Here are three ways to increase your mastery in responding to stress author Laurie J. Cameron:
• Shift how you interpret your body’s signals: How we interpret events in our lives regulates how stressful we feel. What if we interpreted the body’s signals as providing energy, power, and drive to succeed? The next time you feel stress coming on, consider those feelings are mobilizing you for action.
• Choose a different perspective: Our mindsets drive how we interpret stress. As we become more mindful, we are able to witness our thoughts and see when we are creating internal self-talk that fuels negative narrative. Choosing seeing stressful events as temporary, seeing yourself as empowered to take action, not a victim of circumstance, and seeing events as opportunities to increase resilience.
• Train with the Body Scan meditation: A core mindfulness meditation practice is to sit quietly and systematically direct attention from one body part to the next, starting at the top of the head and moving to the feet (or vice versa). This strengthens the insula, the part of the brain associated with the capacity for interoception (a lesser-known sense that aids understanding of what’s going on inside our bodies). This capacity is at the heart of being aware, empathetic, and emotionally agile. As we learn to shift the body’s response to stress, we open up space for self-compassion and skillful action for ourselves and others.
About Laurie J. Cameron: Mindful leadership expert Laurie J. Cameron is author of “The Mindful Day: Practical Ways to Find Focus, Calm, and Joy From Morning to Evening.” Laurie is founder and CEO of PurposeBlue, an organization that leads evidence-based mindful leadership programs. Used with permission of the author.