The Bubble is About to Burst …
The latest statistics about stress are … stressful.
The American Institute of Stress recently posted an infographic that showed a clear pictures of the frightful consequences of stress:
- 3 out of 4 doctor’s visits are for stress-related ailments
- Stress is the basic cause of 60% of all human illness and disease
- 40% of stressed people overeat or eat unhealthy foods
- Stress costs the United States $300 billion every year
- 44% of people lose sleep every night because of stress
These numbers are pretty scary. So, we talked with celebrity life coach and bestselling author Ali Campbell to discover five ways you can reduce your stress levels.
1. Stress is a Warning….Listen!
It’s easy to get caught up in thinking stress is just a side effect of a busy schedule. We push through our stress like it was a wall, or we leap over it like it was a hurdle. This is a dangerous mindset, Campbell said. Stress isn’t just a wall to run through or a hurdle to hop.
“Stress is not a problem – it’s the way your mind and your body tells you need to do something different.”
“Stress is not a problem – it’s the way your mind and your body tells you need to do something different,” he said. “Your brain and you body are trying to tell you stop.”
2. Separate What Stresses You From Your Thoughts About What Stresses You
Have you ever taken a moment to analyze what causes you to be stressed out by a particular situation or person? In many cases, it’s your thoughts about that situation or person and not the thing itself which are the source of your stress.
“The things that are stressing you aren’t in and of themselves inherently scary, it’s our thoughts about those things that make them scary,” Campbell said.
Write down two lists: one that has the things that stress you out, and one that has the thoughts you have about those things.
“I think you’ll find that you aren’t stressed by what you think you’re being stressed by, you’re being stressed by what you think about what you’re being stressed by,” he said.
3. Take Your Hands Off the Stick!
One of the things that makes us most stressed out is our lack of ability to control situations which are completely out of our control.
Campbell told us a story of a young pilot who was learning how to fly. During a solo flight, winds were knocking his little plane about. He frantically swung the flight control stick back and forth trying to control the vessel.
The air traffic controllers told him to let go of the stick – the plane had it’s own self-correcting mechanism that would help it navigating the swirling winds.
“Use stress as a signal to know it’s your time to let go of the stick, to trust that everything is going to be okay.”
“We have our own inner gyroscope, our own self-correcting mechanism. And often when we feel ourselves in a sense of stress, we’re not going to control our way out of it,” Campbell said. “It’s time to know how to use stress as a signal to know it’s your time to let go of the stick, to trust that everything is going to be okay.”
4. Take Your Emotional Temperature
Most of us are very aware of how we feel but very unaware of how we think. When you’re trying to understand how to reduce stress in your life, take note of how something makes you feel.
Though it sounds simple, Campbell said, it’s a key strategy because your feelings are based on your thoughts. Gauge your emotions and you’ll begin to get a more clear picture of your thoughts.
“Most of us are very aware of our feelings and not so aware of our thoughts.”
“Most of us are very aware of our feelings and not so aware of our thoughts,” he said. “Use your feelings as a barometer of your thoughts. If you have bad feelings, you must be doing some bad thinking.”
5. Stop, Step Back and Do Something That Makes You Feel Good
When life ratchets up the stress and we feel the pressure descending on us as we try to make a tough decision, it’s time to stop.
The harder you try to figure out a stressful problem while you’re feeling stressed, the less like it is that you’re going to come up with a good solution.
“Go do something that makes you feel good, and then from that place of feeling good, come back and have a look at the problem.”
“The more urgent something feels, the less you should be deciding, the less equipped you are to make good choices, and the more you need to step back, take your hands of the stick and let everything get quiet,” Campbell said. “Go do something that makes you feel good, and then from that place of feeling good, come back and have a look at the problem. It’s all going to be very different.
More Ways To Reduce Stress in Your Life
Ali Campbell’s Goaly strategy for reducing stress is called “How to Live a Stress-Free Life!”. The series includes eight free videos that will help you step back from your life and help you cope with and eliminate stress in your life
In the meantime, check out his introductory video to his step-by-step strategy, “How to Live a Stress-Free Life!”.