How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps

Here comes a spoiler: worries, stress and problems will never go away. I am sure you already guessed that, yet still, many of us have moments where we engage with “if” thinking. “If I was skilled like that person, I would also be successful and I wouldn’t have to worry about my future” or “If I won a million, my life would be so much easier”.

But it turns out that no matter how successful, famous, rich or skilled you are, problems, worries, fears and stress follows right behind you, like a shadow. We love surprises, as long as they are something we want, everything else that we don’t want we call problems. But what if problems were blessings in disguise to help us reach a greater level of joy, wellbeing and success? Could that be an option?

How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps - surprised lady 

I know that we all have stories and experiences in our lives that we would rather be without. Unfair things happen daily, and no one deserves to be treated badly and we are part of the responsibility to minimise any form for violent actions, including bullying, that hurt people, living beings as well as our home and the planet. None the less, we live in a world, where right now at least, it is inevitable; we will all have an encounter with stress, fear, anger, unfair treatment, sadness and many more issues along the way. 

 

BUT we do have the power, all of us, you, me and every single one of us, to become even stronger after experiencing stress or anxiety because they can give us opportunities to acquire abilities, wisdom and skills to help us become more successful and we can then share these stories, encounters and journies with the world to encourage others who may also be struggling. How to access abilities, wisdom and skills from life’s hurdles is what we will be exploring right here and now and understand How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps - READY??!!

 

How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps - an athelete gering ready for the race to begin

 

If this all sounds too good to be true to you right now, give me an opportunity to explain because what defines a successful person apart from those who are not is the way they deal with worries, stress, problems and fears. Our reaction to worries, stress and fear is what defines our potential and the results we achieve over our lifetime. 

 How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps - a sign saying success ahead

 

Before we look at how we get into these mindsets of anger, stress, fear and worries, let us first understand our capabilities when we find ourselves in these mindsets. Think back to an incident in your life where you were very angry, or perhaps there is something that always triggers anger in you. See that incident for you and bring those emotions into your body, as if you are experiencing them right now. Then listen to your words and observe your actions. Are they beneficial? Most often in those states of minds, like anger, fear or worries, our brain becomes clouded and we experience physical symptoms such as a faster heartbeat, heat and high blood pressure. This is not a state of mind in which you will make good choices and actions. You might do and say things you regret immediately after. Furthermore, very rarely do we reach our desired outcome through expressions of anger or stress. The people around us simply do not respond to us in the way we want them to.

 How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps - picture of a very angry monkey with very red face
So why stay in this mindset?
 
Let’s  understand How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps 

 

I am not suggesting that we should never be angry, sad or stressed. Rather quite the opposite. I want you to own your anger, own your worries, fear and stress. Take your pointy finger of blame away from anyone around you, may it be your child, partner, friend or a politician, and then point that finger right back to yourself and OWN YOUR EMOTIONS! Once you take ownership, you take control, you put yourself in the power seat and from here, you can change.

 How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps - a hand pointing toward you

 

There are roughly speaking 3 reactions to anger, stress, fear or any negative emotions we go through:

 

  1. OUTBREAK: Expressing anger or other challenging emotions physically. Like kicking or hitting, swearing loudly or yelling ( also includes slamming of the door, which I am very skilled at).  
  2. SUPPRESSION OF EMOTION: Blocking emotions. Pretending everything is fine, while clearly affected by the emotions.
  3. FORCED REVERSE: Forcefully focusing away from the problem and finding a positive outlook in the situation.

 

Let’s take a closer look at these ways to react:

 

OUTBREAK: This way of reacting will increase the activity in the amygdala, a little almond-shaped structure deep in our brain that reacts to threats. Shortly we will take a closer look at this structure in our brain to understand its role. Increased activity in amygdala leads us to build a stronger habit pattern of negative reactions. Perhaps we once thought that it was good to let the anger, fear or whatever emotions we are experiencing out. But studies show that when we put ourselves into a physical shape of anger, like by kicking or hitting, we, rather than releasing it, actually makes the anger stronger. If we keep living like this, we go from feeling anger sometimes to being an angry person. Therefore this way of anger-expression shows to backfire on us and make us even angrier. 

How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps - on picture a exclamation mark and a question mark. 

