When it comes to stress management, you won’t find any magic beans, magic pills, or magic wands here. If you’ve been following these writings, it’s clear that the focus is not on quick fixes and temporary solutions. It’s about discovering lasting, permanent solutions that strengthen you from the inside out and lighten the load of stressors you carry.
Stress can often feel overwhelming, causing us to overlook simple solutions or dismiss them as insignificant. But in the realm of stress management, the opposite holds. Returning to the fundamentals and embracing the basics is the key to less stress in life. And it all begins with embracing five magic words. And yes, there is a little magic involved here;
Too often, your language confines you, keeps you thinking small, and traps you in your limited perspective. This triggers your stress response, making you feel trapped, just like a caged animal. The more options and possibilities you see in a situation, the less your stress response is triggered.
Replace limiting words with the word AND. Words like either/or, but, however, this/that keep you small, stuck, and stressed. When you introduce AND, possibilities become boundless. “I want to bring my income to the next level AND reduce stress.” With AND, you can create win-win-win situations. Sometimes, it might take a bit longer AND the results are worth it.
Complete this sentence: “I am…”
How you finish this sentence holds tremendous power. It reveals much about your current situation and trajectory, whether you’re moving forward or staying stagnant.
To increase the amount of positivity you feel, you first start with increasing the amount of positivity you think. It’s common to forget that your brain creates the biological impulses you interpret as feelings. Your thoughts don’t come with the intense responses your feelings do. Feelings about joy, passion, happiness, desire, and less stress start with what you tell yourself.
Return to that sentence, “I am…,” and add the word “ENOUGH.” Just one word, offering grace. “I am ENOUGH.” When you start believing it, you’ll discover the courage to try new things, achieve, take risks, and accomplish more. When you believe you are enough, magic happens.
Your brain has safeguards you don’t even realize are there. When you set goals and don’t achieve them, it’s easy to feel so disheartened, disappointed, guilty and stressed that your brain discourages you from doing that ever again. It’s why many people find goal setting so daunting and avoid setting themselves up for failure.
Yet, there is a word that gives us hope. A word that, when used regularly, provides the positive energy to keep going. It permits you to take even the smallest of baby steps. Change is hard, and you feel there are only two options: 1) keep going and deal with the pain and hardship, or 2) give up. Yet, there is a third option: to change your level of expectation of the journey. Instead of thinking you should lose 10 pounds in a month, give yourself a year. If you are in a struggling relationship, say you haven’t worked it out YET. Your business isn’t collecting what you dreamed it would YET. You haven’t figured it out YET. It’s a simple word with incredible power—the power of hope, wishfulness, and dreams.
If you want to have more, achieve more, get more, make more so you can spend more, you have to want to be more than your current self. Period.
Your first step in this personal growth journey is to get very comfortable with this beautiful word, MORE. It’s easy to shy away from MORE as the connotation often instills greed, unappreciativeness, and materialism. “You should be happy with what you have” is a typical response from others when discussing your dissatisfaction with your current situation or desire to have more. Yet, when used properly, it propels you to your next level of best work.
To leverage the magic of MORE, include it in your questions, not your statements. For example:
Statement: “I want more.”
Question: “How can I do more?”
Statement: “I want to produce more.”
Question: “How can I serve more?”
Statement: “I want to have more.”
Question: “How can I offer more services?”
Statement: “I want more As in school.”
Question: “How can I study/retain more?”
Changing how you use MORE is the key. It’s a compelling word that can inspire you to reach your full potential.
Consider how often you hear, say, or think “no” in a day. It’s likely more than you realize, as it’s easy to become conditioned to reject offers and invitations quickly. But what about MAYBE? It resides in the neutral zone, providing time for thought, consideration, and wonder. MAYBE leaves the door open for possibilities. In the fast-paced world, taking a moment to breathe and consider MAYBE can reduce stress and introduce a touch of magic into your life. You never know what you might say yes to if you first consider MAYBE.
Now, what do you do? You possess the power to shape your future and reduce stress, even if it’s just a little. Follow these steps:
Write down the five magical words where you’ll see them easily—mirrors, car dashboard, computer screen, and phone wallpaper.
Share these words with your tribe, family, and friends. Encourage each other to use these words in your conversations.
Infuse these words into your notes, social media posts, and documents to create positivity.
Practice envisioning scenarios where you confidently use these words. Mental rehearsal is as effective as public role-playing.
Now, you have the tools to embark on a journey towards a less stressful and more content life.