7 Ways to “Practice Safe Stress” during times of confusion and chaos

What do you do when others are driving you nuts? When you can’t seem to catch your breath because so much is being asked of you? When you must change your schedule to please others who claim to need you ‘right now’? 

 Do you go on the attack and say whatever comes to mind to get back at the offenders?

Or do you slide away quietly and go into hibernation, hoping that by ignoring the situation, you will be ok?

Guess what?

Attacking or retreating leads to the same place. More aggravation.

Either way, you lose!

Using these typical methods to handle stress won’t solve the problem.

Okay, you want to know what will solve the problem?

Do you want to learn how to practice safe stress?

Here are some ideas to help you gain control when you begin to wobble while responding to others.

FIRST: Where do your emotions reside? In Freakoutville or Zombieville?

FREAKOUTVILLE is filled with: 

  • Drama kings and queens who take up all the space with their rantings
  • Rebels who are never willing to compromise
  • Superachievers who push everyone aside, so they are always first
  • Bully persecutors who put others down to feel good about themselves

ZOMBIEVILLE is filled with:

  • Procrastinators who make excuses so they cannot be held accountable
  • Avoiders who run in the other direction to avoid conflict
  • Deniers who pretend that all is fine and won’t look at difficulties
  • Pleasers who say yes to be liked and pretend they are happy to help

What is your primary pattern of responding?

Once you can pinpoint your typical way of responding you can learn to “reverse the curse” of getting your buttons pushed and falling victim to your own worn out, repetitive ways of responding.

Yes, it is a curse to keep getting caught in outdated, ineffective ways of behaving.

Only YOU can make the changes to get out of Freakoutville or Zombieville and get into the SAFE STRESS ZONE.

Here’s how:

  1. Think like a computer: Unbridled emotions can limit confidence, communication, and creativity (the 3 C’s of success). Be like a computer and press the delete button once you see you are in the extremes of either Freakoutville or Zombieville.
  2. See the pattern as AAP: It’s just ‘Another Annoying Pattern’ brought to you from the depths of your nervous system meant to keep you safe and secure when you were a kid and no longer needed.
  3. Don’t feed the weed: When you pull young weeds from the garden it is super easy to get rid of them. If you feed the weeds, they will grow deep roots and you must tug and tug to get them out.
  4. Stop the avalanche: Snowballs are fun to throw until they become so large you no longer have control. Maybe make a snowman and put a sock over its mouth.

Once is NOT enough: Staying in either extreme of overreacting or underreacting will continue to pop up, like pimples on a teenage face. So, keep clearing your thoughts and please don’t pick at the scabs.

Stand and be counted: Good posture helps diminish stress. Not only do you look better, but you also breathe better, and more oxygen in your body makes for a better mood. Stand, smile (even if you need to fake it at first) and in a few minutes the anger will subside.

Shrug IT OFF: Bring your shoulders to your ears and then let them drop. Do this rapidly. Inhale while you raise your shoulders and exhale when you lower. Think “Is this worth fighting or hiding” and just shrug it off as you walk into the safe stress zone to communicate effectively.

Practicing SAFE STRESS comes from being able, to tell the truth, stand for what is right, and learning how to say no without having to defend, explain or justify. You learn to be heard, accepted and appreciated.

Even better, you save your energy for what is fun and creative rather than staying stuck in anger.

Safe stress is good for you, it’s good for the world.

Sylvia Lafair

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