personal coaching

A four step approach to mastering your stress ....

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There are four key steps that we need to take in order to regain, and maintain, control over our stress and anxiety:

  1. Reducing our current stress level
  2. Understanding how we experience stress
  3. Rewiring our brain
  4. Developing and practicing the skills needed to keep stress under control

Reducing our current stress level

When we are experiencing stress it affects our ability to think clearly. This creates an obstacle for us, because we need to be able to think clearly in order to take the next three steps.

In order to get our 'thinking brain' back on line, we need to reduce the level of stress we’re currently experiencing.

One of the most effective ways to reduce our current stress level is to activate our innate Relaxation Response. The Relaxation Response is the branch of our autonomic nervous system that goes into action to restore balance once the Stress Response ("Fight or Flight") is deactivated.

The Stress Response and the Relaxation Response can’t both be active at the same time – when one’s on, the other is off. So in order to reduce our stress level we need to ensure that our Relaxation Response is in action more often than our Stress Response.

During the day the best way to activate the Relaxation Response is through diaphragmatic breathing. You can do it anytime, anywhere. There are many different patterns of diaphragmatic breathing, and the one I teach my clients is called 7/11 breathing. You can find out more about it here.

Understanding how we experience stress - the S.T.R.E.S.S Process

The phrase “Knowledge is Power” is often attributed to Francis Bacon (1597). Bacon was referring to the fact that knowledge reduces uncertainty and empowers people to achieve great results. In the context of stress management, a good, clear understanding of how we experience stress is invaluable, because it helps:

  • reduce our fear of the unknown
  • put us back in control of the stress experience
  • us to tailor our stress management activities to those that serve us best

In my work with individual clients and groups, I use the STRESS PROCESS MODEL to explain how stress is created and how we experience it. I’ve written about the Stress Process in earlier blogs. You can check out the first blog in the series here.

Rewiring our Brain

It is often the case that the stress we experience is due to our brain having becoming over sensitive to potential threats. To use an analogy, our amygdala (our brain's threat detector) is performing like a faulty car alarm, triggering the stress response even when there’s little or no danger to us.

The good news is it’s possible to reset the faulty alarm so it only goes off when it needs to. One of the effective techniques I use with my clients to ‘reset the alarm’ is the REWIND technique. This amazing technique is also effective in helping people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and phobias.

Developing and practicing the skills needed to keep stress under control

With our current stress level reduced, and with a good understanding of how we experience stress, and with our alarm system reset, we’re now ready to learn and apply some effective tools and techniques to keep our stress under control. These tools once learned become skills for life, that we can use as and when we need them.

An example of a really powerful stress management tool/skill is visualisation (also known as mental rehearsal).

 

“If You Can Visualize It, You Can Make It Happen” ~ Jack Cranfield

 

Very often anxiety is triggered by a misuse of our imagination – we imagine worse case scenarios, and our brains respond to the situation as if it is real and happening now. By practicing visualization, we can deliberately get our imagination working for us instead of against us.  Visualization trains the brain to stress less and achieve more.  Successful athletes and business people have long known this, and they use visualisation to aid their success and well-being. To learn more about visualisation click here.

What Next?

If anxiety or stress are causing ongoing problems in your life, give me a call me on 021 056 8389, email tony@tycoaching.nz  to schedule your first session.

 

REMEMBER - "When you change your mind you change your life."

 

Here's to a relaxing weekend.

Go well

Tony Yuile

Tony helps individuals to harness the power of their mind to achieve success and well-being in life, work and business. Tony's particular area of expertise lies in helping people to 'change their minds' so they gain freedom from worry, anxiety and stress, overcome limiting beliefs and unhelpful habits. Tony’s solution focused approach to coaching uses a range of techniques drawn from the fields of solution focused coaching, neuroscience, positive psychology and clinical hypnosis.

Over 50? Whats next?

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So you are getting close to 50 years old or maybe you are like me and now into your 50's?

Life is definitely for the living and if you haven't already leveraged yourself, the time is now.  Over 50 you should be living a lifestyle of your own design.  Much easier if you have made the leap into self-employment during your 40's but maybe you just need more security so you kept working for someone else.  What scares me about that is the number of people I chat with who have been made redundant, hit a health issue, or are still raising a family and struggling to make it week by week.  That's just not living.

So, what do you do?  If you have been good and saved heaps of money you might buy a lifestyle business.  One you know you will love that will give you the time and income to live the life you love.  If this is you, you might as well stop reading.

If however, for whatsoever reason you are approaching 50 or clicked over this mark and you still have not leveraged yourself for a better life then here are my tips for you.

  1. You have skills and experience others should be interested in.
  2. By now you should have an idea of what you love to do.
  3. The kids should have left home or at least be earning, freeing up some cash for you.  If not, seriously consider downsizing, you will need some cash-flow while you redesign your future.
  4. .  You possibly already know people who would appreciate your skills.  Start to have conversations and making plans.
  5. Find a personal coach to guide you so you accelerate your plan and navigate through those first years of whatever it is you decide to do.  You should not need a lot of guidance if you are making choices based on things you love to do.
  6. Your biggest market is possibly other 'over 50's' just like you so make connections, join appropriate network groups and start building or rebuilding your personal network.
  7. Start to read positive books that inspire you to learn and go for your goals.
  8. Your health and happiness is now the number 1 priority.

So it's simple. Build your own business and preferably one you love to work in. Ideally, you should have thought about this in your early 40's but I know, you were just too busy then.

If your cash position is poor, downsize.  Rebuild a life that makes sense the next 50 years should be the best of your life.  Money is not more important than your health.  You have the knowledge and there are plenty of peers out there you can tap into for support.  The sooner you take this step, the sooner you will get to a place that you love, dealing with people who are also passionate about living a life they love and designing the life you have always dreamed of.

I wish you all the best.

 

 

Tony C
Personal Coach.

M. 021 911 722
www.tonycutting.com