The Vital Woman Workshop on Saturday was a great success, a place where beautiful women shared, gained valuable knowledge and had heaps fun!

The fourth workshop in the series, where I co presented with my friend and colleague, author and wellness specialist, Jo Ettles, was entitled “Dear Stress, Let’s Break Up!” It was fabulous to be able to empower the wonderful ladies with stress management strategies, that they could use in their everyday lives.

Stress is a feeling you have when you face a situation you think you can’t handle. Your blood pressure rises, your pulse rate quickens, your breathing becomes shallow, you feel uneasy, you can feel anxious, irritable, forgetful, have sleepless nights and feel unable to cope.

Sounds great doesn’t it!

So what can we do about it?

The amount of people suffering from stress and stress related illnesses in Australian society seems to be on the rise each year

We experience stress when there is an imbalance between the demands being made on us and our resources to cope with those demands.

The level and extent of stress a person may feel depends a great deal on their attitude to a particular situation and the way they are thinking about the situation. An event that may be extremely stressful for one person can be easily handled in another person’s life.

You might feel under pressure to do something and fear you might fail, feel you’re not enough or be afraid of making a mistake. The more important the outcome, the more pressured and stressed you can feel.

You can feel stress around external situations like family problems, financial problems, relationship problems, business challenges, having too much work or not enough work.

The stress is caused by what we call your internal triggers, meaning the way you think about external situations.

There are also what we call good forms of stress too and there are people that use this kind of stress to their advantage, it keeps them on their toes and motivated to get the job done.

Where stress is a problem is when it gets to the stage that it causes discomfort and distress for a person and if it is left unmanaged it can lead to other mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression and even physical problems like cardiovascular disease.

When we learn how to manage our stress levels, we are able to handle challenging situations with more ease and flow. We operate more productively, see things with more clarity and we actually have more possibility of changing the situation that we are choosing to feel stressed about.

And its important to realize here that the way we feel about a certain situation is actually a choice.

As much as it doesn’t feel like it is under your control at the time, we choose how we respond to the situation we are experiencing because of the thoughts we are choosing to think.

Its what we call in coaching, cause and effect, its kind of like when you flick the light switch on when you enter the room, the light turns on, if you don’t flick the switch the light doesn’t turn on.

In the same way if you choose certain thoughts or have a certain attitude towards the challenging situation you’re presented with you are going to flick the switch on either stress or a sense of calmness, depending on the attitude you have and the thoughts you are choosing.

Stress is a process that we do, its not a diagnosis and what I mean by that is that it is an unresourceful strategy that doesn’t serve us and it is something that can be changed.

So how do we change it?

* Consciously change your focus and what you are thinking about. The situation isn’t going to change just because you are worrying about it. Let go of your negative worrying thoughts and replace them with happy ones. When you do this your emotions will become lighter and more positive, you then have more possibility of influencing the situation in a positive way.

* Change your language around how you are describing the way you feel. Words have energy and power. You can actually lessen the intensity of stress by changing the words you use to describe how you are feeling. For instance; if you describe yourself as “I’m extremely stressed out” you are going to intensify how you’re feeling compared to describing your feelings as “I feel a bit uneasy or uncomfortable”. Makes sense right?

* Developing healthy routines will help have a huge effect on your emotional balance. Routines help restore that feeling of certainty and when they are routines that include nurturing your mind, body and spirit, you’re on a winner! So develop a daily routine that includes such things as exercise, meditation, deep breathing, yoga, gratitude journal, spending time in nature, regular bedtimes and prayer. This together with a healthy balanced diet, will help restore that balance, vitality and feeling of comfort.

Its important to always remember that stress is just an unresourceful strategy that we choose to do, its not something that just happens to us, it’s a result of the way we are thinking. You have the power to change it and take back control of your thoughts and feelings.

Make the decision to start today, its so worth it!

Coaching can help you create change in any area of your life. For your complimentary 30 minute evaluation session email or call 0408 004 670