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How successful people beat stress

Expect and prepare for change

Set aside some time regularly to create a list of important changes that you think could possibly happen. The purpose of this task is to open your mind to change and sharpen your ability to spot and respond to changes. 

Even if the events on your lists never happen, the practice of anticipating and preparing for change will give you a greater sense of command over your future.

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How successful people beat stress

How successful people beat stress

https://qz.com/432176/how-successful-people-beat-stress/

qz.com

7

Key Ideas

2 kinds of people

  • Those who believe they can make things happen. They are convinced that the outcome of their lives and careers is more or less in their own hands
  • Those who believe things happen to them. They sit around and wait for the bus to take them somewhere.

When hard times strike

Those that feel they are in control over their lives also feel stress and anxiety, but they use this anxiety differently: their anxiety fuels passion instead of pity, drive in lieu of despair, and tenacity over trepidation.

Expect and prepare for change

Set aside some time regularly to create a list of important changes that you think could possibly happen. The purpose of this task is to open your mind to change and sharpen your ability to spot and respond to changes. 

Even if the events on your lists never happen, the practice of anticipating and preparing for change will give you a greater sense of command over your future.

Focus on your freedoms

... not on your limitations. We sometimes have limited ability to stop negative events from occurring, we are always free to choose our response.

On your list of possible changes, write down all of the positive ways in which you can take action and respond to each change.

Re-write your script

Recall a tough time you went through recently. What was it you believed about your circumstances that prevented you from making the most of your situation or responding more effectively?

Write a more effective and empowered mental script that you wish you had followed next to it. Compare the two.

Stop negative self-talk

When negative thoughts appear, stop what you are doing and write them down. Once you’ve slowed down the negative momentum of your thoughts, you will be more rational and clear-headed.

Identifying and labeling your thoughts as thoughts by separating them from the facts will help you escape the cycle of negativity and anxiety and move toward a positive new outlook.

Count your blessings

People who take time daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experience improved mood, energy and substantially less anxiety due to lower cortisol levels.

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Handle difficult people

Difficult people defy logic. They create unnecessary complexity, strife and worst of all stress.

90 % of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in ord...

Set limits

People often feel pressure to listen to complainers because they don’t want to be seen as callous or rude.

Avoid this by setting limits and distancing yourself when necessary. Ask complainers how they intend to fix the problem. They will either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.

Rise above

Difficult people drive you crazy because their behavior is so irrational. 

Distance yourself from them emotionally and approach your interactions like they’re a science project (or you’re their shrink). You don’t need to respond to the emotional chaos -- only the facts.

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Slow down

Try not to react immediately, but be patient and gather as much information as possible.

If the problem will not matter a year from now, distance yourself somewhat from the situation to gain ...

Stay positive

When you are in a stressful situation, do not allow your mind to imagine the worst-case scenario. 

Focus your mind on something positive.

Never ask “what if?”

The "what if" line of questioning induces panic and lets you focus on imagined situations that escalate the problem.

Focus on the facts and work on a solution.

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Consider Finding a Therapist

It’s important to know that if your negative thoughts are persistent — impacting your quality of life and functioning — it could be a sign of something more serious. Consult a therapist or psych...

Keep a Journal

Journaling can be great for getting stuff off your chest and to become more self-aware. Often, we are unaware of our negative thoughts and miss the chance of challenging them — but writing regularly can help with that.

You can create a two-column journal. In the first column, keep notes on any self-criticism that comes up throughout the day. Later, rewrite the first column in more empowering or positive ways to reframe it.

Learn How To Take a Step Back

If you’re beating yourself up over something, picture someone that you love in your shoes and think what would you say or do to support them. This allows you to take a step back and practice a little self-compassion, it can help to keep things in perspective.

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Tim Ferriss

“The hard choices—what we most fear doing, asking, saying—these are very often exactly what we most need to do.”

Tim Ferriss
What's Holding You Down

Some people allow fears to keep them stuck in their situations. Fear has the ability to keep you stuck and control your mindset.

You can silence it by stating this fear out loud and becoming familiar with the worst-case scenario.

Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk

“You Don’ t need permission to chase your dreams. Go execute.”

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Happy people are well rounded people
Happy people are well rounded people
  • They savor the moment. They "stop to smell the roses".
  • They're busy, but not rushed. A healthy work-life balance is key.
  •  They don't sweat the small stuff...
Happy people invest in their relationships
  • They spend money on others. One reason is that it creates social connections.
  • They celebrate other people's success through "active and constructive" responding.
  • They treat everyone with respect and kindness. Kindness, like happiness, is contagious.
  • They're proactive about relationships. They work on maintaining their relationships.
  • They express gratitude. It improves mood and energy and decreases anxiety.
  • They engage in deep, meaningful conversations.
The attitude of happy people
  • They're optimistic. Bad things happen to all of us. Happy people don't complain, whine or let pessimism become a self-fulling prophecy.
  • They view problems as challenges. They focus on solutions to the problem and reflect on what they're grateful for.

