Today, I’ll share the best tips I use for stress management in Toronto as a life coach.
Wondering how to ease stress at work?
Are kids putting too much pressure on you?
I bet stress is getting the best of you.
The truth is you can bring stress under control effortlessly for a stress-free, joyful life.
Tip 1: Acknowledge the stress and breathe deeply.
Use this tool to prevent stress when you feel it rising in you.
Let me illustrate how I used it recently for stress management while picking up an order from a Toronto restaurant.
My son Denis went in to get the order and I waited outside.
He was supposed to get back immediately but ended up spending 20 minutes there.
Because we were on a tight schedule that evening, I felt stress rising in me.
I wanted to rush into the restaurant to see what’s going on.
Instead, I waited patiently.
How did I do it?
- The first step was acknowledging the stress. I took about 30 seconds to thank my subconscious mind for protecting me with the stress.
- The second step was managing stress with breathing. As I went into the stress mode, my breathing stifled. I then made a conscious effort to breathe in for a count of 2 and exhale for a count of 4.
That’s how I was able to feel calm again.
Body-mind feedback loop
Breathing helps ease stress because our body and mind are a feedback loop.
When we feel stress, it triggers a neuro-association between shallow breathing and stress.
But by getting our breathing under control, we trigger another neuro-association—between deep breathing and calmness.
Tip 2: Use an anchor to combat stress.
Another neuro-associative tool for releasing stress is an anchor.
An anchor is an action or a thing that you associate with a specific state of mind.
Creating an anchor for stress management
- When you are in a peaceful state of mind, make it a habit to do something specific. It could be as simple as touching a ring on your finger.
- It will take about one month of wiring this neuro-association into your mind: when I touch the ring, I feel calm.
- Test your anchor in a stressful situation: touch the ring and check if you feel calmer.
- If you do, congratulations! Otherwise, work more on wiring your mind with this anchor.
My anchor for releasing stress
I straighten up to cope with stress.
This is my anchor to go into a peaceful and resourceful state.
And I keep training and using this neuro-association every day:
- When I feel great after a workout, I straighten up deliberately.
- When I feel stress while working on my laptop, I straighten up and feel calmer.
Choose any anchor you like.
You can use any anchor that makes sense to you.
In fact, simple anchors such as touching a ring or making an ousting gesture might work better than more complex ones.
Don’t overthink it—just start training.
The power of an anchor lies in the strength of the neuro-association behind it.
It builds like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it gets.
Tip 3: Practice meditation.
Meditation has two benefits in terms of stress management:
- It makes you more grounded and therefore less prone to stress.
- It improves your ability to control your thoughts, which makes it possible to “disconnect” from stressful thoughts.
The more you meditate, the stronger your “disconnection muscle” becomes and the faster you can cope with stress.
Speaking of muscle, my favorite motivator Arnold Schwarzenegger used meditation early on in his career to tune out stress.
I did 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night, and I would say within 14 days or three weeks, I got to the point where I could really disconnect my mind… and learn how to focus more and calm down.
A transcendental meditation teacher Chris Greathead explains the value of meditation:
People take up meditation for many reasons, but one of the things it has become most well-known for is an incredibly effective way of managing stress.
Tip 4: Write down and prioritize your tasks.
The idea behind this tip is that we feel overwhelmed by having too many things to do.
But by writing them all down, we get them off our mind and thus release stress.
My unexpected trip story
Last February, I was very busy, juggling many tasks.
And then boom: my son Denis had an unexpected school vacation due to a flu outbreak.
I put all the tasks on the back-burner and took him on a snowboarding trip.
How did I do that without feeling guilty or overwhelmed?
First, I had all my tasks written down.
This reduced the pressure they exerted on my subconscious mind.
When we keep a vague task on our mind, we feel anxious about it because the mind doesn’t know when we will work on it.
But after “downloading” it to another medium, our mind calms down because it knows that we will return to it at some point.
Second, I prioritized my tasks.
My family is my number one priority.
Spending quality time with my son was the highest priority task at that moment.
I felt good about putting other big tasks on hold, not guilty.
Follow this process
- Keep all your tasks written down in an app such as Nozbe or in a notepad.
- Assign priority to each task.
- Start with your top priority task.
You can take stress management with this method even further with journaling.
When you journal about your thoughts and ideas, you get them off your mind and reduce the stress they might be causing.
Tip 5: Use coaching in Toronto for stress management.
The quickest way to tame stress is to work with a coach.
You might waste years trying to do this on your own whereas coaching can bring results in a few sessions.
As a stress management coach in Toronto, I work with clients in-person or online to help them enjoy a stress-free life.
Take action now instead of postponing it indefinitely.
Contact me for a free session to see that profound change is possible.