Under stress we ‘magnify’ who we are. What in the world does that mean?
When you boil anything down, the water evaporates and whatever substance was there becomes more intense and solid. Under pressure we do the same.
When you are stressed do you get short-tempered, abrupt, cut people off and excuse it by saying “I was just so stressed!” Or do you swallow the frustration and let it eat away inside of you? Both create havoc inside and outside.
Stress is not any particular event or even a busy schedule. Stress is how we perceive an event through our filters and how we choose to respond. In the past a messy house was truly stressful to me. The kicker was that ‘messy’ meant the vacuum lines in our plush white carpet weren’t parallel! For many of you, just having the carpet vacuumed would have released your stress! Clearly the carpet wasn’t the stressor!
I’ve learned I can be mindful of my behavior when I’m not in stress and that helps me when things get a bit more ‘challenging.’ Here are some of my favorite strategies that I practice when I’m not stressed so that they are more available the rest of the time.
- Breathe! Simply breathing allows my body to relax and my brain to step outside of feeling threatened.
- Relax the jaw. When we feel threatened, our jaws automatically tighten. As I breathe, I relax my jaw, which in turn relaxes my eyes and my face. Facial expressions relax and that keeps us all younger!
- Smile! It is really hard to be stressed when you have a genuine smile on your face an in your heart. I practice this often as I go around the house. I find it is working, as it is so much easier to smile for pictures and look natural! (What do your pictures say about your smile?)
Instead of letting the magnifying glass show you as an uptight, abrupt woman or man, let your breathing, relaxing and smile say that you are an absolute delight to be around. You will magnify one way or the other. Might as well choose the one that serves you best!