No Need To Worry, Cupcake (6 Stress Less Strategies)

http://ownyourcupcake.comMost humans spend a lot of their time worrying. We worry about the future, about the past. We worry about our physical looks, our diets, our schedules, our families. We worry about serious things such as our health or loved ones. We worry about less serious things such as matching socks, or which toothpaste will make our teeth look the whitest. And society is only more than happy to help remind us that if we are not worried, we should be. Most of the time, there is no need to worry, Cupcake. In fact, unnecessary stress may impede the success or take the  joy out of simply living your life.

THE REAL REASON WE WORRYhttp://ownyourcupcake.com

Worry is usually caused by fear of the unknown. The brain has two basic jobs: 1) to keep us safe so that we may keep the Earth populated, and 2) to keep us as far away as possible from anything that causes pain, as the brain perceives any pain as harmful.  Fear is created from a combination of brain messages from our past as our brain attempts to create a hypothetical future. This future image is not real, because our past memories come from something we may have seen, heard, read, or even imagined. So, unless we are in immediate danger (there is a piano about to fall on your head, your house is on fire and you are in it), we should just relax.

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However, this is really hard to remember, let alone do, when one is right in the middle of a glorious panic attack. Here are six things you can do to help you deal with unnecessary worry.

 

 

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff, Cupcake. I don’t worry about mismatched socks—hey, it’s part of my charm—and I couldn’t care less about if my dogs’ leashes match their “dog park” collars (I leave that part to my husband). I drive my husband crazy with some of the things that I handle with complete nonchalance. There are times when he may be right:  one time, there were close to twenty black labs in our dog park, and all of them had red collars around their necks. We identified our dog easily because he wore a bright green collar with reflective paint on it. Point: Dave. Which is why I leave that kind of unnecessary stress and worry to him. 🙂 Just don’t talk to me about matching shoes (another post for another day).

 

2. Do something nice for someone for no other reason than you canredheartcupcake. Studies show that when we show compassion or kindness, our brain waves change and we feel better almost immediately. So, get to baking, get to writing, get to doing something that will benefit you and the world.

 

 

 

3. Life is all about Plan B. Remember your intent. Click To Tweet My first few years of teaching, I would plan these amazing lessons. They would fail miserably in class (the kids were not on my planet; shame on them). I had to learn how to teach the same lesson in a different way. Immediately. It’s “the show must go on” mentality. I would focus on what I wanted the kids to learn, no matter what, and then I would teach it another way. My lesson: prepare. And when something goes wrong, stay focused on the goal and be creative. Your amygdala will kick in and help.

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4.  Ask yourself, “Is this going to matter in twenty years?” Decide if something is important to your well-being and your future. If it is, making it happen does not mean you have to give yourself a headache. Andy Shaw, creator of A Bug Free Mind, suggests that you picture yourself succeeding, then do everything possible to convince others around you that you will succeed at this. Barnet Bain (The Book of Doing and Being) suggests that you focus on one part of yourself that you think may stop you, and make it stronger so it is no longer a reason to be afraid. Christie Marie Sheldon asks two questions after you decide what is important to you: 1) What thought process is stopping you (then she guides you into “deleting” this thought), and 2) What will it take to succeed?

Do you see what all of these Masters of the Mental Game have in common? tell your ego to shut up or take a hike so you can get on with your life and achieve your goal. Click To TweetImagine yourself succeeding, and let the amygdala tell your brain all the possible ways that you can attain your dream.

5.  There is no such thing as just one, Cupcake! If you feel very uncomfortable doing something alone (you don’t have enough experience, or you have no idea how to start even though you know where you want to end), ask for help! This is extremely hard for some of us. Society tells us that in order to portray ourselves as strong and independent, we need to do everything all by our little lonesomes. I ask you to read some cognitive theory, such as Lev Vygotsky, who claimed back in 1971 that “what (a person) can do in cooperation today, (she) can do alone tomorrow.” We are human. By our own DNA, we are social creatures. If you study successful people, you will find that they usually have a support system (friends, family, trusted employees) to help them stay on task, or to help them do things that seem complicated (but that someone else finds easy). It is ok to ask for help. We learn things all the time. It is not nearly as painful as it seems. Welcome to my planet. 🙂

 

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Photo courtesy of www.marinacottage.com

6.  Give yourself permission to take a time-out. Do something that relaxes you. Most of the time when I am working on a paper, it is the moment when I am furthest away from my assignment that all the ideas assault me. I now have notebooks and pens everywhere. Science has proven that if you can either become excited about your goal or you can relax and totally not think about it, your brain will help you solve a problem or find a path to accomplish your goal. Getting excited is easy at first; it’s when we have not reached our goal in our self-imposed time-frame that we become stressed. Go for a walk or a run. Take a warm bath. Light some candles and play great music. Drink some wine. Binge on some bad TV show.  Go do something fun with friends! Allow yourself to stop worrying, and feel what happens when you do something kind for yourself.

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So, what happens when a Cupcake stops worrying all together?

