You know you want to make some life changes. Your life is not working out quite the way you expected it to. You are not at the place you planned to be by this point. Happiness eludes you.
Congratulations on knowing you need to take different actions than what you have so far in order to achieve new and different outcomes. After all, if you keep doing what you’ve always done then you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.
Great. So you know you want to change. The questions is how in the world do you make those changes? How do you step out of your box and walk a new path?
How do you teach an old dog new tricks? One step at a time.
First decide what you want to change. How will your life look, what will your daily experience be like when you live with the new habits in place?
My guess is your list of desired changes includes more than one behavior. The thing is you will not succeed at all if you jump into many different new behaviors at once.
The only thing you will experience is overwhelm. And overwhelm quickly leads to quitting.
To really live the life you dream about you want to be persistent and consistent in acting on new behaviors while ceasing to perform all the behaviors that keep you stuck.
Sounds simple. The trick to accomplishing that desired result is to take just one small step at a time.
Start today by doing just one small action differently from how you used to do it. If you put your left pants leg on first then today put your right pants leg on first. If you take a right turn out of your driveway when you leave home then starting today make a left turn and create a new way to your destination. (Get the metaphor?)
You can do one small thing easily, right? You can commit to making one small change and follow through consistently, yes? I am talking about one thing.
Decide which one thing you will change this week and do it every day for a week and then, after successfully adding this one new small change – then add a second new small change.
If, for any reason, you find yourself forgetting to continue with either of the new behaviors then go back to doing just one.
You want to consistently repeat the new behavior for at least 28 consecutive days to instill a new habit. If two new action steps work then do two as described above.
Give yourself time. Remember that slow and steady gets you there – often more dependably than quick and impetuous. With each small success you feel encouraged to create another success with another new behavior.
As you see your stress level drop you will find all the motivation you need to continue on the slow and steady path to living in happiness now. I invite you to get quick stress relief to assist you on that new path by getting your FREE copy of my Special Report: 25 Tips To Eliminate Stress Now by filling in your name and email in the box on the right.
When you feel really overwhelmed, like there is no way out, remember that you are reacting to your interpretation of the situation and not to the situation itself.
Somebody else in that same situation, or even you at a different time, may not even notice anything heavy duty going on in the moment.
How can that happen? Your state of mind determines your interpretation of what is happening. Your interpretation will either make you feel good or bad. Good can be happy or at peace. Bad can be angry, sad or full out stressed.
In any case it is how you use your imagination that determines your interpretation of the current circumstances. Yes current, in this moment – not yesterday, not even an hour ago. The past is gone. The only time you have is this moment. So you can only act in this moment.
And what you think about determines how you feel which causes you to take certain actions. And after you take those actions you again look at the new situation and decide (by thinking) how you feel now. You continue the cycle of think, feel, act.
What can you do, with that knowledge, to move out of overwhelm and stress and into a feel good place where you can live permanently with only brief visits to the stress you now endure?
Did you say to change your thoughts? Seems pretty obvious, don’t you think?
When your life fails to look the way you want it to look would it make any sense to keep taking the same actions every day? Why would they take you to a different place tomorrow, or the next day if you they never led you there before?
Perpetuating a routine that fails to serve you or move you to a better place makes zero sense. But how do you step outside the box to create all new thoughts, feelings and actions?
Einstein said, “You cannot solve a problem with the mind that created it.” Okay then what do you do?
Find someone who already lives the way you want to live and copy what they do. By copying their actions you begin to think the way they think. Obviously choose a role model who lives stress-free if you want to live stress-free.
Ah, note that different people have different definitions of stress and therefore different ways of living stress-free. So your first task is to define what stress is for you and then to figure out how your world will look when you live without stress.
Stress-free living requires you to consciously stay focused in the present moment and pay attention to your thoughts. You know your thoughts by monitoring your feelings.
I tell my clients that I never ask anything of them I have not been through or done myself. Since I have survived some major traumas in my own life and had to come back from nearly dying I do know how hard life can be.
Ah, hard if you choose to live in struggle and stress.
I find myself frequently needing to take care of crisis situations. Those moments keep me on my toes and, most important, they keep me sharp making me walk my talk.
Hmm. Why do I create such situations? Well, let’s see, I tell people I never ask anything of them I have not done myself. That is huge clue!
To stop putting myself into varied stressful situations I need to drop that line from my repertoire. No kidding!
You may think I am being silly here. But when I speak or write those words I am sending a clear message to my own subconscious mind and to the Universe that I need to keep experiencing challenges so I will be able to say, “Been there. Done tha,.” regardless of the client’s situation.
