Strategies for Dealing With the Negative Effects of Stress
” You can close your eyes to things you don’t want to see, but you can’t close your heart to the things you don’t want to feel.” – Unknown
Inside out change requires you to engage your body, mind, heart and spirit. In other words, real change involves the whole person. But there are times in our lives when stress can prevent us from making the change we desire.
Do feel like you are at the end of your rope?
Is stress getting in the way of your realizing your own vision?
It often gets in the way of our achieving our goals, whether they are personal, or business related. Stress can lead us to behaviors that are unwanted and unproductive.
Sometimes you need to seek outside support to help you refocus. Outside support takes different forms depending on the source of the stress. It could take the form of psychological counseling, a consultant for your business, or maybe a babysitter to watch the kids while you get away for some “me” time.
Victoria’s Story: Getting Outside Support
I met Victoria, a photographer, when I joined a local chapter of Business Networking International. She is an excellent photographer and I hired her to take my professional photographs. She and her husband, David, operate Victoria’s Photo Dynamics. During the economic downturn, the rent for their shop was more than their profits. As a result, they needed to find a new place that they could afford.
During this already difficult time, Victoria’s father passed away; Victoria became depressed. She had not had the best relationship with her father and in later years had tried to reconcile with him, but he would not work with her. His death, and their failure to reconcile before it, added to Victoria’s stress and depression.
Her business came mainly from referrals from her networking group and existing customers, but the flow of business was not sufficient to justify keeping the doors open. Victoria did not want to close the business, but her talent and passion is for photography, not marketing. When a business coach joined our networking group, Victoria decided to employ his services even though this was a significant financial commitment. Between his advice and the support of others in the group, Victoria has been able to manager her stress and her business is improving.
This is an example of bringing in outside support – in this case, a business coach – to help refocus Victoria’s business priorities. Since seeking his advice, she feels more confident. She is also able to leverage other people’s talents to do some of the other activities necessary for her business that she does not have the passion, time or energy to do. This gives her more time to work on what she does best: taking wonderful photographs.
Victoria’s motto is to “make the impossible possible.” This has worked for her as she lives out her dream.
What can you do to stop stress from standing in the way of realizing your dream?
Part of achieving change from the inside-out is identifying those things that keep you from changing. Stress is one of the major triggers of unhealthy behaviors that can block you from making positive changes. Answer the questions below, aimed at helping identify unhealthy behaviors you may want to change in order to replenish your energy so you can pursue your passion. This is an area where you will start putting change from the inside out into action.
Write the answers to these questions in a journal or somewhere you can reflect on them.
- What are your stressors? Identify and list those things that cause stress in your life.
- What thought patterns do you have when these stressors occur?
- What emotions are you feeling?
- What actions do you take when you feel these emotions?
- Do these actions help or hinder you?
- What do you need to do to change these actions?
Stress is inevitable in everyone’s life. The challenge is to reduce the negative effects of stress…maybe for you at sometime or another, like Victoria, you will need to seek outside help.
This is an excerpt from my book “Embracing Change From the Inside Out”
If you’re ready to make life changes from the inside out contact me, I will help you understand how to make those changes.
You can also contact me to speak at your next event, I will adjust my topic to the needs of your audience.