How many times a day are we amazed at the course of events, thinking “You’re not serious,” or becoming upset when what’s happening is absolutely not what we want to be happening? The space between how things are and how we want them to be is where stress flourishes. So how do we close that gap?
For starters, we say “YES!” to antidotes like doing yoga, going outdoors, enjoying time with friends/family, disconnecting from electronics, traveling, meditating, etc. These are all proven ways to decompress.
But if our tools for loosening stress’ grip are external, we risk losing access and melting down.
We have to manage stress from within.
Has anyone ever tried mantras for busting stress? Mantras are words or slogans repeated to aid concentration, clear the mind and focus the awareness (all deadly to stress). With a successful track record that spans centuries and cultures, mantras can be used in our day-to-day routines for keeping our awareness leashed to how things are rather than going wild in the fields of if only.
While traditional mantras are abundant, making them up is totally legit. Maybe it’s a loved one’s or teacher’s name we repeat that encourages us to be a certain way (kind of like WWJD?). Saying words like “peace” or “gratitude” reminds us to refocus on meaningful sentiments. We can also redirect our energy with a phrase like “Relax, this will pass”.
Here’s one to start with; when life’s all gutter balls, take a deep breath, then say, “Oh, that too,” and finish with a slight smile (smiling, also proven to bust stress). This can help us to accept whatever is happening without getting derailed. New favorite running shorts just melted in the drier? Oh, that too. You need what by when? Oh, that too. Three-year old fed the fish shredded cheese? Oh, that too. This phrase provides a quick pause so we can accept things as they are before heading into action.
Easily accessed from anywhere and adaptable to any situation, mantras’ effectiveness has withstood the test of time (unlike many books about stress). Give mantras a shot and watch stress dissolve from your life like shredded mozzarella in an aquarium.
While mantras aren’t exactly part of Think NewCo’s Framework for Focus™, we have other simple, actionable, scientifically proven and research backed ways for business leaders to decrease stress by maintaining clarity and improving focus. The result? Optimized performance both at work and #OutsideWork. Our experiential executive off-sites make mindfulness practice accessible to busy leaders and provide tangible ways for individuals and teams to find the signal in the noise while enjoying this Golden Age of Distraction.