The beginning of the year is also a time when people have gone through increased demands of activities, socializing and sometimes vacations. Many times they feel drained and exhausted afterward.
Because too many of even good things can be stressful for the body and mind.
We call it positive stress. The stress due to too many positive things.
Stress, even when positive, can cause some adverse effects.
Therefore, let me share here how to minimize the negative effects of positive stress by using my personal example.
I had a stimulating end of the year with a vacation planning for a family wedding and release of my Stress to Joy Guided Gratitude Journal, on top of all the year-end stuff a business owner has to do.
It was all thrilling with socializing and excitement. I did not feel any stress although my body was experiencing some negative effects of positive stress.
A few weeks later, I was found to have high blood pressure. Now if you are a healthcare professional, or know someone who is, you may know that doctors make terrible patients because they know all the possible consequences of an illness.
Like many doctors, my mind started going over all the possible worse case scenarios, I could go thru with an underlying high blood pressure; strokes, heart attacks, dementia, etc.
Consequently, I started feeling stressed and worried.
[Yes, stress doctors can also feel stressed].
The next day, I caught myself worrying and decided to apply the basic formula I teach others in the Stress to Joy® program.
Once I went through the exercise I felt relief from stress. I stopped worrying and started feeling empowered to take action. I started feeling calmer again even though my external situation hadn’t changed yet.
What helped me? My journaling practice.
I usually start my mornings with my gratitude journal and follow up with my reflections. So that day as I began to reflect, I applied the basic Stress to Joy® formula ACR.
A – I acknowledged that I am going through the positive stress of publishing as well as vacation planning and business management. Although it makes me happy and excited, it is causing some adverse effects on my health. I noticed the body tension and jumpy thoughts.
C – I calmed down intentionally with the feet to floor exercise and mindfulness.
R – I started reflecting using 3Rs:
I recognized that certain things are in my control and certain things are not. The number on the blood pressure machine is not in my control.
It is in my circle of concern but not in my circle of control.
Although I cannot control it, I can still influence it by taking specific actions; e.g., watching my diet, doing my exercises, making my doctor’s appointment, and taking medications if needed.
Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence
I realized that I was reacting by focusing on the worst-case scenarios and that it is not helping me.
So I told myself to use the mantra for letting go of worries;
“I choose not to suffer before suffering.
Hence, chose to focus on and take steps to get the results I want rather than the results I don’t want.”
I added my intention and choice statement to my daily to-do list for my daily reminders:
I chose to –
walk 10 min three times a day.
Drink water, eat healthily and take my meds and vitamins regularly.
Give priority to self-care.
Focus on My “I can” circle.
Do I even need to tell you how it shifted my mindset?
If you can relate to my story, then try this technique regularly and see how it helps you shift your mindset gradually and transform your suffering and stress to health and happiness.
You can learn more detail on this technique and many other techniques like this in the book Stress to Joy. (Specifically, this technique is on page 113). www.stresstojoy.com
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#1 Best Selling Author, Speaker, and Psychiatrist
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I share many tools and techniques that I have found to be helpful. They are not intended to replace treatments. Please seek treatment from licensed medical or health professionals as needed. I change all names for privacy.