SUPPRESSION OF EMOTION: Let’s take the example of a boomerang. No matter how far away you throw it, it will return. That is the nature of the boomerang. The same it is with our emotions or experiences, the more we suppress it, the more we feed them and the stronger they become. Let’s take an example. If I tell you, that for the next 2 hours you are not allowed to think of the word “pink elephant”. How likely are you to keep thinking of a pink elephant because you are thinking you can't think of it? It is exactly the same with emotions and experiences, or even when we go on a diet. The more we tell ourselves we can’t do XYZ, the more we want to, because we focus on it. If you are on a diet where you are not allowed to eat chocolate or any sugar, how much do you crave it? A LOT, right? But if you rather go on a diet where you say to yourself that you wish to eat lots of vegetables and fruit, you move your internal brain touch to think of the things you do want, rather than the things you don’t want. 

How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps/ a boomerang that like anger and stress will hit you if you suppress it

Furthermore, suppression of emotions still show in research to have the same impact on our physical body, the blood pressure raises, our memory is affected, heartbeat goes up and we feel heat rushes. You are in a state of anger or fear despite trying to suppress it. 

 

FORCED REVERSE: Put on your ‘yes-hat’ and change problems into a challenge. Well, this is really just another word for suppressing emotions. Superficially forcing yourself to change the light to dark, or problem to opportunity, will again, just keep you in a state of avoiding the problem or emotions and still put your body into a state of anger-expression, exactly like suppressing emotions. Issues, challenges and problems, whatever you like to call these hurdles, they are there for a reason. If we deny them we miss out on learning and overcoming which are the qualities that make us grow and find ways to contribute to solutions and deeper understandings. The forced reverse is when we force ourselves to think POSITIVE but when the NEGATIVITY stirs the sea and controls the current from underneath the surface.

How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps - forcing yourself ton feel positive. on the picture is the sea, above the surface the word positive is written. underneath the surface the word negative is written.

 

Okay, so these are 3 very common ways to react. None of them gets us in a state of power. None of them enables us to change the situation or take control of it. And why is that? Let’s look at what happens in the brain during a rush of anger, fear or other negative emotions. Before we go there, I just want to remind you, and us that in life:

WE CANNOT FAIL

It is physically impossible. Failing goes against all laws of nature, it is not an option. We are either winning or learning!

 

So when we do get into these mindsets or yell or say things we regret, we are not failing, we are reminded to learn. Just like when you drive happily along the high way, and you for a moment drive a little far to the side and hit the rumble grooves. They are not there to remind you of what a big failure you are, but simply to steer you right back in track. Similar are these reactions patterns, emotions or feelings. They are never there to remind you that you are one big epic failure (that’s just a part of your brain-system telling you that). The truth is that they are there as a reminder, as a kind loving reminder to steer you back on track.

 

How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps. a road with rumble groves on the sides

When something happens in our daily life that triggers negative emotions a part of the brain called amygdala becomes active. Amygdala is a part of the limbic system in the brain and it helps us remember past experiences quickly so that we can gain easy access to past reactions and outcomes of past situations in the fastest possible way. Amygdala has a list of functions but mainly it is our alarm for threats. Amygdala’s goal is to keep us alive and always moving away from threats and danger. It is therefore essential for our survival. Amygdala, when in balance,also keeps us alert, curious and interested. When amygdala is over activated we can compare it to a complete take over or hijacking. This means that amygdala ensures that all the necessary body functions to keep us moving away from danger zones are activated and the others, such as tiredness, hunger, mathematical equations, reflection, or song lyrics are turned off. When amygdala is over activated fight and flight mode are activated enabling you to run away, avoid threatening objects with your hands or freeze and become completely still. Amygdala is at once a blessing to us but at the same time one of our greatest obstacles. Why is that?

How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps. A girl sitting under a brain-shaped tree.

 

When amygdala is activated, it often happens outside of your knowledge. The amygdala has to be able to act quick, therefore there is no time to send information to the frontal lobes, where our awareness sits. It means that in a dangerous situation, your body is already in a fight and flight mode before you become aware of the danger. Amygdala is trying to save you. The amygdala has a reaction time of 80 milliseconds and it takes 250 milliseconds for the information to reach our awareness in the frontal lobes. We can now see  and understand that amygdala has a lot of time to conquer our reaction. It’s great apart from the fact the amygdala reacts both to physical threats and symbolic threats. Physical threats are like fast moving cars, or an object falling towards you or an animal tracing you. Symbolic threats are of a much different character and can be things like going to a job interview, or an exam, going through changes, being criticised or speaking in public. What we find fearful in our daily lives varies and many of us have an overactive amygdala which controls many of our reaction patterns and can leave us powerless in our own lives when triggered. 

