We are in the middle of it: the season of giving AND receiving. You know how you’ll be “receiving” some family and friend obligations you never receive except during this time of the year? Once you CHOOSE to receive, you now get to choose your attitude and behavior. Last month, I shared two tips on how to choose:
1. Check your mental baggage.
2. Know what you can and what you can’t control.
Here are two more:
3. Practice the fine art of patience.
Another key element of blessing your stress is to practice “wait lifting,” or the ability to wait and have patience in today’s 24/7, frenetic “now” culture. Patience is how you handle the wait of the world. By starting with the “light waits”–the computer doesn’t boot up fast enough or the traffic light takes too long to change–you can work up to medium and heavy waits.
We work in businesses where we cultivate long-term clients. Those of you with the most patience are the most successful! Think of your family as your oldest long-term clients! Practice lightening the “wait.” We transform our perspective and get more out of life when we retrain our brain.
Other experts reinforce these suggestions. As the American Institute of Stress website notes, “Stress is not always necessarily harmful…Increased stress results in increased productivity—up to a point. However, this level differs for each of us. It’s very much like the stress on a violin string. Not enough produces a dull, raspy sound. Too much tension makes a shrill, annoying noise or snaps the string. However, just the right degree can create a magnificent tone. Similarly, we all need to find the proper level of stress that allows us to perform optimally and make melodious music as we go through life.” Love that; it’s one reason I wrote the book Necessary Roughness. Athletes know this perfect balance as adrenaline.
4. Make full use of your “Internal Whistle.”
This means what it means in football. To stop the action, the whistle blows. We need to take a deep breath and take stock before letting a stress trigger or a whiney nephew make you go nuts and say something you’ll regret.
And before you scream at your aunt for using her very best crystal, when she knows at least six children under the age of 3 will be running by her table for two hours before the dinner, blow your internal whistle and take a deep breath.
At the end of the day, and holiday, it comes down to cultivating the rare quality of perspective. Your can find the entire process of blessing your stress in my book: Bless Your Stress. Besides decking the halls, be sure to play the deck you’re dealt and bless your trump card. It may be that you are still alive to celebrate! Remember: there are at least 10 ways your holiday table with those people is better than that hospital bed. Trust me, I know. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. So have a merry month ahead, and get into the New Year’s spirit.