What a whirlwind! In the past two weeks, Brett got married in Chicago. I spent a week with my family and sibs in Milwaukee and then headed back to Chicago with Laurie, my dietitian sister to attend FNCE (Food Nutrition Conference and Expo) the nation’s biggest conference for Registered Dietitians in the world. These two weeks have been anxiously waited for yet they were filled with stress. Why? Because I was surrounded by many, many people. Traveling, being a house guest for a week and weddings can all add stress to our lives.
Stress is often directly tied to people, things and events that affect our lives, but that we cannot control. In order to effectively reduce stress, start with what you can control: yourself, your thoughts.
Here are two steps to reduce your stress and get back your happy.
Step One: Take full responsibility and stop being a victim
You are responsible for your beliefs and thoughts. People that always believe that things happen to them, handicap themselves to a victim mentality. This is a very subtle negative thought pattern. Phrases like “I can’t believe she did that to me!” or “I can’t believe she said that about me!” Blaming people and circumstances affects our decision to change something negative into something positive. Taking full responsibility for your life, your thoughts and your actions is the first step to creating a more positive happy life. People will always “say” and “do stuff” and you get to decide to turn the negative into positive or stay negative.
Step Two: Change your thinking
You are either your best friend or worst enemy. Change starts within you no one else. If you want to become more positive, notice your thoughts. Research by Barbara Frederickson has demonstrated that positivity is the secret to happiness. When you notice a negative thought, Barbara’s research suggests we need to identify three positives for every negative. I ask myself, “What is good, right and beautiful?”
Final food for thought.
Greg Anderson, author of “The 22 Non-Negotiable Laws of Wellness” reminds us, “The perfect no-stress environment is the grave. When we change our perception we gain control. The stress becomes a challenge, not a threat. When we commit to action, to actually doing something rather than feeling trapped by events, the stress in our life becomes manageable.”
What belief do you need to change, to reduce your stress and give yourself the power to take action? We can’t wait to hear!