I was recently watching an “Animal Kingdom” type of show and as usual it was hunting time. A lion was sneaking up on a herd of gazelles. The lion leaped out after one of the smaller gazelles. Panicked the animal ran as fast as it could until the lion gave up. The little gazelle leaped back to join the herd and within a brief moment or two was calmly nibbling grass. Meanwhile the lion was sprawled out on a rock sleeping peacefully.
Now flash on another scene… I’m calling a place of business about a bill I received which I believed was wrong. The person on the other end of the line was sure I was gravely mistaken. We argue back and forth and then I was told to call another number. Eventually the issue was resolved.
I move from the phone back to my office and peacefully go back to work. NOT! I am still stewing over the rudeness of this companies customer service. Many times that day my mind replayed the conversation and what I should have said or they said. On and on it went. You see, unlike my gazelle friend who had one terrifying trauma that day and then went back to eating. I had a mildly disturbing event that I chose to relive at least 20 times that day and probably many more times that week.
Researchers have discovered that when humans think about a upsetting event the body reacts as if that event was happening again and again. The stress chemicals pour into the body and prepares for flight or fight. Unfortunately or fortunately, fight or flight is not needed because nothing is really happening. Not a great way to deal with stress! So my goal is to be much more like the gazelle (minus the constant eating!) To let a stressful event go as quickly as possible and then turn my mind to more productive and peaceful matters. Here are 4 steps I’ve found helpful and I think you will too….
Step 1: When a stressful event is over make a conscious choice to focus on something more pleasant.
Catch yourself if you start replaying the event and gently turn your mind to something else.
Step 2: Exercise to release some of the stress chemicals. Even running up the stairs at work helps.
Step 3: Choose something else to focus on. A project you enjoy or a phone call you look forward to making.
Step 4: Relax! I like using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) for 5-10 minutes just to refocus and release stress. Stretching, closing your eyes and just breathing is another option.
So that’s my challenge to you on this Monday. Find ways to live more like the lion and gazelle. Stress will happen. Just be quick to let it go and move on to enjoying life.
Have an amazing Monday!
Leanna Fredrich, Mindset Coach, Adv. EFT, Adv. Psych-K