 

Amygdala and the frontal lobes are like two friends on a seesaw. When one is high the other is low. I have listed what happens when amygdala iis high followed by what happens when the seesaw tilt ans the frontal lobes rise high.

 How to relieve stress and anxiety - 4 simple steps. A seesaw

 

WHEN AMYGDALA IS OVER ACTIVE:

  • Activity from the frontal lobes goes to the amygdala
  • We react on ingrained habit patterns
  • We are unable to learn new skills
  • Amygdala’s memory is a blurry one and often leads us to a reaction that is not the optimal one for the current situation
  • Faster heartbeat 
  • Shallow and faster breaths
  • Adrenalin is released
  • Sugar and oxygen from the blood are being emptied
  • Loss of the bigger picture

WHEN THE FRONTAL LOBES ARE ACTIVE:

  • We are able to regulate emotions
  • We are able to brin in our fundamental values
  • We are able to prioritise what has most value to us in the situation
  • We are able to solve problems
  • We are able to be refelct
  • We are able to arganise
  • We are able to step into a flexible mindset and understand the situations from more than one perspective.

 

How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps - when stress, anger or fear takes over us

 

When amygdala is activated, we become rather predictable. For example we will say and do the same things, repeat the same actions, it is almost as if we are performing a play which we have written and we perform it again and again and again when the amygdala is over activiated. If you keep doing the same things, you will get the same results, therefore, it is...

....TIME FOR A CHANGE!  

 

Once we become aware of what is going on and we recognise our predictable habit pattern, we can understand that amygdala has conquered us. As we understand amygdala’s role, functions and urge for hijacking our brain something magnificent happens: We enable ourselves to take a step back, to see and meet with the amygdala as a structure of our brain, a necessary function, but also to see that amygdala is not identical with WHO WE ARE therefore We now have a choice:

1) Either to flow along with the amygdala or

2) Tone it down and return to a state of mind where we are balanced and make decisions that are serving us and the world.

 

Whatever choice we make we program the amygdala. It means that if we go along with the amygdala and immerse ourselves even deeper in the negative emotions, we give amygdala a green signal to react in the same way again next time. We ingrain the habit pattern even deeper. We create a clear path in the forest for the amygdala to run even faster next time. If we choose the opposite to tone down the amygdala, we also create imprints, this time in positive directions that enables us next time to catch the amygdala earlier before it gets to conquer us. 

How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps. frog stopping for red light

Again, we have for a long time thought that the best way to get rid of negative emotions is to express them. But research shows now that if we act as an angry person, hit, kick, scream and yell, we become an angry person. Rather than if we act as a calm person, we become a calm balanced person that is able to make decisions that take us where we want to be. When we are calm we have space to think, when we are anxious or angry, sad or frustrated often we engage in a thought process called stacking. We simply begin to stack all the bad thing in our lives, all the things that have gone and could go wrong, all the things we think we are bad at and all the negative people around us. We basically remind ourselves of all the shit we have and go deeper into a state of mind that isn’t serving us. Do you also recognise this from your own life? We let the amygdala run away with us. 

How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps. stacking bad emotions like stacking rolls of filtered sewing string.

We can remain in charge of our state of mind by training the qualities of feeling grounded, confident, safe, secure and calm through meditation, yoga, awareness training and breathing exercises. It is important that we practice these before we get to an amygdala take over. Because in that state of mind we are not able to learn new things or practice being calm, we have to already have the skills in the pockets to pull them forward when we need them. 

!!! 

The good thing is that nothing in our body is set (not even talents or qualities). The brain and the body have the quality of plastic, meaning we can reshape it at any time throughout our life. We can reverse our relationship to our body so that rather than the body controlling us it can become our servant and assist us in getting to where we desire to go. AND it’s super easy, when we know a few simple tricks, that I will share with you

NOW!

