Stress is killing your dreams. Here’s how to stop it.

 Photo by  Isaiah Rustad  on  Unsplash

Photo by Isaiah Rustad on Unsplash

Stress is killing our dreams.

Okay, maybe not literally. But if we’re dealing with constant stress, any goals we have that lead to a life we love are fighting an uphill battle.

How so?

Stress interferes with our decision-making skills. In a typical day, we face a lot of decisions—what’s important to do for that day, how we prioritize those tasks, what we say yes or no to, how we react to issues when they come up. When we’re stressed, the negative emotions we’re feeling—worry, panic, fear, anger—are influencing our choices, which means the decisions we make and the actions we take aren’t going to be their best.

Stress gives us tunnel vision...and not in a good way. When we’re stressed, we tend to only focus on doing what’s necessary. We have no energy to spend on anything that isn’t making us money, demanded of us, or we feel responsible to do...which means our dreams are likely taking a back seat.

Stress creates a vicious cycle of stress. Our confidence and belief in ourselves suffers each time we fail to follow through on our dreams, which piles on more stress!

So how do we STOP letting stress run our life

 so we can START slaying those #lifegoals?

By setting ourselves up for stressless success. When we treat our body and mind right, before a stress meltdown happens (and do it consistently), we stop stress before it starts.

1. Have preventative measures in place to keep stress at bay

For a Less Stressed Body:

  • Quality input = quality output. You’ve heard this before but it’s so important, it can’t be glossed over: What you put into your body affects how you perform and handle life. Which means if you’re nourishing yourself with the right food and keeping hydrated, you’ll be better equipped to handle challenges.
  • A tense body welcomes stress. There’s a correlation between how your body feels and your mood. When your body feels good, you’re more likely to feel good too. So keep your body flexible and tension-free with exercise and movement that makes sense for you.
  • Utilize your built-in reset button...deep breathing. Since breathing is something our body does automatically, it’s often underestimated and underutilized as a de-stressing tool. Deep breathing is a quick and easy way to re-engage with yourself and melt away tension. It helps to get you out of your head and into the present moment.
  • Schedule in your self-care. Yes, schedule it...just like you would anything else important in your life. Why? Because if you don’t schedule it, it’s probably not going to happen. It’s so easy to let self-care slip just like anything that isn’t making us money or is something we “have to do.” But think of it this way: Self-care actually does have monetary value and leads to greater productivity in the long term because when you’re in your best mental and physical shape, you’re going to do everything better! Ca-ching!

For a Less Stressed Mind:

  • Catch negative chatter. When we think negative thoughts, we immediately start to feel crappy, right? So when your mood is going downhill, notice what you’re thinking about. Awareness of negative chatter is the first step in preventing a stressed out mind.   
  • Ditch the drama for detective work. When you notice that your thoughts have turned sour, try looking at your situation like a detective would. Separate the facts from the story. Ask questions instead of jumping straight to conclusions. What do you know is true? This fact-centered approach helps reduce unnecessary anxiety and tension by providing emotional distance and objectivity.
  • Know your power. You have the power to choose a different thought—look for what’s positive and what’s possible. While we can’t change what happens to us, we CAN control how we think, how we feel, and how we act. And that knowledge is power.

In my book, I go much further into why the quality of our thoughts is so important and how to make them work for you in creating your dream life. If you’re interested in a deeper dive, check out Meant for More: Create Your Dream Life, Plan Your Path, and Start Living It Now.

2. Have a plan for avoiding a stress spinout

While the above tips serve as preventative measures for unnecessary stress, they can’t prevent stress entirely. Since obstacles and challenges are a part of life, it makes sense to have a game plan for when life throws you a curveball.

Don’t have one yet? I’ve got you covered.

I created a FREE guide that will help you take down stress when it strikes. It’s called The Stress Less Guide: 4 Steps to Take Back Control of Your Life.  

It’s not that things won’t affect you any more or that you’ll become immune to stress or stressful situations, but it really does help change your perspective and reaction, which can lead to a better outcome.

Download your free guide now to get clearer, calmer, and more confident for dealing with stress.