From lockdowns and furlough to cancelled holidays and weddings, we have plenty of reasons to feel stress. Stress affects all of us from time to time but when we’re constantly in a state of stress this can negatively affect our enthusiasm for life and if not tackled can even lead to more serious mental health issues like burnout.
We speak to mindset coach and founder of MindStyle Isabella Venour to get some tips and ideas to help us re-kindle our zest for taking action and put us back in the driving seat of our own lives by developing a success mindset.
How to shift from negative to positive?
Often when we are stressed, our mind can start spiralling from one negative thought to another. This spiral can lock us in a cycle of frozen fear; It affects our motivation, prevents us from acknowledging positives around us and can stop us from finding a constructive way to move forward.
The good news is that there are lots of tools you can apply to help you move from a negative state of mind to a more positive one, for example:
- Stop and take a deep breath while noticing your surroundings: what you can feel, hear, smell, see.
- Acknowledge what you are feeling and why. I recommend taking a pen and paper and writing down exactly what you are stressed about.
- Notice what is an emotional feeling and what is fact. This will help you put your worries into perspective.
- You can then start to ask yourself what can be done to help you manage the stress levels. Notice the word ‘manage’ here as some levels of stress can be good, as they help give us a sense or urgency and an injection of energy to help us complete a task. It becomes unhelpful when the stress stops us from taking action.
By focusing on what you can control or influence and learning to let go of what you cannot, will give you a sense of empowerment and help you develop a more positive mindset and can-do attitude.
Stressed about: What if people don’t like my presentation?
Emotional: I am worried no one will enjoy my talk
Fact: I am hosting a talk and will try my best. I cannot know how others will react.
Action: I will practice first with my family and friends
How do we motivate ourselves out of the gloom?
When we feel demotivated it can be helpful to tap back into our purpose. You can do this by simply asking yourself these two questions:
- What makes this important?
- How will this benefit me?
For example, you may dislike cleaning the bathroom or filing your taxes. The tasks themselves may not seem fun or important to you but reminding yourself of the role they play within a bigger purpose (such as setting up a business you love or having a clean house for entertaining guests) may be all you need to get back on track.
If you can’t answer these without using the words ‘I should’ then maybe you need to focus on doing things differently or changing this aspect of your life.
How do we stay focused and finish what we start?
Sometimes, although we really want to do something, another part of us seems to stand in the way and sabotage our efforts!
There are many coaching and NLP techniques that can help your motivation levels and also dig deeper to find where the conflict really lies. Although we’re all uniquely wired, here are some quick tips to help you start and stick to your tasks:
- Habit stacking: Identify the habits you want to start and stop. Then create a list of tasks you do every day, automatically without having to think, such as brushing your teeth. Find ways of stacking the new habits onto existing ones. For example, start that photography hobby while enjoying your daily walk.
- Set a timer: Parkinson’s Law states that we fill the time we allocate, so set a timer (I personally like 50-minute blocks) to complete a certain task. Say goodbye to procrastination and perfectionism and just get that task done!
- Make it fun: No matter how much you tell yourself to ‘work hard’ your efforts will be slow, boring and the output mediocre if your heart isn’t in it. How can you make that task more exciting? What reward can you give yourself?
- Accountability partner: Find an accountability partner or join a Mastermind to help you stay on track. Share your plan with each other. Check in to discuss highs, lows and give encouragement. Celebrate wins together and get excited to face the next challenge.
Join Isabella’s facebook community: THRIVE ONLINE Community for entrepreneurs & SMEs to start & grow business.