Stress is probably the major factor behind most illnesses in our modern world. A little stress is natural and even necessary, but for most of us, living fast-paced and frenetic lives, and especially for women in the world of business, it’s way out of hand. Our bodies and metabolism weren’t designed to cope with the level of stress we have to live with nowadays. Whether it’s work, or our partners, kids, money, or all at once, we’re under pressure. We even worry about being worried!
Long term and constant stress has a major impact on our health and well-being. It’s been linked to heart problems, cancer, digestive problems, autoimmune conditions, strokes, bowel disease, and even obesity and diabetes because under stress we can’t digest our food properly.
Under stress our levels of cortisone, adrenaline and insulin go way up, while functions like the release of enzymes for proper digestion, the production of healing chemicals like melatonin, and restoration and repair of our cells and bodily organs, get reduced. This is fine if it’s only for a short time, as was designed. But when stress becomes our permanent condition, it’s a recipe for serious health problems. Something more to worry about!
Most of us know the value of eating properly, getting exercise, getting enough sleep, but sometimes its easier said than done. Maybe we practice some form of stress reduction already, like meditation or yoga. That’s fantastic, but still sometimes we need an instant way to stay super calm in a stressful situation, or a way to regroup quickly when something unexpected happens.
What follows is an NLP technique known as ‘setting and anchor’, and you’ll find it can be incredibly helpful. Here’s what to do.
Setting an Anchor
Choose a Quiet Place
Find a quite place where you won’t be disturbed. Sit down, close your eyes, and relax for a few minutes with deep, calm breathing. Now cast your mind back to a time when you were deeply, beautifully relaxed, and felt truly calm and at peace with yourself and the world. Maybe you were on holiday, relaxing by a beautiful beach or pool. Or maybe you were having a luxurious massage.
Recall in your mind what you experienced at that time. What could you see? Recall it in detail, in colour. What could you hear? What could you feel around you? Could you smell anything? Get as much sensory detail as you can. Some senses will be stronger for you than others, that’s normal.
Keep breathing deeply and really let yourself sink into that beautiful setting of peace and relaxation, Let go and enjoy it. How does your body feel now? Think how great it would be if you could call up those feelings of inner peace, contentment and relaxation whenever you wanted to.
Think if you could feel peace, strength and vitality coursing through you at will. Imagine that sensation now.
Set the Anchor
Now choose a simple gesture that will be unobtrusive and easily repeatable. Placing your forefinger and thumb together is a good one. Or, put the tips of your fingers together. If you prefer you can choose a word like ‘peace’ or ‘serenity’, or whatever best represents that state for you.
Set the intention that whenever you repeat that action or repeat that word in your mind, the feelings flowing through your body right now, the feelings of that peaceful setting, will come back to you.
Now think of a setting in which you would normally be uptight and stressed. Play it through and use your anchor. How different do you feel? Try it out with several more situations.
Known that whenever you need to, as you go about your daily life, when you feel anxious and stressed you can instantly call on your anchor and have access once again to the strong and peaceful sensations you have just created.
And that’s all there is to it!
If you’d like to find out more about why your mind works the way it does – and how knowing a few simple ‘rules of the mind’ can be of huge benefit to you – download my free ebook, User’s Manual for Your Mind, by clicking HERE.