That whole notion is really no different than thinking, as a psychotherapist, you have to suffer from every possible disorder before you can assist anyone in healing from that disorder.
What a ludicrous thought. Yet no more out there than what I put out to the Universe pretty regularly.
I know how the body, mind, spirit system work. I do not need to suffer any conditions or setbacks or stress at all –unless I need to learn more life lessons (which I do). In fact, if my own well being is not fully charged with love I can be pretty much useless at helping someone heal.
I know how the body/mind attracts stressful situations to itself. But only when I remember to stay present and live and act consciously in this moment can I be truly stress-free.
And I can continue to create these new thought patterns that keep me focused in the now rather than repeat the past stuck behaviors.
All I have to do is catch myself experiencing overwhelm or pressure to recognize I am not living in the present moment. Then I come back and make a decision to replace those other thoughts with pleasant ones that fail to make me feel bad.
Eliminating stress is as simple as creating new habits. It all starts with your thoughts.
Most people will tell you that many stressors fill their world. Identifying them specifically as well as choosing some activity to eliminate them contributes to improved health and well being.
The most common stress-inducer is time. People say there is never enough time to finish the task. They say there is never enough time to get it all done.
Most women will tell you they never have time for themselves. They never have time to take care of their own needs – including time to do something fun.
When you fail to fuel yourself with love and activities that leave you feeling relaxed and fulfilled, your body, mind and spirit feel the stress and may develop real symptoms, aches, pains or illness – just to get your attention!
On that same subject, taking care of oneself…
Many people, especially women, find themselves agreeing to take on tasks they no way want to do. Their vocabulary lacks the very important word, “No.”
How do you feel when you agree to do a task for someone you know darned well that you absolutely do not want to do yet you also fear saying, “No.”
That horrible feeling inside stresses you and impairs your health – emotionally and physically. In addition to doing something you do not want to do you probably feel like a traitor to yourself.
You know you are not making time to take care of yourself and do fun stuff just for the sake of relaxation and joy. Yet here you are agreeing to spend time doing a chore you do not even want to do!
What kind of message are you sending to your self image, your self esteem and your pride?
Not being able to ask for help when you really need it also causes your heart to skip a beat or pound a little harder. How come you willingly tell others you will help them with tasks you do not want to do yet you will not ask others to help you do your tasks?
Another intensely painful stressor is being shy. I know that one first hand. When you are shy no matter where you go, if there is a crowd (more that two people) your stress level rises.
Procrastination also creates great stress. Wanting to do something yet not getting to it leaves you feeling less than, maybe even unworthy or deprived.
Every one of those stressors comes from a definition and experience in which you assigned that meaning to those terms.
You can make different choices and watch how fast your life changes.
Stress takes its toll on people. Successful people use a specific technique that relieves stress and leads to success across one’s life.
What is that technique? Make your decision quickly and stick to it.
Successful people are known to make decisions quickly and then rarely change their minds. When they do change, they do so slowly and deliberately.
How dos that habit relieve stress?
When you hve a choice to make and you linger over what to do, which path to follow, what goes on in your mind? You probably feel a need to gather as much information as possible to make sure you make the right decisions for you.
That information gathering stage expands. You want to make sure you do not miss anything.
For most people they make lists: one of the advantages and one of the disadvantages of each choice. So they expend energy looking for what could go wrong and what might be missing as well as what could go right.
There is another way to use your energy, a faster way that works more reliably.
Picture the desired outcome of making this decision. What do you want your world to look like because you decided ABC? Write all the results that will come of this choice. Go into great detail.
Now that you created that list of the scenario you want to live put it out to the Universe.
Put it out to the Universe? What does that mean?
Meditate on your list of desired outcomes. OR visualize them. Or best choice – virtualize them.
New York Times best selling author, Robert G. Allen, coined the word virtualizing. It goes beyond visualizing boosting your power to manifest what you want faster and easier.
To virtualize you go inside, behind your eyes and look out at the world you desire (pretend your desired outcome already happened). Do not watch yourself in a movie. See what you see walking in and acting in this movie. The set is in your imagination, okay?
What do you see? Notice the rich colors, patterns, view, etc. all the details of the place you find yourself. Feel what you are walking or sitting on. Notice textures and scents. Maybe you want to grab a glass of water. Feel yourself pouring it from a pitcher and then enjoy it trickling down your throat.
Hear what you hear in that situation. Feel what you feel. Create your virtual world as a real world already in existence. Because, frankly, as soon as you request it that possiblity exists as a reality for you. All you need to do is learn how to take the action to make it real,
Continue to virtualize that experience to speed its manifestation. You will manifest the decision you made faster and easier than you could have by any other means. Oh yes and this one will likely remain a constant in your life.