Last week I talked about the fight-or-flight-response. How did you feel last week? When does the fight-or-flight-response kick in? Are you able to stop it or are you stressed all day once it is activated?
Deactivate the fight-or-flight-response with these 4 steps
- Know your triggers
You have already completed this task last week. To know what activates this reaction is the first and most important step. Simply knowing your triggers sets free stuck energy! In addition, this first step is imperative for step no. 2.
- Make baby steps
Often, the response is activated by big, unpopular or frightening tasks or situations.
Since you now know what triggers stress, you can split the work into several small tasks.
Choose 1! task in the morning, preferably a ridiculously small one, and your brain will not notice that this could turn into hard work. For example, you could decide to put one single plate into the dishwasher. Or all the dishes, whatever your brain can cope with without getting stressed. 😉
This “mini habit” system is also great to implement good habits successfully.
- Prepare and you’re halfway there
Of course there are days when you have to or want to get a lot done.
Prepare yourself for the next day the night before or in the morning, if you have enough time then. Plan the day in your head and make a time schedule, if necessary. To-do lists are also very helpful. With them, you know what needs to be done that day, you won’t forget a task and you are able to concentrate on one small task at a time and follow step 2.
To plan the day in your head also has the advantage that, once the task actually needs to be done, you have the feeling that you have already accomplished it successfully.
- Get it over with
This step is for all tasks that frighten you or that you just don’t like. You need to have a talk with your manager or have to do your tax return? Then do it at first! There will always be those tasks we put off, because we hate them or they require too much effort. Accomplish those ones first thing in the day and you won’t have the time to think about it (instead of getting yourself down for days or weeks à la “Why is it always me / Oh no, not again / I hate this / What if this goes wrong? / …”).
How to stop the fight-or-flight-response
Physical activities of any kind will help you on the one hand. If you jog, dance or clean the house: Put your body into action and let it burn off the energy. This way, it can get rid of the hormones, such as adrenaline, that were released by activating the fight-or-flight-response. For your body, it will feel like it has fought or run for dear life and the reaction will stop.
On the other hand, you should also do something for your mind! Some meditate or do yoga, others listen to music or read a book. No matter what you choose, do something that calms your mind and makes you feel good again. It is important to stop the thoughts spinning around in your head.
Another great possibility to calm down is to pay attention to your breathing. Sit down somewhere and breathe normally. Now pay full attention to your breathing and feel how the fresh air spreads in your body and how the used air is leaving your body. Make sure you are breathing deeply, as this relaxes the body!
What works for you and how do avoid getting stressed? Leave a comment below to share your tips!
Wishing you lots of luck and contentment ☘