The unpredictability of life – feedback from a boss or co-workers, the ups and downs of family relationships or just the day-to-day news – can keep us feeling unstable and shaky, especially when it seems like life is moving so fast we don’t have time to process and absorb what’s happening around us.
Whether your stressors are from work, home or larger societal issues, there are ways to keep yourself and your mindset balanced and healthy. Here are 5 things I remind myself of on a regular basis in my life as a career and executive coach and meditation instructor.
1) This is temporary
As chaotic as life may seem, and as hassled and upset you may be right now, this is temporary. You will feel better, calmer, more energized, more motivated, less angry, less aggravated and happier again.
2) Sometimes things have nothing to do with me
This is another version of ‘it’s not personal,’ and it’s true. Yes, you may have made a mistake, not known the right answer to a problem or a question or someone or something may have exploded around you, but you are most likely the bystander. Put this situation in a larger context, so that you have some perspective on the situation.
This may sound trite, but it works. When anxiety strikes, stop and breathe deeply. This may be in the middle of the night, the middle of a meeting or even at the grocery store. Breathe all the way into your belly and feel it move. Put your hands on your stomach to make sure it’s actually moving as you breathe. Do this slowly and with concentration. You will calm down. I promise.
4) Remember your successes
Call to mind — or better yet — write down times that you have been competent at something — when things have gone really well and you were able to overcome a tough situation. We are all resilient creatures, and sometimes we forget just how resilient we are. So practice remembering what you’ve done well. This is essential to getting through tough times.
5) Do something that makes you feel good in a healthy way
So you might not be able to go skiing or hop on a plane to Hawaii. But you can make the decision to go for a bike ride after work or cook a meal or knit a hat – something I’ve found to be a great stress reliever for me.