 

We all have hard realisations. It can be when we slam the door really hard in anger and accidentally hurt someone’s toes as they got stuck under the door (It could be that it happened to me. Pour Will’s toes. I felt SO SO BAD!) or perhaps we have one of these hard realisations a moment when we didn’t take an opportunity that was right in front of us because of fear, or maybe we said something horrible to someone we really love and care for. A hard realisation is when we suddenly, after being on repeat for years maybe, think ENOUGH, I WILL NEVER DO OR SAY XYZ AGAIN. I WANT TO CHANGE”

How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps. letters been put together saying: "time for change. it is up to you which direction you choose!!!"

This is our moment to become an active player in our lives! Our call for action to change, to embrace to love and to live more fully! Take this opportunity and begin to practice being an AWESOME person every day. 

 

WORK TOWARDS YOUR SUCCESS:

Make a list NOW of how you feel and what you do when you feel successful, blessed or calm in your life. Think of moments where you feel inspired, energised and hopeful, blissed out and confident. Make a list with all the feelings, sensations and emotions that are present at that time. Write down what you do when you feel like this, how you eat, how you move, talk. What you read, watch or listen to. We all have experiences of this. So stop reading right now, and engage with this little exercise. Take your time to make the list complete and detailed. 

How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps. a blank peace of paper ready for you to fill out.

Stop now and make your list!

 

Once you have your completed list in front of you, you know how you love to feel and what parts of your life, emotions and action you want to infuse more into your life. You basically know where you want to go, where you want to see yourself on a daily basis. And you know what? You can totally get there and you deserve less pain and more joy, love and happiness in your life. And you might think, “how does she know that?” and because you just had that thought, I know that you have things you have done that you wish you didn’t, but you are ready to learn from them and step forward onto the winning team and lead the world in a better direction. That is why I know that you deserve this joy!

How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps a treasure map pointing your towards your success

 

So from here, bringing in yoga, meditation, awareness training and breathing exercises into our daily life. Just 5,10 or 15 minutes every morning. Creating a daily routine where we bring in the qualities of a calm, balanced person, and we will become that. Find role models, and mirror them, their ways of thinking, acting and being will soon infuse our whole being. If we don’t work on yourself every day we will fall into old patterns that do not serve you any more!

 

 

How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps

Remember those rumble grooves we sometimes drive on? They will still appear in your life as little reminders to help you to steer back on track. Sometimes amygdala will still take over and until we have learned and practised our calm approach, I have 4 other awesome steps to relieve stress and anxiety in 4 Simple Steps - steps that we can take RIGHT when we become aware of that we have been hijacked by amygdala. The 4 easy steps to engage in and begin right NOW. 

 

OKAY, so we know that inside our brain sits the little amygdala always keeping an eye out for our safety. We also know that the amygdala has a tendency to put us into states of mind that are not helpful for us to navigate and be our best. We have understood the role of the amygdala and how it is turned on. There are many situations where amygdala activates. Here’s a list of when amygdala steps in and hijacks our reactions:

 

  • When we feel suppressed.
  • When we are bullied.
  • When our status is threatened.
  • When someone is telling us what to do.
  • When we need to adjust to something new.
  • When we set too big goals for ourselves, such as promising ourselves never to smoke again. Too big goals put us into a future-fog.
  • When we perceive people around us as angry or disappointed in us.
  • When we have to do something that used to make us nervous or anxious.
  • Can you think of something that you can add to the list? Moments where you already now recognise that amygdala has a habit of conquering your brain and mind?

So we now know where we want to go (the list we made earlier with all the things we do want feel that we know are clues that we are feeling successful.) We know where we are, looking at the list above, I am sure we all can recognise moments in our daily life where amygdala gets a chance to sneak up on us. So now all we need to find is a path from A to B. We need to know the practical side of how to get out of those emotions rather than remaining in a state of mind that isn’t serving us.

 

Remember: If you keep doing the same thing you’ll get the same results. Let’s not look at 4 simple ways to get back in charge of our actions and words when amygdala has been caught infiltrating the system unnecessarily.  

 

 

How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps

These 4 steps will enable you to break those old patterns. 

 

OUR ROLE:

So NOW OUR ROLE IS TO find ways to shift the brain activity from the amygdala to the frontal lobes, and luckily with only very little effort, we can be successful in this.

