Stress, we all have it, just some of us don’t know how to cope with it. Raise you hand if you replay over and over in your mind the argument you had with your bestfriend (raises her hand slowly). She was a jerk, you were a jerk, how dare she, what did I do, how can I fix it, she better apologize, friendship terminated….. it all plays over time and again in your mind. Forget the fact it happened 5 hours ago or 5 days ago or a year ago… you stress and worry it into the ground. Your stomach hurts, your heart races, you put on your grouchy pants, you’re distracted…. stress…. yuck. So I ask you, what does your stressed face look like?
Mine apparently is a mix between duck face and puppy dog eyes, scary right? I will be the first to admit that I let things stew inside my girl brain far longer than they should. I take things to heart, I wear said heart on my sleeve. Today is no exception, which is why it should come as no surprise that I found myself at the beginning of a stressed out whirlwind. I am a freelancer, which is sort of a love hate relationship. I love the fact I get to be my own boss, set my own hours, and meet lots and lots of amazing people. The bummer side of things is it’s really hard for me to disengage and sometimes (not very often) I have a client that just rubs me the wrong way. That happened to me today, I went from relaxed and carefree, to attack mode in about 2.3 seconds. Let me tell you I was hot and not in a fun sexy sort of way.
Don’t worry this isn’t where I launch into a rant session about how my client is this or that, to each there own. Poor B she gets to work at home in yoga pants and has a snuggly puppy for a coworker…. no no… nothing like that at all, I really do love my career. This story takes an unusual twist. Incoming stress, resulted in flared emotions, ended with me squashing it. That’s right, I squashed the thought process. Even a year ago I wouldn’t have thought this was possible. I was always a slave to my emotions. If I was angry… I was ANGRY. If I was sad…there weren’t enough tissues in the house. If I was happy… I sparkled like the sun. Every little thing impacted how I felt, until I had my ah hah moment…..
A consistant level of happiness is easily possible when you stop over-thinking and overreacting to everything.
Sure my client really ruffled my duck feathers, but it is what it is. When I felt my blood pressure begin to rise I simply thought to myself, “Nope, it’s not worth it.” Yes I may sound a little crazy talking to myself, but that’s exactly how I handled it. I simply refused to dwell on it and replaced the “growl I will maul your face” reaction with “Oh Chipotle sounds good for lunch” reaction. Here’s my point, you can choose your own thought process. You can either rage/worry/stress/attack/maul someone’s face or you can plan what you will be adding to your burrito bowl. What would you rather think about, delicious yummy heaven in a bowl or some email. I vote for the burrito bowl extra pico. Nommy!
The method I’ve been using to squash my stressing thought process is an easy one. Take a walk with me while I explain. It’s so easy even I can do it, which should tell you something. I call this method the Pretty Pretty Box Process….
- Set aside 20 min a day where you can be alone without interruption. (Interruption explained: children, ManFriends, friends, pets, cell phone, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest…. you catch my drift) Put everything away so that it’s just you, yourself, and awesomeness.
- For the first 10 min stress your face off. That’s right, have a royal stressfest. Let your mind run rabid through all the junk that happened throughout your day. Really just embrace what rubbed you the wrong way. Write it down if that helps.
- For the final 10 min put on your rational cap. If there is something you can’t control (i.e. an idiot coworker or traffic jam) let it go. Those sandtrap stressors (defined as situation you can’t fix, change, or control… stressing about them will only cause you to sink lower and lower) will do nothing but pull you down. If you can’t fix it, forget it. The tangible stressors (defined as something you can actually yourself come in contact with and fix) decide how to take care of them and do it. You can take care of the mountain on laundry overtaking your bathroom… easy peasy… do the laundry. Take care of what you can and forget the rest.
- At the end of the 20 min you are back in your relaxed mojo zone. If anything stressy creeps into your mind during non stress time, push them out of your mind and into your Pretty Pretty Box to worry about later. 20 a day, that’s all the stress time you get. If it’s not that 20 min period, wash it away. Think about a funny joke, dinner, ponies… I don’t care think about anything other than worry and stress.
I went from a chronic stressed out worry wart, to fairly chilled out. It’s still a daily training process. We are incredible creatures able to transform before our own eyes. Make it one day leading a less stressed life and I’m sure you will be hooked. Destress bit by bit, no one wants wrinkles or gray before their time. Smile lovelies, you are do this. What stresses you out the most?
As always until next time…
Keep it Sassy & Classy,