We have all been there, the “Oh my god, I have 1000 things left to do this week…I’m burnt out…stressed out…angry…ready to quit!!”
Stress sucks, but it is inevitable that we will ALL experience it. Stress can be good though. How you ask?! All stress is, is our brains stretching a limit or a muscle if you will. When we go for a run or lift weights, we are doing the exact same thing! We are “stressing” a muscle and therefore forcing it to grow! The mind, when it comes to stress is the same way, but it takes a little more conditioning to mentally equate stress to health!
The result of almost all things in our life come back to our emotional state. What do I mean by that? Think about this, have you ever said, “Oh I am not good at that,” or “I can’t invest, I’m not rich/I don’t understand it”. You have instantly created a self-fulfilling emotional state! Our minds are sponges. How you think and act is what WILL happen in your life! So back to the question, how is stress healthy??
To make a lasting change, you have to start with a proven strategy! Planning to eat 250 calories a day to lose weight or trying to get rich off one hot stock tip from your poor neighbor won’t work.
How do you find a strategy that works? Tony Robbins says “I’ve always believed the best way to get a result, the fastest way, is to find someone who has already accomplished what you’re after, and model his or her behavior.”
Luckily we are in an age that allows you to instantly find strategies and lessons from the smartest, richest, healthiest people on earth via the internet! The easiest way to change is first model the strategies of the people you want to be like: the perfect loving couple, the billionaire Warren Buffett, the health nut Shaun T…this list goes on and on.
As for stress, Google any past studies on how to benefit from stress and you will be astonished! Doctors and professors from the best universities have all agreed that stress is just a mental state that gives you a feeling of panic and anxiety that YOU conditioned yourself to feel. Mentally you need to use the strategy of conditioning yourself when you are stressed that you are simply “working out” your brain and that you are prepping yourself to have more energy when the next mental #StressWorkout comes!
Even if you have the right strategy (obviously the strategies are the easy part, they are all over the internet, at your local book store, etc.), you won’t get results unless you take action! I mentioned the “self-fulfilling prophecies” earlier and how what you think each day, is what you will get! It’s the stories we tell ourselves that MAKE or BREAK our plans and newly learned strategies.
If you’re not taking action, take a moment to consider what story you have been telling yourself. Someone trying to change might limit themselves by thinking deep down: “I’m not smart enough,” “I can’t make enough money,” or “I’ll never be good enough for him”… Is your story holding you back or empowering you?
As Tim Ferriss said in his book The Four Hour Workweek, “Pareto’s Principle (also known as the 80–20 rule) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. I always say 80% of success in life is psychology and 20% is mechanics.”
Change your story to an empowering story and watch yourself change stress to energy!
Our state of mind is very important to fulfilling our story. The emotional state we are in at any moment in time tends to shape our story. You all know someone that you call “moody”! What is their deal, you ask? This person is just experiencing a “filter” that they chose (conditioned) to represent their internal emotions. These are all decisions YOU make!
If you feel afraid or insecure, it’s hard to make a big change, but if you feel like a million bucks, you’re ready to conquer the world! In the beginning it will be hard…”I’m pissed and stressed, I don’t know how to feel like a million bucks.” That’s fine! The easiest way to change a mental state is to:
1. Notice your emotional states throughout the day. When are you at your peaks and when are you at your lows? Define the feelings, the people around you, the activities, etc. These are the mental anchors you want to recall when you are in a low emotional state and want to change to a peak state. Check out this amazing body language TED talk! I love her quote, “Don’t fake it ’til you make it, fake it ’til you BECOME it!”
2. The second easiest way to change a psychological state, is to change your physiology! Stand up and fist pump, do a jumping jack, lunge in place, clap like you just saw the best show ever! Create a new physical action that you mentally attach a high quality emotional state to.
Once your story and state are aligned, then using your new found strategies will be easy! “That’s how you create a real breakthrough — a new state with a new story and a proven strategy,” Tony Robbins says.
Do’s and Don’ts of Stress
-Think of stress as an indicator that you care about something, rather than a cause for panic!
-Focus on the task, rather than the emotion. If you have a hard time breaking the bad emotions related to stress, focus on changing your story behind them and how stress is just a workout.
-Build relationships with positive people so that you have people to turn to in times of stress that will affirm your state and story for turning stress to energy!
-Assume your stress is going to last forever. Stress is an emotional state YOU started! End it with your new Strategy, Story and State!
-Worry about things that are out of your control. If you can change it, then do so! But if your boss is an idiot, then your boss is an idiot. You can’t change that. What you can change is the stress level they cause you ;)
-Spend time with people who are negative. Look at the people in your life. Negative people are the first to cut, because once you begin to succeed, they will be the first to downplay your success as they want a miserable friend on their level. “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher” Oprah Winfrey.