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Meditation fosters mindfulness
“[Meditation] is not about clearing the mind; it’s about focusing on one thing. When the mind wanders, the meditation isn’t a failure. Our brain is like a wayward puppy, out of cont...
Incorporate meditation in your life
  • Walking meditation. “We weren’t meant to sit in cubicles all day and when we disconnect from nature, we suffer a lot of stress.”
  • Red light meditation. While stopped at a red light, turn off your radio and focus on deep breaths.
  • Running/cycling meditation. If you run or bike, leave your headphones at home and focus on the experience.
  • Eating/drinking meditation. As you eat or drink, focus on the various flavors, textures, and sensations of the particular food or drink.
  • Waiting meditation. While in line, observe your breath or surroundings.
  • Task-related meditation. For example, washing your hands, folding laundry, taking a shower, washing dishes, or brushing your teeth can serve as mini-meditations if you focus on the experience and stop your mind from wandering.
Coping in uncertainty
Coping in uncertainty

Whether you are a manager, teacher, or physician, you are a leader in your organization or community. In times of distress, it can be difficult to know how to help others best and motivate them to ...

Coaching with compassion

In the face of uncertainty, it is natural to hold on to the status quo and stick to as-normal-as-possible routines and tasks. This can work when the context is predictable, and the goal is clearly defined.

However, during periods of volatility and stress, a taskmaster mode could be a mistake. The individual can feel pressured or obligated, which will make them negative. It is more important to prioritize your team's needs and create an environment of trust and support. It will unleash positive emotions, and the person is likely to feel more confident, hopeful, and willing to consider new ideas.

How to coach with compassion

We can follow six steps to help others, using the acronym “REACH”:

  • Resonance. Check in with each person without discussing a list of tasks. The goal is to create a supportive and positive relationship.
  • Empathy. Shift your concern from wanting to be understood to understanding others.
  • Awareness. Be aware of your mindset and emotions. Emotions are contagious.
  • Compassion. Try to focus on the needs of others and encourage caring and warmth to help another person in their development.
  • Hope. Spreading positive emotions will uplift others when you help them to picture a brighter and better future.
  • Humor. Stress shuts us down to new ideas and experiences. By keeping things light, you remind others to keep smiling. In turn, it will reduce stress and increase satisfaction, productivity, and performance.
Peace, despite the noise in your mind
  • Understand it is impossible to silence your mind: It’s human to have thoughts. 
  • The more you fight your thoughts, the more you amplify them. Being non-judgmental is the key to sti...
Increase focus and stay present:
  • Mentally remind yourself of your present action: Use self-talk to direct your focus back to the present moment.
  • Focus on your senses: Direct your attention back into your body and out of your head.
  • Do things differently: Make things more challenging. As a result, you are forced to act consciously instead of acting on autopilot.
Turn Anxiety To Focus

Stress affects us in different ways and at different times. One of the most common ways stress affects us is right before talking to your boss, when playing sports or before a speech.

...

How Our Brains Handle Stress

When we feel stressed, our brains release a chemical called noradrenaline. Noradrenaline increases arousal and alertness, it increases the formation and retrieval of memories, and it focuses attention. It also increases restlessness and anxiety.

If we find ways to control and handle stress emotionally, we can use it to our advantage. It can sharpen our brain function and increase creativity, and eventually make us happier and less anxious.

Reframe The Situation

Symptoms of stress, like a dry mouth and a racing heart, are the same as excitement. Research confirms that when people are in stressful situations such as public speaking, instead of telling themselves to calm down, reframing the situation as exciting helps to ride the wave of stress.

Anxiety can drain you and decrease your confidence while reframing your anxiety as excitement will increase your performance.

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The Big Five
It represents the 5 personality traits psychologists use today:
  • Openness to experiences
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
Openness to Experience

It describes people who enjoy the arts and new experiences. Possible facets:

  • Fantasy: they have a vivid imagination
  • Aesthetics: they believe in the importance of art
  • Feelings: They experience emotions intensely
  • Actions: They prefer variety to routine
  • Ideas: they like complex problems
  • Values: they tend to vote for liberals.
Conscientiousness

People that score high on this are organized, methodical and tend to keep going and going. Possible facets:

  • Competence: they complete tasks successfully
  • Order: they like order
  • Dutifulness: the follow the rules
  • Achievement-striving: they work hard
  • Self-discipline: they get chores done right away
  • Deliberation: they avoid mistakes.

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