, you may simply touch your nose to create the good feelings. If you do this a lot you may learn to enjoy your stress. Warning: touching other people on the nose when they are pissed off does not really help that much so touch your own nose only.
5. Howl and hallucinate: imagine those that you are blaming for your stress. What would they look like if you started howling at them during the stress episode? Imagine the look on their face when you howled with glee. Imagine the look on your in-laws faces when you howl in their kitchen. Imagine the look on your boss’ face when you howl standing on your desk. Imagine the look on those folks waiting in line at the grocery store when you howl like a maniac. Need to spice up your romantic life? Next time you are in the midst of that romantic stuff just start howling. Your wife will think you are a stud muffin. Your husband will think you are a hotty.
6. Motivate yourself with good feelings for a change! Many people motivate themselves with bad feelings! Even worse, they frequently motivate themselves to do what they don't want or enjoy! Use pleasant voice tones to talk inside your head. Use them to talk with others also. Think of the enjoyment associated with completion of a project instead of the many steps required. Focus on the benefits of what/why you are doing the activity rather than on any unpleasantness associated with it. Also focus on how good it will feel to be done with project and on to other things you enjoy even more.
7. Eat real food that protects your body from stress. Junk food decreases your body's ability to deal with stress. It also weakens your immune system so that you are weaker and more vulnerable to injury and/or illness. Ditto for alcohol and other self defeating habits. Exercise is close to the magic bullet or fountain of youth. Make sure you get enough to make a major difference in your health/fitness levels. What is the best exercise? Something that you enjoy enough to do several times a week for a lifetime.
8. Procrastinate until you feel better. You've been told that procrastination is a bad thing. You've been told wrong! I'm here to tell you that procrastination is one of the greatest skills a person can develop. Imagine your life rapidly improving by procrastinating your usual responses like anger or discouragement. I know you want to get mad at your kids and I'm sure they deserve it, but for now, let's just procrastinate. We'll get mad at them Saturday or maybe next week. That yummy junk food is beginning to talk to you. . . well, since you are a procrastinator, let's just procrastinate the eating the junk until we are full from eating something healthier and don't want it. I know that sometimes you have a tough day and people are not sensitive to your needs but since you can procrastinate so well perhaps we could put off the discouragement until the Fourth of July or your maternal aunt's birthday.
9. You are special. Start acting like it. There is nobody else like you. You are truly unique. Never in the history of our planet has there been another you. There will never be another you in the eons of eternity that make up the future. Never. You are one of a kind. When God made you He was simply showing off. Now, go do great things. You deserve them and are fully capable.
10. Everybody else is special too. Start treating them that way. Everything in # 9 above applies to everyone. Yes, even the boneheads. The reason they are boneheads is that they don't know how special they are. . . yet. Your purpose in life could include teaching them. Remember: we did not come to this planet to fail. We came here to succeed on a massive scale doing the right thing in the right way for the right reason while having a spectacularly good time helping the others.
Michael Dimas is a performance consultant, workshop leader, motivational speaker, personal coach, health & fitness mentor. He teaches a variety of programs designed to empower your body, mind & spirit. He is known for his high energy presentations, irreverant attitude and deeply caring for others seeking to make changes in their lives.