“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”
STRESSED? PHONE HOME!
Stress is part of all our daily lives and it is estimated that six million days of sick leave in the UK are related to stress each year. Recently researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison looked at the effects that contact with mothers can have on the stress levels of their daughters. The sample was fairly small and the age of the daughters between 7 and 12 but the study showed that in all cases contact with mum before and after the stressful experience resulted in a significant drop in cortisol (stress hormone) levels and elevated levels of oxytocin (feel good hormones) in the daughters. There was no difference in the results between the girls who had experienced physical maternal contact and those whose mothers had been at the end of a phone. Of course, not everyone has had a strong, secure, nurturing relationship with their mother, but we think that the results should remind us that contact with a significant person in our life who can share the stresses of the day can, and often does, have a beneficial effect – our frayed nerves are calmed and we feel better.
So here are a couple of visualisations to help calm your system when in need and for those tappers amongst you, choose from the phrases below that resonate with your stress producing triggers.
After some deep breathing into the stomach –
Make a film of the stressful situation and play it on an imaginary TV screen, make sure that you are holding the remote. Now play with it in any way you like. For example, you can:
Change the action so that the scene plays out exactly as you want it to.
You can remove the sound, especially if what was said was particularly upsetting.
Make it black and white
Shrink the screen so that you can only just see the action.
Make certain characters tiny in comparison to the rest or make them into cartoon characters.
Run it backwards.
Mix up the frames so that the sequence goes
Finally click your fingers so that the whole thing disappears.
Imagine picking up the phone and calling someone (real or imaginary) to offload your troubles. Hear their soothing and comforting voice; feel their love and support; listen to them telling you exactly what you want to hear – continue until you feel comforted and supported.
If you feel panicky – tap continuously on all points.
If your habit is to put a negative spin on things, try to stop these thoughts mid-stream and look for thoughts that make you feel better.
Say each phrase 3 times whilst tapping on the karate chop and use the phrases underlined as your reminder whilst tapping on all the points.
Even though I don’t want to (add the description of what you don’t want to do) I accept myself and choose to (either say “No” or say “achieve something positive and beneficial)
*Use this if you are a “people pleaser” and frequently agree to doing things you don’t want to do
Even though I’m stressed because the plan has been changed and the goalposts shifted I profoundly love and accept myself and now choose to be flexible and at ease.
Even though I feel overwhelmed, I deeply and completely accept myself and I now choose to put my focus on what is most needed.
Even though s/he hurt my feelings I deeply and completely accept myself and I now choose to find creative ways to feel good about myself.
Even though I’m stressed and I can’t face up to (your description) I deeply and completely accept myself and I now choose to meet my challenges confidently and calmly.
Even though I’ve got no control, I deeply and completely love and accept myself and choose to recognise my own power and focus on what I want.
Jocelyn and Kristina at Trance- Formed