For the most part however, if we could face pressure without feeling that uncomfortable sense of stress, we may find that we’re more productive as well as happier and healthier. With a little help from the experts, we have solutions for turning every stressful situation into a positive one…
Author of the Self Love Affair, Katie Phillips says that the key lies in looking for the opportunity for growth, learning and development within the situation you’re in. “If we come from the perspective of thinking every opportunity is a chance to expand and grow, it diffuses it so we can go ‘ok, this isn’t fun, but it’s an opportunity for me to learn how to forgive, or love myself more, or love unconditionally.’ Usually the best opportunities for growth are the most painful ones, but even though we’re experiencing the pain, knowing there’s purpose behind it allows you to see it as a positive and a healing situation with a beautiful outcome coming your way.”
Katie also extolls the virtues of living consciously, saying: “the only thing that causes us dissatisfaction and unease are our thoughts about the situation. What we think about it is actually what’s causing us the discomfort more than the situation itself. The situation is just a thing, how you perceive it causes pain, and we have the choice to change that at any moment. It’s a decision to live consciously and develop a childlike curiosity for your thoughts.
Allow yourself to have an out of body experience and notice the situation you’re in from the outside perspective. Notice what you think and feel about it and ask yourself if that does service to you. Then choose a thought and response to the situation that will be of more service to yourself and others. When we’re not living consciously we’re just reacting to a situation. If we live consciously and with perspective, we can respond lovingly and in an adult way.”
Naturopath Sue Davis from Lifehouse Spa and Hotel takes the spa approach to energizing a situation, using colours and aromatherapy to boost the way you feel. Colour therapy, using chakra coloured bottles, works by choosing a colour at the beginning of a consultation, to indicate what your mind and body need.
It’s very similar to aromatherapy that way, choosing an essential oil to boost your mind and body. For example, red shows a need for for security and grounding, while purple is more spiritual and governs our clairvoyant insight and gut instinct. “All colours have different meanings,” says Sue, so “if you want more energy you might wear red for the day, or green if you want to feel relaxed.”
Aromatherapy can have a strong impact on the way you feel. In Japanese factories they have been known to spray citrus scents into the room because lemon is very stimulating and increases productivity. On the other hand, rosemary is good for the memory and peppermint is good for brainstorming, so perhaps keep a couple of essential oils handy for those stressful occasions!
Human needs expert Rebecca Miller says: “it is possible to change our internal state very easily and quickly by focusing on our posture, breathing and body language (physiology), our focus (what we are choosing to think about or focus on in the situation) and our language (self-language and also what say to others). By changing those, we can alter how we feel in a moment. When in stressful situation, try a simple strategy. Try to recall a similar situation where there was a positive outcome. What did you feel, do or say? How did you feel afterwards? What can you bring from that memory into the current situation to feel more confident and in control?
By gathering evidence of all our accomplishments and achievements, all the compliments we have received and when we felt strong, energised and accomplished, our we can harness the memory of these and the associated feelings quite quickly and then use them to put ourselves in a better state and so make us instantly more resourceful and creative rather than simply knee-jerking to feel stressed or inadequate.”
Role models are good for focusing on positive outcomes, says Rebecca. Who do you know, either personally or through the media, that you admire? How would they react in this situation? What would their posture, focus or language be? Then copy it! Faking it as a means to emulate and develop similar skills is an excellent way of getting us out of feeling that we can only respond in one way.
Try it out and then record, in a journal or scrapbook, the successes you had and the positive experiences and feelings. “If it helps, take on the person/role model you admire name or create one of your own. I’ve often referred to myself as Xena (as in Warrior Princess) when I felt I needed to be stronger or more assertive than I naturally felt. This is great for any kind of situation.”
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