Recognizing Your De-stressers
what I'd like you to do now is turn that plate over. Or if a new workbook, you want to turn to page five and start writing down what de stresses you, Where do you get your energy? This is undone on the back. I do have energy just did the top. Where do you get your energy? Here's the back magically. I do have it. That's my only magic trick. I have none. So you're putting yourself in the center. What feeds you, What feeds you physically? What feeds you mentally? What feeds you emotionally? I can't imagine my life without my friends. I just, they hold me in ways that are just unbelievable in the middle of this crazy week that I'm living. I got a text message from someone this morning who with whom I don't speak that often, but it was just a hey thinking of you and what you'll find as we go through this that some of the things that we need to de stress are universal. We do not do well without sleep. We have all those people who claim they're great on sleep. It's a tiny percentage of the po...
pulation who can do well without sleep. That's a Universal one. And then there are other things I love roaming around san Francisco in the middle of the crowd. I love being in Manhattan or London in the middle of the crowd. And the psychologist that I used to work with, got anxious at the mere thought of going there and wanted to be alone in a tent on the side of the mountain. Well, my skin crawls at the atlantic, you know, so we have individual needs different things that feed us, but for the majority of people with whom I've done this, the front has a lot more on it than the back. And in fact this is a client who allowed me to share hers. This is the front, this is the back. Now what's interesting is she hadn't been to the spa are she's a dear sweet person. She was in a job where she had no control of what was going on. And she was on totally on the burnout path, which is something I'd love to share. There's a lot of talk of burnout. Well burnout is stress management gone awry. Burnout is the end space of dealing with stress. When I was in medicine I was really frustrated that we spend so much time on dealing with the end stages of disease. We would wait till somebody's blood pressure was off the charts to start to talk to them about lifestyle habits that would keep it down. We would wait until somebody had truly abnormal blood sugars Before we would start to send them to the diabetes education. Whereas actually you're prediabetic for 10 years before your blood sugar is off. And I kept thinking why don't we like start with preventing these things instead of waiting to where the disease now, it's getting much much better now. But that's the same approach I'd like for stress management is backing up. Don't call me when you're on the path to burnout. Okay never mind call me when you're on the path to burn out. Because I'd love to help. But let's talk about the ways we cannot go on the path to burn out that we can handle life and really feel good at the end of the day. Does that make sense? Yeah. So stress management is about balancing these and it's hard now because we've got a lot of challenges. We are these are the universal things that are going on our lives. We work 24 7. So living in the world, we're living now, we have to adapt to the challenge of distraction and interruptions and information that are out there. We gotta learn to swim and that that sea of it and still choose what we want to think instead of having a chosen for us. That's that's a huge stressor in the workplace. When you look up stress comics are all these ones where everybody's knocking on your door and they're sticky notes everywhere and that's really what it feels like in our brains. Sometimes it's, you know, there's just this massive sticky note pile and every one of them screaming at us. We add on to that these days. Um losing a job has become a norm. You know, when I was young, losing your job was pretty unusual thing and usually meant that there was something probably wrong with you and now it's just common, you know, people who you never thought would lose a job have lost a job. It and so fear of losing it is a real, a real thing that we carry around. And that's one of those background fears that stresses us something that's just hanging out there. We don't name it every day, but it hangs around on our plate and if we were really feeling on our plate that would have a little bubble or if you're employed by yourself, like I am that, you know, I could fire me. Um, probably not going to happen, but so mine is, you know, go out and get a real job instead of calling what you do. You know, there's always that fear out there. There are lots more of these, um, there are people who are doing jobs that are way below their intellect because of the economy that we're in, they're not engaged. And when we look at the stress curve that will make even a lot more sense there. They're doing something that just isn't enough challenge. It doesn't, it doesn't feel good. There are a ton of people out there doing stuff without the training that they need or without the explanation. We have sped up to the part where we don't tell people how to do the job or how to think or what to do. We just expect people to self generate and figure out the boundaries by making mistakes. And then this is probably the mismatch syndrome is probably one of the bigger things that comes up in coaching, mismatch of responsibility and authority. I hear this over and over again and it's really from poor leadership and poor management, we forget to look at does the person who is responsible for this item have the authority to use what they need to be responsible. And we mix those up for some people in jobs that are really challenging situations that are challenging. Just naming, that feels better, it feels better to say, you know what I know why I'm stressed, I'm responsible for this and I