There seems to be no end to the suggested tips and tricks for fighting stress during the holidays. But this week, your best stress-relieving strategy may come with delicious food, family time, and a chance to reflect on things for which you’re thankful. And although Thanksgiving is a great time to start, you can use the #1 best strategy for relieving stress all year long. Give thanks and practice it every day.
Give thanks as a strategic response to stressful circumstances.
Did you know that current research from many scientific disciplines reveals that when we focus on gratitude and thanksgiving, it upgrades your personal and professional performance? Put simply, it’s just easier to keep problems and concerns in the right perspective. It shifts a negative focus from worry, fear, and anxious thinking to a positive one filled with helpful emotions and beliefs. Even your brain chemistry transitions to a cascade of positive effects throughout your body.
Let’s get real! We often don’t feel like being thankful. But the good news is that even when you don’t FEEL thankful, you can still choose it as a focus. Since the human mind can actually only focus intensely on one thing at a time, thanksgiving will create positive momentum in every area of the human system, including how you feel about your circumstances.
Stress has so many causes, but every solution begins the same way.
Thanksgiving and gratitude are surefire stress relievers. And in the next few weeks, we’ll discuss some other strategies as well. But they all have the same step 1: A shift in focus.
Positive focus — It’s a common theme you’ll find in all of our InnerKinetics resources. Why? Because your focus builds intensity and ignites the use of your inner drives and strengths. After all, you can only find things you’re focused on looking for. Abandon your focus on the positive opportunities in your life, and your anxiety and stress will continue to build.
If you’re up for a challenge… become a “Give Thanks Expert.”
I find it easier to change my focus when challenged to do so. What about you? Since giving thanks is Stress-Relieving Strategy #1, here’s a special Thanksgiving Holiday Challenge to elevate your game to expert status.
Ask yourself 3 things:
- How far have you come already? Many of us have a backstory full of hard situations, lack of resources, and repeated loss of hope. Many of us have had a generally blessed life with only the occasional challenge. Regardless of your story so far, look at how far you’ve come and how much you’ve already worked through! It’s proof that you can repeat the successes you have had.
- How much further can you go? With an intense focus on the blessings you’ve received, what’s in your personal “arsenal”? What gifts, inner strengths, and good habits can you use to take you further? Whether your goals are personal or professional, you only get one go at reaching your greatest potential. Aim high!
- In your own life, WHO made sacrifices and chose to overcome challenges so that you could have a better start? Throughout the generations, your family is full of people who stared down obstacles and made sacrifices so that you could have an “upgrade.” Don’t make the mistake of overlooking the value of their choices. Even if you have to skip around, find the family stories that cause thankfulness to well up inside you.
More about Challenge Question #2 . . .
The Thanksgiving Holiday Challenge above can make you a thanks-giving expert if you’ll turn it into a habit. Not to mention, it can accelerate your performance toward meeting any goals you set. And Question #2 asks what gifts and inner strengths you possess that can take you further in your life. Our team at InnerKinetics would love to help you discover more on that front.
Give thanks, and discover the innate strengths that propel you toward your greatest potential.
Stay tuned next week when we discuss Stress Relief Strategy #2.