Empower Yourself

Management of Stress through mindfulness and emotional competence (Part 2)

Assertion

Often the experience of discomfort can energize us to move forward. We are empowered when we have the courage to act in the face of realistic fear. Once we are aware of our strengths and limitations, we can play to our strengths and try to work on our limitations.

We need to sit in the front row of our lives. Be the director in our lives, rather than wait for someone or something to permit us to live our lives. Accepting that we deserve to live the best life we can, within our circumstances, is a liberating and energizing thought.

It is important to set goals that are SMART, specific, manageable, attainable, realistic and timely. To achieve these goals, we need to FEED ourselves – focus on the task, make the effort even if we do not feel up to it. Once we manage the task just once, we will feel confident to try it again and we will eventually find the task effortless. We will need to stay determined to keep up the good work. Then we should reward ourselves for we have worked hard.

Affirmation

Achievement of a goal can give us confidence. We should remember these achievements when self doubt emerges. Affirmations are positive self statements about us that we believe are true. They should be short, sharp sentences, always personal and stated with passion. We can be our own cheerleaders. Catch kind words and praises given to you by other people and tuck them tight into your waist. This builds your self-worth. Say it, believe it, receive it. Practice gratitude for what is good in our lives is another empowering affirmation. Positive thoughts mobilize us to activate ourselves whereas focusing on negative thoughts immobilizes us and keeps us inactive.

Attachment

Finding meaning in our lives and using the positive energy from this sense of belonging has huge healing benefits. Much research has shown the importance of early bonding in setting our styles of emotional interaction. There is no right or wrong style. What’s important is the feeling of connectedness to family, friends and nature. It is useful to see oneself functioning in a system where each part influences the other parts and so the pattern continues. Seeing the pattern as an upward spiral and taking responsibility for your part rather than downwards can be a source of comfort for you. Transactional analysis is also a useful method of understanding our needs for closeness or not. Being able to distinguish when you are in vulnerable child mode and when the voices in your head are from the parent or adult gives you a sense of structure and comfort.

Find an outlet that allows you to express a sense of belonging, spiritually or creatively. In as much as you may want to be alone when you are feeling out of sorts, having a supportive friend and family can do much to help take away the feeling of loneliness. Find your interest in life and take responsibility for that direction. See the big picture when the small things in life loom large.

Autonomy

Why and for whom am I living this life? What am I prepared to accept and what am I not prepared to tolerate are then feasible questions we may ask ourselves? What are my strengths and what are my limitations? If we try and find ways to free up our limitations this may give us strength to deal with our stress.

Learn to acknowledge what it is in your life that you have said yes to but really would like to say no to. Allow yourself the freedom to do what you really enjoy doing and want to do rather than what you ought to do and what you think is your duty to do.

Once you are able to define your own boundaries it is easier to respect another’s. We are all unique individuals, with our own thoughts, opinions and tastes, but we are also deeply connected and need to rely on each other for optimal living.

De-stressing suggestions

• Be kind and compassionate to yourself and others; you do not always know what triggers the other person.
• Accept your emotional reaction patterns and learn techniques to make them work for you.
• Be curious, there are so many opportunities to get more informed.
• Learn something new every day; become fascinated with life, there is so much knowledge out there.
• Spend at least 10 minutes a day thinking positive thoughts about yourself and others.
• Trust your “gut” feeling but always get an objective opinion on it.
• Smile even though you may not feel like it, it relaxes your muscles and changes your negative thinking.
• FEED your mind, focus, make the effort even if you do not feel like it.
• Once you master the task, it will become effortless, and you will need to keep determined so that your positive reactive pattern is reinforced.
• Practice mindfulness – the process of focusing on the present moment . It grounds you and helps you to de-stress.

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