Don’t let stress wear you down
Hello and welcome to my blog.
The opinions and ideas I share in this space are what I believe, practice and value and do not necessarily reflect the views of others. While I understand that not everyone may agree with my perspective.
I believe that sharing my experiences and insights can help others in their own journey.
Before diving into this blog I suggest you read the foundation blog on the dynamic model first
We all experience challenges and stress in our lives, and it can come from a variety of sources such as work, relationships and daily responsibilities. While some stress is normal and even beneficial, excessive stress can have negative impacts on our physical and mental health.
To effectively cope with stress, it's important to know how the brain works and the default tendencies it has.
On the default, our brain goes to the negative which is a survival mechanism that evolved to help us identify potential dangers and threats. However, when this part of the brain is left unsupervised, it can lead to excessive negative thinking, ruminating, overthinking and stress.
Key is becoming the boss of your brain by using the framework of the dynamic model.
Other strategies that can be helpful in coping with stress include:
• Processing feelings
• Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga
• Exercising regularly
• Getting enough sleep
• Seeking support from friends and loved ones or a professional
What is stress?
Here are a few definitions of stress.
1. A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from thoughts about adverse or demanding circumstances.
2. “Stress is what arises when something you care about is at stake.” Kelly McGonigal Health psychologist Stanford University.
3. “Stress is an emotion that creates a sensation in the body often described as heaviness or tightness in the chest or abdomen. It is created by our thoughts.” Jody Moore Master certified life coach.
What creates stress?
Thoughts create our feelings.
This is a tricky concept to wrap your head around.
It is not always easy to recognize, but it’s good news though.It means you have more power than you think.
Not the things happening outside of us (circumstances) like our jobs, relationships or the economy… create our stress.
The thoughts we have about it is what creates our stress.
I am not suggesting that you should not have certain thoughts around those subjects and that you’re doing it wrong.
I’ m just saying it is useful to question these thoughts and ask yourself if they are helpful and creating the result you want to have.I want you to become aware of your thoughts and think more deliberately rather than accepting all the thoughts and stories your brain is offering you on the default (brain chatter)
You can do a thought download and use a dynamic model to analyze what’s going on.
Two types of stress
• Stress that is keeping you stuck : immobile stress(distress)
• Stress that is moving you forward : mobile stress(eustress)
Immobile stress is the stress you feel when your brain offers you stories and thoughts that are future focused.
You ruminate on things that might happen in the future and it feels so overwhelming because you don’t know what the future will bring and what resources you will have to cope with the situation. It’s like having a Jigsaw Puzzle with missing pieces and no picture to rely on.
This kind of stress grows in intensity the more you engage in those thoughts.
It blocks your creative thinking and logic reasoning.
You can’t think clearly when you are stressed out.
You’ll probably feel a bunch of other emotions like self-pity caused by the thought for me why is this happening to me, this is not fair. Other emotions that can show up are resentment and confusion. Even shame because of the thought why can’t I deal with it, this is my fault, I created this mess or blame : this is their fault, they shouldn’t act this way...
The law of diminishing return
Shouldn’t we plan and think things through in order to make wise decisions so we can prevent future problems?
Yes, to a certain extent it is useful to try and prepare yourself and prevent future problems.
But there is a tipping point beyond which it doesn’t add any value but rather diminishes your quality of life and reduces the likelihood of a positive effect.
It becomes stuck stress and you're suffering ahead of time, it will not be helping you further in solving your problems and will not be preventative in any ways.
Mobile stress is the stress that is moving us forward, it is the stress we want to keep.
Even if it will not feel good all the times, it helps us move forward and grow, become stronger and more resilient.
This type of stress is focused on a current”problem” (a thought you consciously want to label as a problem) or a challenge.
It feels intense but tolerable and it diminishes as we take action.
It will help us access our genius, the part of our brain that helps us solve problems.
Feelings that will accompany this type of stress are determination, commitment, motivation, curiosity and courage.
Those feelings will drive actions that will improve the situation and possibly solve the problem.
When you’re feeling stressed, try to identify whether it’s immobile stress or mobile stress.
What are the thoughts you’re having that are creating those feelings?
Identify the thoughts you have and what kind of stress they create.
I can’t do this, it’s is too hard.
Why it’s always me.
I hate my life.
Become aware of the stories you are telling yourself, by engaging in them over and over they become ingrained believes and they are holding you back.
Be willing to be wrong about those thoughts
Our brain wants to be right and will look for more evidence.
That’s called confirmation bias : the eye sees what the brain is looking for.
Choose a different thought.
It is not the same as just “think a positive thought”. It’s not about being delusional.
Instead you look for a thought that feels better and true and also believable
Be more intentional, choose more useful thoughts that will move you forward such as :
I can figure this out.
I will find a way.
I will do what is necessary.
I can do hard things.
Want to take a deeper dive into this material and learn to apply it?
Personal coaching is a powerful tool for growth and change. If you are curious if it might be of help to you,
don’t hesitate to check it out and schedule a free call
I'm here to support you in your journey.
Hilde Verbeek Certified life-coach copyright © 2022