In real terms, stress is all in our heads. If we put together a room of one hundred people and created a stressful external event, for example, a stranger enters the room shouting and swinging a gun, there would not be one person in the room that experienced the state of stress in exactly the same way as another.

Some people may start screaming and trying to get out of the room. Some may rush to the protection of others and some many quietly assess what their options are. Keeping a cool head under stress ALWAYS helps to provide solutions.

The truism is that it is not what happens to you that dictates your experience. No, rather it is how you mentally respond to external events that dictates what your stress levels will be.

So, that's all very well but how do you change the mindset you have?

Well, you may think that the day to day choices you make are driven by your conscious mind. But that is not the case. Your subconscious mind is the driver behind the conscious mind. Everything you do is decided by past conditioning {programming if you like} of the subconscious. Over time, your subconscious learns to give you a set number of responses to challenges and stress.

So, that given, this means that you have to reprogram your subconscious mind doesn't it?

Yes that is correct.

But, that's not a five minute job is it?

No, but let's take it one day at a time and give you just a few pointers to help you get started.

1. Each morning ask yourself a GREAT question.
This could be something like
'What do I need to do today to reduce my stress levels?' or '
How can I find positive and creative ways to deal with difficult members of staff?'

Make sure the questions are positively framed and then forget about it.

You have given the subconscious mind a task and, over time, it will start to respond by finding you the answers as and when you need them.

2. Detach from the external events.
Practice imagining removing yourself from stressful situations. Imagine you are standing outside of the situation and looking down as an observer. Watch how you are reacting and don't judge your behaviour. Simply be curious and then ask yourself a powerful question like
'How could I handle these sorts of situations better?

3. Stop before you respond emotionally.
I suggest reading a great book by Daniel Goleman called Emotional Intelligence.
Learn to
think about your responses before you react. Before you snap and bite at someone, ask yourself questions like;-
'Will my reaction help to provide a positive solution to this situation?'
 Or, 'How am I really feeling?'
If you feel a flare of anger, identify is that anger is triggered by hurt or some other emotion. A knee jerk emotional response rarely shows the real feeling, but rather issues a displacement emotion to hide the real emotion.

These three things alone can and will make a massive difference to your response to stress. You won't change overnight as the subconscious mind needs a little work. But, if you practice a little each day, over time, you will find your responses to stress become far better.

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