Use Your Brain To Manage STRESS.

As promised, here are some 'brain' (mind) techniques for you to try over the next few weeks and see which one works best for you after you have tried them all.

There are a couple of caveats - if you are very unwell you must seek professional help, not every one of these techniques will work for every person, and you have to work hard at them.

These techniques are not as simple to do as just putting on a pair of running shoes and going for a jog - which of course is very good for you - you have to use your brain to control your mind, or is it your mind to control your brain? Anyway, here they are;

  • Stop thinking negatively - the hardest of all techniques to master but one that will give you the maximum benefit if you get it right. Negative self-talk will quickly have you believing that what you are saying inside your head is the truth. It isn't, it's your brain trying to look after you in a weird (wired) way. Rather than doing that, which most of us do by the way, replace negatives with positives to fill the void. Concentrate on what you got right when you made a mistake, always look for one positive when things go wrong, and think about the next step forward rather than dwelling on the negative past.
  • Be thankful - similar to the above technique, thinking about what you have and being thankful for these things rather than thinking about what we desire is a great way to make you happier. Studies show that people who practice gratitude, both being thankful for what they have and also offering help to others, are far more relaxed and sleep better than those who do not practice gratitude. Thank someone, offer to help, tell a loved one that you care about them, and only seeing the good in everything are other gratitude techniques for you to try.
  • Maintain a positive attitude - if you think it is going to be hard it will be, if you think it is going to be easy the same will occur. Always have a positive attitude by thinking that you can do it, tell yourself that you've got this and it will go smoothly. Smiling and a tall posture will help your positive mental attitude, a lack of facial expression and hunched shoulders will add to your negative attitude. Stand tall, smile, tell yourself that "I've got this!"
  • Face your fears - At work, if you do not like doing something or have difficulty doing something or are afraid of actually doing it, you need to do more of it. Elite soldiers and emergency service workers face a lot of fear in their work, and they run towards their fear. This is how they overcome their natural predisposition to fear, they run towards it with a positive mental attitude and put the energy that fear provides to good use. Do not overthink your fear/s; make a plan, practice it, and put it into action. The more you face your fears the easier it becomes and you will start to look for more things to do that make you afraid.
  • Let it go - there is little that you can do to change the past other than to fix what you can as much as possible and apologise to those you have hurt if you can't undo what is done. There is not one person who has never made a mistake. Deal with your past demons as much as possible, without adding to the damage already caused (i.e. by hurting others), and move forward. Dwelling on the past will hold you there, as time moves forward you will be stuck back in time. Put your mistakes into a box and bury them deeply by making new positive memories. "Turn your wounds into wisdom" - Oprah Winfrey.

Next week's posts will be filled with random topics as I take a short break to enhance my coaching programs and update the resiliency techniques on the latest research. See you then.