Alright. Its Ethan Musolini the merchant of success. Welcome to another daily wisdom. I want to be connecting with you on a daily basis to share some topics especially the questions I have been receiving and as well those that you’re curious about. Just ask in the comment section every day with a question. I run a team organization called Success Africa where we do human resource training and consulting. Today’s question I really want to answer, how do you manage stress in moments of crisis?- especially in times like these. I want to share with you this from my heart. No script, no nothing. I just want to share from personal experience. I remember a couple of years ago I have been producing a video program on stress management. In the near future, I may have to give a special offer on that. But today I want to talk to you, to share with you what does it really take to manage stress in moments of crisis.
I want to give you quick fire-tips that you can use straight away today.
Psychology because the biggest key and the biggest battle is in your mind- the brains. How you respond to situations and one of the ways to really respond appropriately, in ways that won’t overstress you is to remind yourself that this too shall pass. Because when you think about It that way, it’s not a question of whether it will pass or not. Its a question of when? Now, when you know that this too one day shall pass, whatever you are going through, it may not be this lockdown crisis.
The tips I am sharing with you can be applied across the board anywhere or any moment of crisis.
So when you remind yourself that this too shall pass, then you are better, hopefully knowing that tomorrow will be better. Now, when you know that tomorrow will be better or the next minute will be better or the next miracle is around the corner, that alone changes everything.
From a place of hope and confidence about the future, that raises the spirits. And when your spirits are raised, then it means you will have more energy to be able to handle the stress that is around you. But when you don’t have hope, when you know that tomorrow things will get worse and then your spirits will go low, the energy goes low and that becomes a huge challenge.
So instead I want to remind yourself to that “this too shall pass.”
Ponder for lesson/reason for the crisis
The second way to manage your stress in challenging times or in a crisis is to ask yourself this fundamental question. This has served me for years. I mean this is guaranteed to serve you. Ask yourself, “I am wondering the gift in this? Please God tell me what’s the gift in this? What’s the lesson in this? What’s the insight in this?”
I really believe from my heart of hearts that everything happens for a reason and that reason is usually good. Even though you and I don’t see it at that moment, but in a bigger skim of things, in God’s economy, so to speak, there is a reason why you are going through what you are going through. There is a reason why I am going through what I am going through. There is a reason why the world Is going through what it is going through right now.
You and I may not have all the answers now, but years down the road, it might mean days, it might mean months, we will then say, “Aaah now I can see why that happened, okay.”
I can guarantee you if you look back through your life for all the different challenges or crisis, so to speak that you have gone through, am sure months of years later you were like, “Oh, now I can see why I went through that, Oh now I can see why I was fired off my job, Oh now I can see, why that relationship didn’t go through, Oh now I can see, why I lost this position, Oh now I can see why I went through this blockage.”
So in life, God puts moments which I will ‘turning points’ in our lives, in our business lives, in our career lives, in our relationships, in our health, whatever you want to call it. This could be created by God or self-creation, whatever it is, but there is always that reason why it’s happening.
So, once you remind yourself from a psychological perspective to seek lessons, that’s incredibly powerful. For example, you can imagine the two psychological frames for one says, “oh why is it me going through this?”- you are winding and complaining and cursing. Then, another person is in the frame of, “Alright, I do not necessarily like this. I am just curious, am going to be patient, am going to be alert to figure out what the reason could be.” Now if you compare the two, definitely, the later person who is patient and will keep finding reasons why they will be in a much healthier state which reduces their stress levels in moments of crisis. From a psychological standpoint, that is huge. That’s the ‘biggie’ as I like to call it. So think at that level. From a psychological perspective.
Separate emotions from events
This is what I mean and I learned it from one of the teachers ago. ‘Usually, we attach the feeling to an event and that’s where the stress, the strain, the pain usually comes from.’ This is what I mean, let us just suppose, you are driving and all of a sudden, you discover the road is cut off. There is a diversion and you are rushing for an appointment that is a deal-breaker. If you are caught late by even 3 minutes, you know the deal is gone.
So there is a way to settle this, the road has been diverted, its critical moment, its turning point and so at that moment you can choose to panic and then start shouting. There you generate a lot of negative emotions in your body. Now what is happening in that moment, someone asks you, “what happened? What’s going on?” and then you are like, “Can’t you see that the road is blocked and I have to go the other place?, so it makes me mad.” In other words, you are linking madness to the closing of the road in that moment. So you are connecting the two; the event and the emotion.
