“I was warned about mothers’ guilt while expecting my first child…I became a mother…I became much more acquainted with mothers’ guilt. It became a constant companion until one day I realized that I didn’t have children in order to spend my life feeling forever inadequate.” -Margie Warell, Forbes Magazine (more…)
Feeling Overwhelmed? Take Back Control with this 6-Step Process.
Oh, how trying the stresses of life can be! Having situations that affect your peace of mind can be challenging. And sometimes you feel like you’ve gotten way more than you can handle. Yet still, you find a way to keep going.
It’s great when you can find the determination to keep going. But are you doing so to your own detriment? Perhaps the way you’re responding isn’t always the best.
Coping mechanisms help to keep you in the game. But after a while, you may end up crashing.
The most beneficial approach involves using well thought-out strategies to keep you in control.
Try this process to respond to an especially challenging situation:
Step One: Stop in your tracks.
If you feel overwhelmed now, it’s likely to get even worse if you keep going the way you are now! Stop right where you are and accept the situation for what it is.
Look back at what has happened up until this point in time. Can you identify the reasons behind your downfall? Make a note of them.
Step Two: Embrace your shortcomings.
Do you have shortcomings that prevented you from staying on top of things? Be honest with yourself when trying to identify them. It’s the only way you’ll be able to move on to resolving the situation.
Whatever you’ve identified as your shortcomings, accept and embrace them. It’s pointless allowing them to bring your mood down. You’re already overwhelmed. The last thing you need to do is put yourself down.
Step Three: Avoid excuses.
Even though you feel overwhelmed, the last thing you want to do is blame it on something or somebody else. Avoid overlooking yourself as the main factor behind your current situation.
It’s easy in stressful situations to refuse accountability. Just the tension alone is enough to drive your mind in crazy directions. Just accept it for what it is, even if it means coming face to face with your shortcomings.
Step Four: Open up to others.
Share your feelings with someone you can confide in. Simply sharing can often help to ease some of the stress off your shoulders.
Tell the whole story. Allow the person to understand your highs and lows. Let them see how your strengths got you this far. But also share what you think you could have done differently.
Step Five: Organize an approach.
Now that you’ve offloaded, you’ll have a clearer mind to organize an approach. You’ve stopped at this point for a reason.
Now’s your chance to change direction and pull yourself out of this rut.
Now that you’ve figured out what went wrong, try to tackle those things first. You’ll want to prevent those things from happening again.
Step Six: Surround yourself with positive people.
It’s sometimes difficult to take on challenges on your own. As much as you hate to admit it, there are others better at some things than you are!
Embrace them and get the support you need to manage stressful situations. Use the strengths of trustworthy people to get you over the hump.
Be clear about the role you want them to play. Handing over responsibility can be tough. But be mature enough to understand that it doesn’t take away from your own abilities.
Being in over your head isn’t a death sentence. In fact, it’s a perfect opportunity to be creative in your approach. Once you identify an effective approach, you can expect to handle situations more confidently.
Give yourself the chance to be in control. With positive strategies, you’ll be able to take matters into your own hands and turn them around in no time!
Heads up! My new book, 127 Powerfully Simple Ways to Be Really, Really Happy: Proven Happiness Hacks for Busy People, is free on Amazon for one more day! Hurry and get it before the price returns to normal!
“Every couple needs to argue now and then. Just to prove that the relationship is strong enough to survive. Long-term relationships, the ones that matter, are all about weathering the peaks and the valleys.” ― Nicholas Sparks
How to Connect with Your Partner Even if You Feel Distant
Distancers deal with stress by withdrawing and tend to be men. Pursuers deal with stress by seeking more attention and tend to be women. Ironically, if our partners have a different orientation, both approaches tend to produce the exact opposite results than what we want.
Once you understand that distancing and pursuit aggravate each other, you can make changes that will strengthen your relationship. Select the strategies that match your style.
Strategies for Anyone
- Wait 3 months. We all tend to be on our best behavior when we start dating someone new. Consciously or unconsciously we may be downplaying the habits that undermined our previous relationships. It may take a few months to see how people usually respond to stressful events.
- Empathize with differences. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Imagine how they’re feeling. Respect the choices they make.
- Accept accountability. Our happiness depends more on our way of thinking than on any external events. Focus on your own behavior rather than trying to change your partner.
- Avoid taking things personally. It’s easy to feel abandoned or put down if the one you love avoids spending time with you or nags you. Realize that it’s their way of coping rather than a statement about you.
- Choose to feel connected. We can always decide to feel connected. View your partner with love and concern even in the midst of conflict.
Strategies for Pursuers
- Make the first move. Pursuers are likely to feel the most dissatisfaction with a relationship. Take the initiative to change your way of interacting.
- Curb your enthusiasm. Your partner may respond to your intensity by drawing away even more. Try talking less and turning down the volume.
- Practice small talk. Take a break from heavy issues. Warm up by discussing funny cat videos first.
- Spend time apart. Nurture your independence. Take up a hobby. Schedule a night out with friends.