Before I share with you ways to do this, there is an important BUT:

We can only make this shift happen if we want to. It might sound quite straight forward, but none the less, its an important reminder. Reading through these methods to shift the activity from one part to another, will not do it for you, YOU have to engage with the methods, practice them, repeat them and use them.

!!! :D

I think some of you will nod along to what I am about to say, others will put it into action immediately and some might close this blog down forever, whatever your reaction may be, I hope that I can stir something deep within you now when I challenge you by saying: “Those who are happy, cheerful, and learn to think in a successful thought pattern, are the ones that become successful, those who engage in negativity, anger and a belief that they are unsuccessful, will become even more unsuccessful, even more unhappy, angry and negative. We can learn to think in a way that makes us more successful. This is why successful people will become more successful and people who are less successful will remain in that position until they change their mind and thoughts AND add value to the world"

CLAIM YOUR EMOTIONS, YOUR ANXIETY, YOUR ANGER, YOUR WORRIES, YOUR SADNESS AND TAKE FULL OWNERSHIP, NOW YOU ARE IN THE POWER SEAT TO CHOOSE YOUR FUTURE, TO DIRECT YOUR FOCUS INTO ALL THE THINGS YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE, WANT TO DO AND WANT TO BE. Steadily everything else will fall away from you. 

How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps. a tornado

Here are the 4 empowerment tools on How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps to become even more cheerful, balanced, powerful, successful and to able to live your dreams!

 

1) REPHRASING:

This is a must for all of us who wants to master life. When we consciously rephrase we give new meanings to the situation. When we begin to rephrase we let go of the idea that there is only 1 way to experience a situation. We open up for the possibility to see the situation from another perspective. Rephrasing is when we begin to describe the situation in different ways. An example, say that you were hoping for a promotion, but your colleague got it instead of you. An immediate reaction may be disappointed, perhaps jealousy and lack of understanding for the boss’s obvious bad choice in not promoting you. Then your rephrasing list would look something like this:

 

  • I have been working hard and learned a lot
  • I less responsibility at work, so I can take up a hobby
  • I have an opportunity to practice love and kindness towards my colleague
  • This is a good time for me to think about whether I am in the position I want to be in right now in life
  • I know I have the strength and value for a promotion, perhaps there’s another department looking for my qualities
  • I am excited for my colleague
  • It gives me an opportunity to practice reframing
  • Now, I can relax
  • I wonder how I will look back at this in 1 year time
  • Pehahps something good is about Tito reveal itself somewhere else in my life
  • There are some things I am not in charge of
  • It is an opportunity to give my colleague a hug
  • pyt (GREAT DANISH WORD FOR EXPRESSING that life goes on I will not let this weight me down, I am strong!")

 

 

Another situation, say someone always has to comment on the way you look and it is making you feel incredibly self-conscious. A list could look something like this:

 

  • Yes, I might be short, but my expenses in body lotion are less than yours
  • Yes I might be short that’s why I never look down on people
  • Thanks for letting me know, best compliment of the week
  • It a good opportunity for me to practice calm and slow breathing
  • It’s a good opportunity for me to identify with who I am and not my appearance
  • perhaps I am short but it also means I am able to think quicker
  • I am short but quick/strong/powerful
  • I was taller yesterday but then I had a haircut
  • Yes I am small and ingenious
  • I grow slow like a beautiful rose
  • Thanks for statting the obvious  

Basically, you are in a situation or in a position that you can’t change but what you can change is how you enter the situation and how you move in it. Rephrasing is practising how you act in uncomfortable situations as well as your outlook on the situation.

 

An important aspect of rephrasing is that we are not judging the list, we are simply adding all the rephrasing-sentences to we list. Then afterwards looking at them and sort of taste them. Which ones trigger a state of mind that is enabling you to be the best version of yourself and make decisions that serve you and get you going in the right direction? Those that seem draining, you simply won't use. 

 

When we rephrase we use the frontal lobes which moves the activity away from the amygdala. The frontal lobes are the place in the brain where we are able to regulate emotions, prioritising what has value to us, problem-solving, flexibility, planning and organising. Basically all the qualities we need to turn a stressful, anxious or anger infused situation around. We enter this area of the brain when we reframe. How awesome and simple is that? Engage with this reframing like a game, how many reframes can you come up with. Challenge yourself. 

