This Is What I Do When I’m Feeling Stressed

By Susan David

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? 

Watch this short video to find out.

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.

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