- Offer more praise. Nagging rarely produces the results you want. Remind yourself of what you love in your partner. Thank them for making breakfast or picking up the dry cleaning.
Strategies for Distancers
- Recognize the risks. Relationships often break up when pursuers find the status quo intolerable. You may need to take action if you want to stay with your partner.
- Explain yourself. It may be okay to go on doing the same things as long as you give a little advance notice. Let your partner know you plan to work late or want to watch a ball game Saturday afternoon.
- Reach out more. Demonstrate your affection and suggest activities that you can enjoy together. Cook your favorite dinner side by side and watch a romantic movie. Hold hands and kiss each other goodbye.
- Share household responsibilities. Take an honest look at how much you’re doing around the house. Clean your rain gutters before your spouse asks you about them. Surprise them by doing a load of laundry when it’s not your turn.
- Communicate your needs. Speak to your partner directly and tactfully about what you need. They’ll be likely to regard anything you have to say as being better than getting the silent treatment.
We often have tendencies for both distancing and pursuing, and they emerge in different aspects of our lives. The important thing is to control your behavior and work towards healthier ways of dealing with stress. Your efforts will be rewarded with more loving relationships and greater peace of mind.
“The greatest gift you can give yourself is joy, not only because of the feeling that goes with it at the moment, but because of the magnificent experience it will draw to you. It will produce wonders in your life.” ~Jack Boland
Have you ever fallen ill during or shortly after a very stressful time in your life?
Have you noticed that it happens often?
Stress, left unchecked, can cause a host of illnesses and disease, including solvable issues like backaches and insomnia, and more grave issues like cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Stress has also been blamed for various women’s health issues, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and more.
Many people report that stress affects their love lives, both intimate and otherwise, their digestive systems and even their skin. Headaches and emotional problems are other common side-effects of stress.
If you’re constantly stressed, you might notice that you get more colds and infections too. That’s because stress lowers your immune system’s ability to protect your body.
So, basically, stress is bad–bad for your body and bad for your soul.
The Only Way to Eliminate Stress: No Assembly Necessary
I’m going to warn you now that what I’m about to say may seem overly simplified, but hear me out. There’s only one way to eliminate stress–and it takes no special tools or books or classes. In fact, all you need is an open mind.
If you want to get rid of the stress in your life, you have to decide to feel good. And then, you have to actually do it.
Why Feeling Good Will Eliminate Stress
If you’re familiar with the basic concept of the law of attraction, then you know that your emotional state, the way you feel, determines your vibrational frequency.
Your vibrational frequency–your “vibe”–attracts the types and quality of the experiences you have. So, simply put, feeling good will bring more good into your life.
How to Start Feeling Good, Right Now
You’ve got to change your mind to change your life.
You can start by just choosing to feel good–and when you feel negativity creeping up, intentionally turn your mind away from it and focus instead on something good–something you really want–because no matter what you’re focusing on, you’ll be bringing more of it into your life.
So why not focus on something good?
That’s where my friends come in this week.
Get By With a Little Help From My Friends
I polled my Facebook friends with a simple question: What makes you feel good about yourself and your life?
I’m sharing their answers with you here in the hopes that they might give you a bit of inspiration to use the next time you’re having trouble finding something good to focus on.
“Exercise is a big one for me.” ~Christina
“My kids…they make me glow!” ~Stephanie
“My sexy shoes make (me feel good) about myself when I’m out on the town.” ~Gail
“What makes me feel good about myself and my life is the fact that my mother is proud of me! I have tried and failed for 31 years until I became the responsible mature adult she always pushed me to be…and I love it!” ~Melina
“Sweating out toxins.” ~Layla
“The fact that I love being a registered nurse. I had a patient my last 6 days of work who absolutely adored me. my last day of work I discharged her, she told me she wouldn’t ever forget me. She reinforced the fact I love what I do for a living.” ~Andrea
“When I stop and think about the awesome, interesting friends that I have. Seriously, I am amazed by the people I have crossed paths with and those who have chosen to not run away.” ~Sarah
“I feel the best when I know I’m making a difference. I think that’s what sets a dead end job apart from one that is fulfilling–the feeling that what you are doing actually means something.” ~Jennifer
“I feel best when I’m helping others, whether mentally or physically. Knowing that you have the ability to make others smile makes it all worth it to me.” ~Shelly
“Having the wife I have, who truly has inspired and motivated me over and over–and her forgiveness knows no bounds! Being a good fisherman, discovering I’m going to be a good nurse…now those things feel good in life!” ~John
“When I read the authors who influenced me years ago and I re-discover how I am made –standing on the shoulders of giants.” ~Nance
“Watching my kids. Devlin came in the house today from Cub Scout camp…he just had this walk about him. Taller, more confident posture and such an innocent smile. Made me feel good about my choices in life!” ~Anjanette
So how about you? What makes you FEEL GOOD about yourself or your life? How do you raise your vibrational level? Tell me in the comments!