It doesn't matter where you find yourself on your journey in life, whether it's your career or your personal endeavors – you know that the feeling of being overwhelmed is a natural by-product of success.
Achieving your goals doesn't come easy, as cliché as that may be to say.
Whether you're employed, you're in a transitioning phase for your own business, you're just starting out with your entrepreneurial journey, or you deal with any other kind of work, you deal with stress every single day. Sometimes even every minute.
Sure, being stressed, as in good stress is fine. Such as when it comes to getting things done and seeing positive results at the beginning of getting a new job or launching a new business. Stress can often drive you to work longer hours and push yourself to get things done.
However, after a while of working the long hours and giving it 210% of your efforts, replying to countless emails, clients, and phone calls that fly your way – it all starts to boil down and get to you.
Suddenly, you realize that the passion you once had for your daily life is dwindling, and you start to question why you even began in the first place. You have lost your work and life balance. Maybe the stress has you waking up frequently throughout the night or giving you headaches during the day.
Eventually, this kind of fatigue and pain drains you of all of the energy that you rely on for your business, job, and of course, your personal life in general. Even crazier is that you really can't go a day in life without encountering somebody else complaining about being stressed or these kinds of symptoms. Especially with everybody being so connected on social networks.
Truthfully, we've all been there. We've all been stressed. You are probably stressed out right now, hence the reason you're going through this right this very minute.
Want to know something? There's not been a time in history where the level of overall stress for humanity has been greater than it is today. This is due in part to the fast-paced and ever-changing world of the internet, cell phones, emails, text messaging, and everything in between.
Yet, living with too much stress for too long can result in negative behaviors and even health issues. Both of these can prevent you from succeeding at your goals and achieving the things that you desire most in life.
Stress creates adrenaline. Which allows for spontaneous but reflexive responses to outside stimuli in your everyday life. The thing is an effective business leader and owner tends to do just the opposite. He or she may carefully consider and analyze each decision that must be made. That would be pro-active behavior, rather than reactive behavior, which is often the result of stress.
Obviously, just about everybody wants to be successful and live a life full of happiness. You would be hard-pressed to find somebody that wants to live miserably.
But through the process of life, you'll start to feel overwhelmed, stressed, tired, short-tempered and perhaps even burned out. You will come home from work, or finish your day off by feeling worn out, irritated, and lousy. In turn, your productivity will be down. And with that, you can't progress in life, to an extent.
If you let stress overwhelm your life and cause damage that you can't repair, it will prolong your goals and dreams, or maybe even crush them entirely. In all honesty, any career success, independent of your goal is truly not worth the negatives that prolonged stress can create.
Countless people all around the world talk every day about how they can't sleep at night because they find themselves overloaded with tasks to complete. Their stomachs are in knots as they try to juggle picking up the kids from school and picking up that extra hour or two at work.
At the same time, a lot of people stick to their guns and refer to this “overly busy” aspect of their life as a prideful achievement. Juggling all of it continuously but deep down falling apart from the stress and overwhelm.
Sure, it's not a bad thing to balance a ton of tasks for a few short days to meet a deadline or get a lot of things down in preparation for something. But the whole “heroic”
and “noble” pursuit of taking on too many things at the same time is without a doubt detrimental to both your mental and physical health and your business and goals as well.
We often confuse business with productivity, and that's exactly what happens when we try to squeeze too much into one short day. We end up decreasing our productivity, and even the efficiency of our work.
Not to mention, the whole process becomes a lot less enjoyable as a result.
The most amazing part of learning how to manage stress efficiently is that you'll find yourself in your optimal learning and performance zone much more frequently than you were before.
Research has discovered that we have a specific zone in which we function at the most productive rate. Any time we spend outside of that zone because of stress and overwhelm, multi-tasking, or being distracted, is just time spent in mediocrity.
Every time you practice this strategy that I'm revealing to you today, you’ll find that the blood is returning to your brain as each technique is signaling to the body that the fearful, stress-inducing situation is over and the calm has returned.
Now that I've rambled enough about stress and the premise of its creation, I want to move forward to the actual tactic. However, to do that, I need to provide you with just a little bit of background for all of it to make sense.
Creating A Vision for Your Life or Business
Let me be realistic here with you, though I have been this entire time already. You need to create a vision for your life and business that is compelling to you. Something you can stick to, even if it's just short-term.
You need to have goals regularly that you can achieve and goals that you work towards.