But the trick is to remind yourself that, look, ‘here is what am feeling, and here is an event and the two are different.’ now when you de-link, when you separate the two and just say, “Mmh look, just a road was closed, so the road is closed does not mean being angry. But rather it’s me who is connecting the two.” There you need to separate the two. So you need to remind yourself, de-link the two. I was sharing that tip with one of my private coaching clients because I noticed most of the clients, partially what I coach them is around psychology. And she said, that was one of the most powerful insights she has ever realized. when you learn to separate the two, then you can look at them as detached and so, different. With a detaching mindset, that will make a big difference in how you think and handle issues around the world. So start to remind yourself that it’s just an event and that event, does not equal to emotion. And once you separate the two then it dramatically reduces the pressures around you. Which brings up the next point, which is
Positively interpret the situation
At any moment you have a choice, to label, to describe, to interpret the situation in ways that you choose and you can choose to interpret the situation in ways that serve you. For example, let’s just suppose, again back to the travel situation. The road has been diverted. So you can choose again to be in that moment, “Oh now its trouble, I am in disguise, why am I amidst all this kind scenario? God why? ” or you can say, “You know what, its an opportunity for me to listen to some audios that I have in my car. ” Say, “Well I have an opportunity to listen to some music, books, I have ample time. ” You can also say, “ you know what, this is a good reminder for me to always go for the meeting 30 minutes ahead of time. To set it as a target rather than being on the dot, to be 30 minutes ahead of time.” So you are choosing to interpret it differently. For example this disastrous coronavirus situation, we are going through the lockdown, business closure among others. For me, it’s a reminder to always have enough reserves in all aspects; financially, food, health because anything can happen at any moment. So for me, that’s one of the ways I am looking at this. When you think about it that way, then It becomes a lesson rather than a pain. It becomes a lesson rather than a frustration, it becomes a lesson, rather than a curse. So when you look at it that way, it reduces the mental stress you have on your mind around what’s going on.
Be grateful for life
We are literally in a lock, in most countries you can’t just move anywhere because of Corona Virus, and as such because of people’s movements are limited. Most people can’t work or do that. So that’s the situation we are in and we don’t know how long it will last.
This is teaching me to be grateful for the gift of life and the little things. So now am appreciating the things I was taking for granted at a deeper level. Whether its to be able to go to the office, to be able to use my car to move around, and to be able to not worry that the shops may close. You know, things I was literally taking for granted. So its really reminding me to be super grateful for each and everything. So when I look at that, I am like, okay this experience is one of my biggest teachers. So when you look at the experience as your teacher then, alot shifts, alot changes in your mind or your psychology in this particular aspect. So when you do that, the stress level diminishes. Again, because like I said stress, is 80% here (brain), the psychology and 20% the circumstance. The reason why I am saying circumstance when things happen, I am not saying you are going to be super happy. It’s not that what’s happening here I am super happy. No, not at all.
Having said that, its how do I respond? How do I think about this and am giving you tools on how to think, on how to interpret this situation or different situations beyond even what’s going on today. It could be anything in your life. It could be something as simple as, having an appointment with a friend and it doesn’t happen. So you have a choice.
Whenever I have an appointment with someone and they don’t appear on time, I would appear mad. I would get stressed, so to speak, I would get mad. So now I have learnt that. It’s okay to think about it from the perspective of, ‘who knows, this person may have had a big challenge in their life that’s why they are not appearing.’ or ‘it could be this is not the perfect time for us, am sure we will meet another time. Hmm, in God’s economy there must be a big reason why we are not here at this particular spot or this particular moment.’ And when I think about it that way, again stress level lowers. What I want to let you know is stuff happens and if you really want to make things happen in your life then you have to pay attention to whats going on. Most importantly whats going on in your mind.
I will give you one last tip for this case, not psychology but physiology and that is…
Smile often, smile. Because apparently, when you frown you use 112 muscles. When you smile 113 muscles, meaning when you smile a lot you use less energy. You send endorphins in your system. Guess what, you also look more attractive. So smile as often as possible to make a huge difference in your life. The other physiological tip for you is…
Take time and sleep
Find a way to get ample sleep as much as possible, whatever that means to you. You know what is recommended is 7-8 hours. In my personal experience, I think anything below 6 hours I seem not to function at my best. So when you sleep enough then you get enough resilience- physical resilience within you.
So let me know for you, what your thoughts about, how do manage stress? I have more tips that I will share with you in the near future and if you want to engage a little more, let me know. If you want me to post these kinds of episodes and most importantly what you want me to talk about because one of you guys on this page asked me to talk about stress management. So that’s how I ended up talking about stress. So what else do you want me to talk about?
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Till then, you be well and be strong, be healthy, be safe, and most importantly, keep blessing the world and thriving. God bless.