There are three ways stress can change you - your body, your mind and your behaviour.
- poor digestion
- tense muscles
- feeling anxious
- feeling depressed
- panic attacks
- feeling overwhelmed
- making mistakes
- drinking or smoking
- avoiding responsibilities
- eating too much or too little
When you recognise that you are stressed, use these mindfulness tips.
1) Recognise your thoughts as temporary and fallible.
2) Bring attention to your body sensations and allow them to run their course or take action.
3) Recognise your escapism behaviour as unhelpful and try to explore and accept your situation.
4) Create a non-reactive space where emotions can be observed and acknowledged. Your emotions could be put into a context and be useful as a guide for future decision making.
It sounds counterintuitive to want to explore stress and not judge stress. However, it is helpful to see pressure as part of living and to process your emotions. These tools can be applied in your lunch break where you can walk out of the office and reframe your stress.
Viktor Frankl was a Holocaust concentration camp survivor and Austrian psychiatrist. He endured extreme amounts of stress for three years in a concentration camp. He believed that we are "striving to find meaning in one's life". This sense of purpose enables people to overcome painful experiences. Instead of distracting yourself from underlying stress, you can explore the cause and eventually you may find meaning in your suffering.