Stress management is one of the top health desires for people. Stress is inevitable, but it’s how we respond to it that matters. Stress can lead to overwhelm, burnout, and a number of health conditions. Many of us have different methods of coping with stress that work for us.
One that popped into my head awhile ago was using visualization. By paying attention to what specific scenarios contribute most to my stress levels, I could choose how I wanted to address it. One scenario is when everything feels chaotic around me. I picked the simplest of examples- getting ready to take my toddler and my dog for a walk. My dog (Baxter) goes absolutely beserk (he is a border terrier, and most people are afraid of him because his energy level is so intense!). Meanwhile, I am trying to manage Bradley and usually there are other things happening that contribute to feeling overwhelmed. It’s like someone set the dial to fast-forward and there’s a hurricane all around me. That’s also how it feels in more complex scenarios that have potentially undesired consequences too (like in the heat of a moment in a race, in a confrontation, or even an important meeting). By finding a simple scenario that happens regularly, I could practice visualization that helped me every time. And now? I can use it everywhere.
It’s basic- I just imagine myself as the eye of the hurricane. Everything can be crazy around me, but I’m the calm eye of the storm, untouched by the storm itself.
You can definitely use my idea, or you can come up with your own.
- Identify an area of stress and the key components that contribute to it. Maybe it’s how your body feels or maybe it’s actually a physical environment.
- Ask yourself how you want to feel in that moment. For my example, I wanted to feel calm and not in a rush.
- Imagine what that would feel like or look like. Create a visual scenario of it or even choose a few words you can repeat. (or you can use the breath by inhaling through the nose (2 deep inhales in a row, and exhaling out the mouth to let it go.)
Do you have an example you want to share of how you cope with stress?