Have you ever sat staring at a project with a deadline trying to force yourself to get it done? With so many distractions competing for your attention, it can be an upstream swim trying to focus and tap into your inner creative flow. It can be tempting to push through a project, overriding signals from your body to move, eat or drink water. Then the task becomes a stress, and the project feels forced.
As a single mom of 3 teens, I carry a substantial load. Stress is a part of my daily life and how I choose to handle it will determine how effectively I approach my work. When the stress response is triggered (when you get angry, yell, and generally lose your cool) a cascade of hormones is released that adversely affect the ability to focus and complete a task.
Let’s look at ways to manage the stress with 3 positive pointers to inspire you when you are blocked.
- Get grounded: When you feel triggered, the best thing to do is find a way to calm down and relax. As a yoga teacher, I teach every client deep breathing. When you take a deep belly breath, the parasympathetic, or calm down, nervous system is stimulated. Two yoga teachers at Kripalu Yoga Center developed this technique that I learned in 1999 when I studied there.
Breathe . . . . Relax . . . . Feel . . . . Watch . . . . Allow
Try it. Place your hands on your abdomen and breathe. Relax with the exhale. Notice what you feel. Witness the experience without judgement. Allow the process to happen. Let go into the experience. Repeat this several times and notice how each breath is different.
- Take a sensory walk: When it comes to stimulating creativity, research indicates that open monitoring or being mindful of the sights, sounds, and smells around you is most effective at generating divergent thinking. The ability to find many solutions to one problem is divergent thinking.
When we focus on the feeling of stress in the body, it tends to amplify it. A sensory walk will take your attention off your body. Here is an example of how to practice sensory walking.
- Find 5 things that are red or any color you choose.
- Notice 5 things you hear and name them.
- What are 5 things you feel? The breeze on your skin. The sun on your cheeks Your foot striking the ground, etc.
- What do you smell? Notice aromas in the air or in the vegetation around you.
- Can you taste anything? What is it?
You can repeat this practice over an over and even at your desk when you feel under pressure.
- Shift your mindset
The stories you tell yourself and those around you create your reality. If you tell everyone how stressed, busy and flustered you are, you will undoubtedly find lots of evidence to support your story.
In the Book of Afformations by Noah St. John, he suggests asking empowering questions that activate the subconscious to find the answers to positive questions.
Why is my life flowing and abundant? How am I living with such ease and flow?
Notice how much more expansive you feel when you read those questions. Even if you don’t feel that way right now, your brain will begin to focus on finding verification to support the questions you ask.
I suggest writing your afformations on a piece of paper. Read them out loud whenever you start to slip into self-doubt and negativity.
Whether you use one of all three of the techniques, the one common thread through all of them is staying calm and positive. Peace is power. When you are peaceful, the Universe brings you everything you need to perpetuate the feeling of peace.
Gina Fontaine, CPT is a SuperMom mentor, helping women slow the pace of life so they can catch up with themselves. For over 30 years Gina has been on the cutting edge of body/ mind fitness. She released the book You Are a Supermom in 2021 and she lives in Denver, Colorado with her 3 children. Take the quiz. Find out your supermom type and discover your greatest assets for remaining calm.