 

Thoughts birth emotions. Change the way you think of something and you are guaranteed to experience lighter and more empowering emotions!

 

2) REVERSING:

As I mentioned, often when amygdala takes over we engage in a thought process called stacking. We begin to stack all the bad things in our lives, all the things we think are our bad traits. So let’s reverse that stacking by listing to all of the things we are awesome at, all the things that have gone right in our lives, all the things that went smooth today. There’s a system in the brain, the RSS that looks out for things that are important to us. That’s the same part of the brain that is activated when you hear your name mentioned in a conversation you aren’t even a part of. Or when you have got a new car, you begin to notice that same car everywhere. So the RSS is also turned on looking for all the negative things if that is what we are asking of it. But we can reverse this, by listing all the good things. It takes just a split second to reverse and suddenly you will become aware of all the things that did go really well today, all the magnificent things. And there are LOTS! There are thousands of people who died today YOU ARE NOT ONE OF THEM! 

 

 

3) WATCH YOUR TV:

Watch your transformational vocabulary. You can change your entire life just by changing your vocabulary.

We label our emotions through words, and the words that we choose holds a meaning that gives us certain feelings and sensations. These sensations and feelings become our reaction to the experienced in other words the words we choose become our experience. The words we choose to use define how we feel.

 

Imagine this situation:

On a bus, an incident occurred. Three people were present and experienced the same incident but each reacted radically differently:

One guy became out of control, he went into a total rage.

The second guy became angry and the

third guy didn’t seem to have a reaction at all.

 

The other two looked towards him, wanting to understand why there wasn’t any noticeable reaction. The third guy answered that he didn’t feel the incident was worth getting angry or upset about. The first guy in total rage couldn’t understand the third guy’s non-exiting reaction. With a loud voice, the raging man said: “what do you mean it isn’t worth getting up set about? Do you know what has just happened? We gotta to do something. We gotta DO SOMETING NOW”.

So three people experience the exact same situation, and we assume they are each affected equally but their expressions are radically different to one another. Why is that? Because we each connect pain and pleasure to different things.

The third guy shared an incident from his life where a neighbour had betrayed him and unrightfully taken him to court. The case had lasted for years and had cost the third guy a big loss before he won the case. The first guy interrupted his story and said: “I’D KILL THAT GUY!!!”. The second guy asked him whether that situation had made him angry. “No,” the third guy answered and continued: “it made me a little annoyed.” “Annoyed?” Said the second guy, “what do you mean by annoyed?”. The third guy said: “If you get angry, you loose control and when you loose control, the other wins.”

 

Now we understand that they each react differently to a situation because they each connect different emotions to pleasure. The first guy connects strength to rage and sees his rage as a way to move away from pain and towards  pleasure. The third guy connects anger and rage to pain.

Simply by removing those words from his vocabulary he changes his experience of the situation and defines his level of impact at a completely different level than the first guy, who is still out of control raging. By using words such as “annoyed” or “peeved” you are able to break your pattern and transform the emotions you are experiencing. “That annoys me” or “I am peeved” it almost has a smile to it and perhaps you find yourself crack up in a laugh when saying these words.

Our brain is constantly taking in a lot of information and it is the job of the brain to make meaning of all this information. This meaning is expressed through words so that we can announce to others and ourselves our how we feel and our state of mind. The meaning that we create isn’t the only meaning we could have created and the meaning isn’t necessarily the right one and certainly not always the one that empowers us.

The words that we choose to use become the label for that experience or sensation that we are having. Words are not equal to the experience. We all have different connections and association to different words. When I say the word cat, some of you might think of a sweet soft kind animal, others might think of a selfish vicious creature. The way we experience words, differ.

If we look at the English language we find that there are a total of around 500.000 words. In a lifetime we on average use 2000 words. But our habitual vocabulary is a lot less. These are the words that we use on a daily basis. On average, we have a vocabulary ranging from 200-300 words. When we look at how many words in total in the English language there are to describe emotions we find a total of 2000-3000 words. Only 1/3 of these words describe pleasurable feelings (1051 words) and 2/3  of these words describe negative emotions. 2286 words describing undesired emotions and mind set vs. 1051 words to describe positive and desirable emotions.