 

I have no idea. I still haven’t mastered this part of my life. If you have read my past blogs, you know that I am not perfect. Other people claim that their lives are immeasurably better. Doctors claim it lowers blood pressure and heart attacks. All I can do is offer to share my strategies that help me to get through the day with a minimum of gray hairs or hyperventilation, and sleep like a baby during the night.

So, Cupcake, what are some strategies you use to help you relax when your ego tells you that it is time to be afraid? Feel free to share, as you are sending out a karma boomerang.

http://ownyourcupcake.comAs always, let me know how it’s going, and stay frosted!

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20 thoughts on “No Need To Worry, Cupcake (6 Stress Less Strategies)

  1. I am certain that you have tapped into my mind and are trying to sort things out for me. I have three (yes 3) laundry baskets of socks that I can’t quite match and can’t quite get rid of. It is on my chore list every day!

    Right now it is 5:08 am and I am already on plan dd (which means I have already been through the alphabet once and I am going through the second time.)

    I think it is time for a lobotomy.

    1. Trenna, don’t you DARE to anything to that marvelous brain of yours! Wear the socks under boots. Or use them for dusting rags. Gasp! Or use them in your she-shed project! As for plan did, I say skip the plan and go with your gut. Intent trumps the best laid plans. 🙂 Hug!

    1. Gisele, it’s hard to stop worrying over anything, so kudos to you for letting go of the little things. 🙂

  2. I wrote a great comment & got timed out & it disappeared. It was clever, lots of puns and personal. Can’t recreate it & dont want to loss another one, so Ill just end with a similar thought: My hubby worries for everyone & I never learned that I had to.

    1. Roz, I know the feeling! I wrote a great comment three times about how I would have loved to read your personal puns, but my phone wouldn’t let me! Thanks for hanging in there for me! 🙂

  3. Interesting that you have shared 2 of my own tactics to fend off those awful Stressy-poo Gremlins, Liz. I think it is safe to say that ‘Great Minds Think Alike’ 🙂

    On a more serious note, when telling myself that I shouldn’t sweat the small stuff (from the book of the same title) doesn’t make a dent, I remind myself that in the long run nothing matters and yes, even the question whether I will regret something 20 years down the line.

    Other than that, I prefer to drink a glass of water and say a prayer telling God I’m handing over the matter to him and get on with it. Funny, but things work out. 🙂

    1. Vatsala, we have the same computer Gremlins, too. 🙂 I think my first book about stress was “Who Moved My Cheese?” but it had the same principles. God takes care of my problems, as well, even when I do not think He is at the time. “Great Minds,” indeed! 🙂 Maybe this is why your posts resonate with me so much.

  4. If we humans could truly learn to not sweat the small stuff, life would be so much less stressful. I love the idea of taking the focus off ourselves and doing something kind for someone else. This always helps get you out of your “me” mentality. Great tips and all very doable as well, Liz. The idea of being in the flow and not reacting to life, is a big goal for so many of us, who are finding that life is meant to feel good and be lived in the moment. I also love the “will this matter in 20-years?” question, as most of the time…it won’t! One thing I have been doing lately when I feel stressed is to ask myself “Who does this belong to?”, as often we take on things that aren’t even ours. Once we know it is someone else’s we can let it go and get back in the flow of our life!

    1. Beverley, that question of “Who does this belong to?” is a great one, and you are so astute in noticing that often, the problems we feel are not ours! I hope that others know this, as well, because once we learn that we have no control over others our lives seem to be easier overall. Thank you for such a wonderful response, Cupcake! 🙂

  5. I have found through the years that a lot of the things I have stressed about were out of my control.

    So the outlook now is, if I have direct control to do something about it, then do it. If I can’t control the out come, then I accept it and move on. Lets face it, too much stress just leads to more stress.

    1. Joe, isn’t it funny how we try to control everything, and then we stress over everything we cannot control? Even typing this makes my head hurt! I’m so glad you’re one of the lucky ones who have figured out that there is a better way to live. Yay! Way to go, Cupcake. 🙂

  6. Hi Liz 🙂

    Really enjoyed your post! Was nodding my head the whole time and thinking I really need to learn how to utilize some of these awesome stress less strategies! Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Joan, I say “thank you” with sincere gratitude because I am such a fan of your page, lol, so thank you for the compliment. Let me know if you try one that works better than the others. 🙂

    1. Tammy, I think it is interesting that most of us have learned this lesson while dealing in the Corporate world. I’m glad you found a way to shake all that stress out!

  7. Great blog Liz! I work (but used to volunteer) in a care facility for people in wheelchairs (Spinal bifida and cerebral palsy). I found that they are very happy and always have smiles on their faces. When I see that, things I worry about are nothing comparing to what those people are facing. Also taking a break is very important. We can’t sprint 24/7. In order to keep it long, we need to enjoy our journey 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    1. Kaz, you always have the best stories! Thank you for sharing yours here, and for reminding us to enjoy our journey, no matter where we are! 🙂 You’re my kind of cupcake!

  8. Another great reminder for me today. I experience worry by freezing and feeling overwhelmed. I’m going to take your advice and tell my ego to take a hike…I got this! Though some days I have it together better than others.

    1. Tamara, You got this in spades, girl! And take Vatsala’s advice of drinking hot water in sips. It helps calm your system down.

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