Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Mindfulness: Prioritizing Stress

Hey Motiv8ers!
This month we want to challenge you all to a Mindfulness Challenge!
Mindfulness is all about taking every moment in it’s current state and not attributing emotion to anything you experience.  Our feelings are experienced from a source of either love (positive) or fear (negative).  Feelings come and go.  Emotions however are feelings with stories attached to them!  When we are not mindful of our emotions, sometimes they can get the best of us and start to control our actions or create a false reality.  
Much of our stress in life comes from our reality being mismatched with the expectations we create through our emotions!

By far the worst emotion we can experience is Powerlessness!  The range of fear-based feelings we can have whether negativity, sadness, rejection or anger cannot compare to the sense that we have NO CONTROL over our future nor the ability to impact our world around us. 

So here’s your first Mindfulness Lesson!

Do this quick stress exercise to help you create focus on the things you can control and stop fretting about the things you can’t.  

This is a REALLY helpful exercise if you take the time to do it!
Start with a blank piece of paper.  Draw a line down the middle and across the middle…so a big plus sign!  Make a title in each of the four boxes:
Important / Can’t Control
Important / Can Control
Not Important / Can’t Control
Not Important / Can Control

  1. Write down anything causing you anxiety. All your struggles, challenges, responsibilities and anything else stressing you out. 
2. Ask yourself the two simple questions to each of these. Is it important? Can I control it?  Then you’ll know what box to put them in!
3. When you’re done here is what your priorities for each quadrant should look like:

More Attention, Make a plan to address these challenges, educate yourself to gain control, seek out help from those with ability, influence, decision making

Most Attention, Decide on and take action NOW to overcome! Place most of your effort in life toward these things!
NO Attention, Ignore these things! These things DO NOT serve you to worry about or pay attention to!

Least Attention, Build a habit to make action automatic, Schedule monotonous activities into your free time, Set
reminders so you don’t forget!

The moral of our lesson here?

It is completely normal to emote Powerlessness BUT, you always have control over how you react to an emotion.  If, in fact, you are feeling powerless over a situation ask yourself if it's even important?

Will your anxiety about a situation matter in:

5 hours?
5 days?
5 weeks?
5 months?
5 years?

If your answer is "no" to any of those it's time to change your perspective about how important this stressor really is!  Maybe it's time to stop obsessing over it?

Focus your concerns on what you have control over (either individually or with the help of a friend) and forget the concerns that you can't control.  Putting yourself in a place of distress or agitation will only compound the effect of something negative happening to you.  

Here's a final thought: What if the negative thing we've created this emotion over never even happens?  We've just created stress where it didn't deserve to exist.  Aren't there enough REAL things to worry about?

This is one of the foundational elements to creating Mindfulness in your daily life.  We will explore other areas in future blog posts but, acknowledging and prioritizing the importance of your daily stressors is one of the biggest impacts you can make to your mental health starting today!  Try it, I promise it will help!

Stay Motiv8ed!

Coach Joe

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