You should align your vision with your value and passion. This will help you to wake up with purpose each morning, ready to tackle the day and achieve your goals, even if it's just one step at a time.
Creating A Vision for Your Life
This vision will help you to overcome any obstacle that happens to pop up in the way of your path to righteousness. It will help you to stay focused and on the right track. Whether you are already employed at a job, or you're working for yourself.
Even if you're trying to align yourself with what's happening in your personal life, the vision
should apply across the board. You need to have an exciting vision for you to truly feel like you have a purpose in life.
With that excitement comes another challenge...
How do you contain your excitement and align your goals so that they don't end up overwhelming you
with long nights and weekends working?
I know that the feeling of overwhelm by finding direction and balance in life can be a good thing and a bad thing. If you truly find the right thing and get your focus in line, it can create a level of “good” stress.
Which will fuel your motivation and keep you passionate about bettering yourself.
The problem with this is that too much too quickly can result in unnecessary stress in the form of a tight stomach, a more heavily beating heart, and so much more. Have you ever actually taken notice of the way that your body reacts to your different forms of excitement or stress, whether good or bad?
Some of the energy is good, but it needs to be channeled in the right ways and then utilized only when you need it to give you that extra boost.
Alright, so with all of that said, the following tactic is an incredibly powerful way to channel that energy.
Our focus here should already be to create positive stress and levels of excitement. So now you should channel that energy to become more productive and reduce the general “wear and tear” that this sense of excitement can have on your body.
So, what does this special trick consist of? Simple... breathing technique.
Now before you laugh, which isn't a bad thing, just bear with me here. When we feel stressed, our breathing usually becomes shallower. We tend to start breathing faster and less deeply, and then ultimately only use roughly 20% of the oxygen in our lungs.
The result here is two-fold:
1. You only circulate a very limited amount of the oxygen that is in your body.
2. Your body goes into “defense mode” because of the shallower breathing which is often a signal of danger to our natural instincts.
To combat that scenario from fully taking over, you can simply try to stop what you're doing for just a few seconds. From there, just start breathing deep full breaths by inhaling slowly and rising (or puffing) your belly or chest out.
Put your hand on the top of your stomach and feel as it rises and down. Breathe deeply, and slowly for about 10 seconds or so. Doing this sends signals to the body that the “coast is clear” and everything is okay. This will allow you to hopefully, take better control of the situation before it gets the better of you.
In turn, you'll be able to maintain your high-productivity zone of focus and direction. The zone in which you can actually clearly think and act rationally towards situations.
At this point, you may be thinking about how stupidly easy this is. And yes, it is!
Since you know what the “10-second tactic” now consists of, let's practice it right now just for review.
With your hand (or hands) on your stomach, breathe in. Take a deep, long, and full breath.
Watch your hands as they rise with each breath you inhale.
Then, watch your hand as it lowers with your exhalation. Let the air out of your lungs without losing your level of relaxation.
Take another deep breath, and let it out again.
Once more: in and out. Relax while you do this. Clear your mind.
Now... how do you feel? Like the air is cleared and the sanity has returned? Like a breath of fresh air has entered your atmosphere? It's a good feeling, isn't it?
As you can see, the main way to deal with stress is to address the way it affects your body when it starts to strike. On top of that, you can also combat stress-inducing scenarios in your life by being better prepared and having a focus on both your goals and the tasks you have to complete.
I mentioned earlier how you should create a “vision” for your life, and I still highly encourage you to do so. Even short-term visions or goals can benefit you. Sorting out your life and giving yourself some direction, while seemingly simply feats, can play a massive role in the overall impact and presence of
stress in your life.
Remember, any time you start feeling overwhelmed with your list of tasks that you have to get done, when you feel angry, or when you're worried about anything that life decides to throw your way – you now have a solution. Heck, even if you're sitting in traffic, fuming
because you're late for something – you can pause, take a few deep, calm and slow breaths, and re-align yourself with the world.
While the breathing technique and the “vision” creation approach may seem like minuscule things in the grand scheme of life – if you consider it, a lot of stuff that we do is broken down into tiny pieces.
Think about the habits that you've developed, both positive and negative. All it takes is some forethought and effort to implement a breathing session when the going gets too tough to handle. Invest ten seconds into breathing, close your eyes if necessary, and shut the world off. Take a deep breath and start again.
One step at a time, day by day, you can take control of your life. This is just one small piece of the puzzle, but I hope that you've gotten some helpful information out of this book.
In closing, I wish you all the luck with dealing with the stressors of everyday life and thank you for your time.