Still getting over the stresses of Christmas?
Have a read through these nine things and they could just help you to deal with everything that’s thrown at you in the coming year!
1. Recognise the story you give yourself about your own life and the things that happen in it. As much as you can, notice yourself acting out the main character’s role. Notice all the other characters and scenarios that take centre stage in the story of your life.
Then take a step back.
See your life as a member of the audience would see it from down there in the stalls. And notice how being able to step back and put a little distance between you and the story you create can help to put things a little more into perspective.
Also notice the story you create around others in your life, and the fact that they will all have slightly varying (or extremely different!) versions of you and their own lives. We all see things the way we believe. And what we believe is our own truth, the story we create, whether we like it or not. That’s why, often, we all deal with the same things in completely different ways, even perhaps creating completely different memories!
2. Acknowledge that this thing called life isn’t always a bed of roses. Stuff happens, things change, people move on and often we try to fight against this. But in the end we know it’s futile. We can never be fully in control of what happens because the future is unknowable. ‘You can’t stop the waves but you can learn how to surf’(Jon Kabat-Zinn). Everyone’s life is made up of ups and downs. We’re not the only ones who have to deal with getting hurt, losing our job, illness, bereavement. But, at the same time, it’s good to remember that we all experience happiness, joy, relaxation, calm and peace at some time in our lives too.
3. Remember that life is made up of emotion and we experience these emotions as good or bad or somewhere in between. Most of the time, most of us are happy enough somewhere in between to some degree or another. The trouble arises a) when we’re really happy - because we’ll try and cling onto this happiness at all costs and b) when we’re feeling really low - because we think it’s never going to be any different and we’ll always be this sad. At these times, both happy and sad, perhaps it’s a good idea to try and remember that emotions too constantly change, moment by moment, day by day, even year by year. Things pass, whether happy or sad.
4. Be gentle with yourself. So life is full of ups and downs, good and bad situations, things are constantly changing and, like everyone else, you’re doing the best you can just to get through. So try to start treating yourself as your new best friend. See things through their eyes. They wouldn’t blame you for everything. They wouldn’t say it’s all your own fault. They wouldn’t say you’re stupid and you ought to have done things differently. They wouldn’t judge.
Being a best friend, they would be compassionate, caring, non-judgemental, loving, nurturing.
How many times do we treat ourselves like this though? Instead, we are often our own harshest critics. Again, try to take a step back. In so-doing it might also become a little easier to be more gentle with others too. You might find yourself cutting people a bit of slack – we’re all just doing the best we can in the best way we know how.
And five practical things that perhaps might be a little easier to put into practise!
5. Remember that social media isn’t the real world and what you see portrayed is the version of events that someone else wants to convey. Again, this links back to the stories we tell ourselves and make up about others.
6. Go for a walk or a run, go to the gym, go for a swim – anything that gets you out there being active.
7. Take time out, even just five minutes, to step away from emails and texts, take a few deep breaths, stop, and simply recharge your batteries.
8. Do something you enjoy every day – whether it’s reading a book, playing with your dog, reading to your children, watching a film, going for a drive.
9. Get out of yourself and do something for someone else – phone a friend, do some shopping for an elderly neighbour, put some change into a charity box.
All of these things help you to experience life in more of a balanced way instead of getting caught up in worry and sadness.
If you’d like further help in dealing with stress, anxiety, or depression do please get in touch.
Rachel’s mobile at RMB Hypnotherapy - 07733 839 591
Central England Therapy Centre - 0121 444 1110