Remember that the labels we put on our experience become our experience.

Do we use words such as: “rage”, “angry”, “devastation”,  “anxious”, “I fell like I have been raped”, “it is like a mental suicide” or “depression” vs using words like: “Annoyed”, “peeved”, “concerned”, “curious”, “confused” or “wondering”.

By choosing a different vocabulary we can transform our state of mind and life. Do you also notice the difference in those two different levels of emotional expression?

 

We each have a different habitual vocabulary. 90% of us on a weekly basis experience about 12 different emotions. What you experience might be based on your habitual vocabulary. When saying: “I am depressed”, you might be using it because it is in your habitual language, but perhaps you are just feeling a little down or a slight tensions in your belly. We can transform our state of mind by learning to use words that down play the intensity of our negative state and at the same time choosing words that amplify our positive states of mind.

When someone asks us how we are doing we might say “not bad”, “I am surviving” “better than dead”  or “I am fine” we down play and limit our ability to feel good. Words have a biochemical effect on our body. What if when someone asked us how we are doing we reply: “I am awesome”, “I am splendid”, “I am passionate” or “I have never been better”. Notice how these answers amplify your positive emotions and allow you a whole other level of goodness.

Be determined to come up with words that empower you. Words that keep you in a state of observing or perceiving, like: “that makes me curious” or “I am interested to know XYZ”. It will transform your life, empower you, make you resourceful and lower your intensity of negative emotions. “I am tired” vs “I am feeling cosy” suddenly you are able to relax while reading or being creative or learning, just by changing your approach from lazy to cosy.

If we don’t have the word to label an experience in our vocabulary, we can not experience it. Be determined to watch your transformational vocabulary and commit to 10 days of removing words that are intensifying your negative emotions such as “devastated”, “depressed”, “wrong” or “stupid” and increase the level of positive words you use. Do this for 10 days, consistently and see how it makes you feel. It is not disassociation - It is a transformation! “I am so busy” vs “I am so productive” is another good one to empower yourself NOW!

 

 

4) CHANGE GLASSES:

There is ONE emotion that allows no space for any other emotions to coexist. This is emotion is called GRATITUDE. And if you have been reading along this blog for sometime, you have probably already come across my hype about GRATITUDE!

Gratitude is just an awesome feeling that we all can easily cultivate. What happens when we cultivate gratitude is magnificent.

First of all we move activity from amygdala right into the frontal lobes, where our awareness rests. Secondly we zoom out and away from ourselves, we so to speak, change glasses or contacts. Sometimes we aren’t able to see the nuances in life, especially when amygdala is activated, but with gratitude we enable ourselves to see much more clearly and broader on our situation and life. Gratitude also takes us away from comparing our success or situation to someone’s else’s, it helps us see what we have, the tools we hold or have been given to build a bright future.

Gratitude helps us zoom away from ourselves and begin to live from somewhere else. We begin to live from the heart rather than from the brain. The brain always wants to think of worse case scenarios or find fairness in life. If I knew why I would tell you, but the brains tendencies are still mysterious. With gratitude, we begin to see the magic and miracles that are unfolding all the time in front of our eyes.

Gratitude leaves us with a feeling of awe, and the feeling of awe enables to take a long exhale. When we take a long exhale we shift from fight and flight mode straight into relaxing and digest and we become quiet and are able to remain in a seat where we can watch our life, rather than drown in it. 

When anger, anxiety, stress or other negative emotions hit you and rush like a wave all over your body and mind. Pause, and begin to cultivate the feeling of gratitude by thinking of 3 things in your life that you are deeply grateful for. 

 

Experiment with these different methods of How To Relieve Stress and Anxiety - 4 Simple Steps. Find one or two methods that work the best for you. That empowers you in the smoothest most enjoyable manner to step away from the amygdala and its hijacking tendencies into freedom from past events and experiences to choose to be the best version of you TODAY!!

 

Life has the meaning you give it, I CHALLENGE YOU TO STEP UP THE GAME, REACH YOUR FULL POTENTIAL AND LIVE A MEANINGFUL LIFE! Because I KNOW THAT YOU CAN! Live life NOW! Live life to serve a greater course, LIVE LIFE TO EXPERIENCE and TO GET CLOSER TO AN UNDERSTANDING OF WHO WE TRULY ARE.


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