Transition Stress? Manage your emotions in 3 steps.

Are you experiencing the angst of transition stress?  By now you know you are not alone. But how do you change your feeling of overwhelm or frustration? The power of influence starts with you.

This week, Jeff Forte, Executive Coach and Founder of Peak Results Coaching, joined me for the topic of Self Mastery: Manage Your Emotional Experience – 3 Tools to Reduce Stress, Take Back Control and Achieve Greater Success.  His tools rocked!

If you missed this valuable call, the recording is here===> Tame Your Stress – 3 Tools

Jeff has been a voracious student of self-development, and has worked with people on their adversity at work and in relationships for over 20 years. You’ll want to listen to call recording above to hear more about Jeff’s own story that led him to search for answers to stress and anxiety, the differences between men and women and the role-play where Jeff walked me through shifting transition stress.  Whether you are in interviewing or roadblock angst, in gridlock on a move, or feeling the ultimate pressure of being the breadwinner under pressure, the emotions you feel are real. But you can take a different tack with them. The good news is you can gain back control.  And following these three tools in one area of your life and mastering them, just means that you can apply them to ANY area of your life.

Stress first starts with a thought.  Jeff described that sometimes you will be hearing words in your head, like “Why am I so stuck?” or “I am so depressed.” – and it can get stronger the more you repeat these negative thoughts. Other times we are calling up images of what is stressing you out, like a picture of yourself in a bad situation.  Always notice where you are holding your stress in your body, so you can focus there – to release it. If you can catch your initial thought, or sensation in your body, you can jump in to work a strategy to shift out of the stress.

Here are three tools to master your stress:

1) Move your body differently.  Your emotions are held in the nervous system.  If you have ever been, or have known someone who has felt depressed, you may notice body language is closed down, or head may be down.  Get up, move around! You cannot feel depressed while you are dancing like crazy, or walking around with your head and eyes up,  imagining you are superman (woman:).  Instead of breathing from your chest, which more people do anyway, and especially under stress, focus on bringing your breathing down into your belly.

2) Focus on a big, great memory.  Visualize and focus on positve, exciting or happy memories from your past. The more empowering the better. Think of when you scored a big win, or had the best vacation of your life. Recall and focus on these engaging all of your senses, visual, scents, sounds, tactile..the more full a memory the more effective.

3) Change your language.  Instead of saying you feel “upset, stressed or depressed”…try making up a lighter or even a silly word, like today I feel “rumply” or “like cotton candy.”  The language you give things gives meaning to events – and the meaning we assign to things, ultimately determines the actions we take.  If you think something is “the end” you will be stuck. If you think it is “a beginning” you will have incentive to move forward, and now you are in possibility.

We have more control over our lives than we think.  When we can gain mastery over our emotions, we can move our energy to more positive and productive thoughts, and then the actions we need to take.  ……Now where is your red cape?

What is your biggest stressor?  What strategies help you make a shift, do tell.