have absolutely no tools to deal with it. So you're supposed to feel stressed and just knowing that that's a challenge that exists in naming. It feels better. There are lots of psychological studies that say if we name our fear, we reduce its emotional impact on us. So just naming what's gotcha can really be helpful. So we've talked about this and we've talked about what intrinsic motivation was wrong fit was a little bit of the responsibility, but I want to talk about the other wrong fit is I do a lot of coaching and come up with people who are in the wrong fit for their job when you do their personality assessment, a disc profile or Myers Briggs or something. They really find out there in the wrong fit and that doesn't mean, you know, oh my God, I I blew it, I picked the wrong career or you know, I went down path and I was supposed to do path B but there's some tweaks you can do sometimes and then sometimes it is a bigger decision to figure out, you know, this is really what's wrong? I am myself, I can do my left brain work. I made it through medical school. I'm a pretty right brained person. I was an art major. So there were some things about what I was being asked to do in the world of medicine that were the wrong for it for me, and that's when I was the most stressed when I started getting more creative in what I was doing. That really helped. Part of my right brained personality and my personality in general is that I'm fairly in touch with my intuition. Intuition is not valued in a lot of worlds. And yet I just had an example of I used it, I used my gut to decide not to go down a path of something on craigslist and I was really right. It was a total scam trusting our gut, even when we're in completely left brain worlds is something to do. And I I work with people who need that. They need their creative side, they need their gut side and they're not using it. We find ways to use it where you are or to move if that's the right choice for you. So sometimes the stress you're feeling is information that maybe maybe it's time for a fit check to see what's going on. And sometimes you're just in a totally toxic environment. I think the expectation is a huge part of stress management. I love this quote, you know, beautiful and terrible things are going to happen. They just are don't be afraid, give yourself some space for that and then use your brain to build habits that are going to wire you to be in control of what you want to be in control of. I can't control what you do to me, but I can control what's going on in my brain in response to it most of the time, Even if I do it, 80 of the time I'm going to be a far happier human than feeling like a victim of what's going on out there and balance is just incredibly important. Energy in needs to be balanced with energy out. And you're going to hear me talk over and over again about four kinds of energy. Your physical energy, your mental energy, your emotional energy and your spiritual energy Sort of four different aspects of yourself. And we tend to just focus on one. We're very physical, mental oriented. We've learned to suppress physical, were very mentally oriented in here. We deny emotions and spiritual, we don't even touch, even though that's often really the peak of the pyramid for most big performers. So as we go through these next few days, this really understanding the, the balance that you're seeking, it's not perfect and some days the ones up and one is down, but the overall balance. So what I'd like to do right now is teach you the first piece of breath work. And breath work is my first skill that I want to teach. People have learned it in so many different ways and there is no right one, no wrong one. Just bringing your attention to your breath is good. This is one I use and I've used a variety as I said, I've taken yoga for a lot of years. So I've done on the variety breathwork. Whenever you bring your attention to your breath, you're already on the right path, you're starting to get mindful because your breath hopefully you're all just sitting around breathing right now. Your breath is one of those amazing things about the human body that is both involuntary and voluntary. So hopefully you didn't stop breathing during any part of this. But now I'm gonna ask you to make it voluntary and bring your attention to it. So if you remember back to um grade school biology which is probably taught in pre K. Now as the world speeds up your lungs Are these bellows? And when we breathe up here on the top of the bellows, we're not moving much air. When we breathe down here in the bottom of the bellows we can hold a lot more air. So first of all I want you to just sit down, get your feet grounded and put a hand on your on your belly and close your eyes and just start to follow your breath in notice how it feels cool when it comes in your nostrils and see if you can follow it down to your hand. And if you start to slow your breath down and bring it down to your belly as you breathe in and your diaphragm pushes on your abdominal contents. Your hand should rise up a little bit. Now most of us walk around holding in our tummies, we don't let that happen. But I'm asking you, with your eyes closed, if somebody is near you make them close their eyes to and just allow that breath to sink to your hand. And we're going to do what I call the 555 breath, Breathing in for a Count of five. Hold for a count of five and out for a count of five. So you're gonna need a fair amount of breath whenever you make your exhale and your hold longer than your inhale, you're decreasing the sympathetic nervous system, which is the stress system. So everybody take a breath in and then out And then in 2 3 for five, hold 2 three 45 out to three for five in 23 45 hold two three for five out two three for five again in three 45 hold to three for five, out two three 45 and then bring your breath back to normal and open your eyes