You know those moments when something stressful happens and you lose your s***? Yeah, me neither….
Whether it’s your kid screaming, sitting on hold with the IRS, someone swooping in and snagging the parking spot you were clearly headed to, or your in-laws visiting, we all have situations in life that we can’t always control. But as a wise person once said, “we can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we respond to it.”
Yeah, easier said than done Señor Wise Person! Do you KNOW how many directions I’m being pulled in? How can I just “choose my response?!”
Well, as Dan Harris, the author, journalist, and co-founder of the successful meditation app 10% Happier explains in this super short video, we do this through mindfulness. Check it out:
Mindfulness is a superpower, indeed. As anyone who has practiced mindfulness for an extended period of time will tell you, it just makes life easier. Chronic stress may be a social construct that feels scary to break away from, but the reality is that it’s maladaptive to be stressed all of the time. It is literally killing us. Thanks to extensive research on the subject, we know this. We also know, and I’m sure will continue to learn more, that meditation and mindfulness are possible keys to breaking free from the confines of chronic stress.
Meditation and mindfulness are called practices for a reason. You don’t meditate a couple of times and suddenly you have healthier blood pressure, more creativity, less anxiety, and better sleep. It’s a gradual process, and you’ll certainly slip into the habitual pattern of stress over and over again. But what practicing mindfulness allows you to do is to not get so jerked around by things that used to really throw you off your center.
I guide bi-weekly guided meditations at Lender Toolkit for our team. If this isn’t something your company offers, then take the time to discover it for yourself. Dan Harris’s meditation app, 10% Happier is a fantastic resource (and check out his free podcast by the same name to hear more experts), as is the free app, Insight Timer. Both of these have all of the tools you need to start some kind of meditation and/or mindfulness practice. One of the tools I taught at our recent summit was the SNBRR technique (see below). Save it for later so that you too can benefit from such a simple, yet powerful mindfulness practice. Whenever you feel stressed, try walking through this process: