Slow yourself down… and speed up your resilience to stress!

You may have noticed that I’ve been writing a number of blogs on how to manage stress these past months. Not a coincidence! Yes, many of my clients struggle with this challenge and I offer support and interventions to reduce and manage this toxic sentiment. However, lately I’ve been working longer hours and have to admit that I wasn’t walking my own talk!

One of the advantages of being a coach is that it is hard to fool yourself – my training ensures that I spot what’s going on pretty quickly.  In the past I have used a number of tactics to reduce stress, such as making room for some alone time, saying ‘no’ more frequently (very hard for me as I am a people pleaser…), occasionally using autogenic training, breathing techniques, or simply cuddling up with my purring cat! However, applied sporadically these interventions are only temporary bandages and wear off quickly once life is back to being on warp speed.

What I needed was a life change: I needed to take off the automatic pilot and take full control of my life before it spun out of control. “Mindfulness is about living your life as if it really mattered” Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn was quoted as saying in a recent article that discussed the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the largest and oldest meditation-based clinical program worldwide.

I have signed up for an eight-week course on mindful based stress reduction. There are other very good mindfulness meditation approaches that you can try out, but what I like about Kabat-Zinn’s approach is that it’s stress specific, you don’t need to have any particular prior background training, and it is a proven approach as a result of its scientific roots.  Hopefully it will give me another invaluable stress reduction tool, and will ensure that I truly am a picture of calm and control, and that I really am walking the ‘stress free’ talk.  Watch this space!