Do you ever get stressed about stress?
Often when we’re feeling stressed, we layer in additional worry, criticism and self-judgments (“I shouldn’t be so stressed!” and “All this stress is bad for me”). Some studies have shown that our perception of stress can have a more negative impact than the original stress itself. How does emotional agility help with stress?
When I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed, these are some things I do…
1. Go for a walk
Since I was a child, I have found clarity when walking in nature. These walks cut out the noise and help me to focus and prioritize. I love the words of Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata (on the image below) and often remind myself of them.
2. Treat myself kindly
Sometimes I even speak to myself as if I were a kind friend: “Okay, now Susy-love, what do you need to do about this?” Do you speak to yourself? It’s far more common than people let on! What kind of self-talk do you use? When I researched Emotional Agility I found out that I’m not alone in a very specific kind of self-talk which involves 3rd person perspective-taking. LeBron James does it, too.
3. Focus on my key values and goals
I often put big post-it notes on the walls of my office with my values and goals written on them. Seeing these moves me to hyper-focus on what is important. In Emotional Agility, I talk about creating an environment that cues you to be values-aligned, and this is one example of how I use this principle.