The ABCD of Stress Shifting


The unknown is the new normal. There are two aspects of the unknown that we have to face in the present world. The unknown of the outside and the unknown of our inside. When our mind becomes fixated on the unknown of the outside, we can feel helpless, out of control, and overwhelmed. The good news is if we turn our attention to the unknown of the inside, we can gain empowerment, a sense of control and an action plan that can reduce our stress, worry, and anxiety.

They're four easy letters to remember when we want to shift our stress and worry from the inside to a calm centered and creative mindset. They are the ABCDs of stress shifting. They correspond with the four steps of stress shifting that are taught in the stress shifting skills course.

A stands for Awareness. To be able to shift from stress and worry, we need to be aware that we've actually entered stress and worried thinking. In Awareness, we're able to face our own feelings, stress reactions, and thoughts. If we're not Aware of what we're doing, how can we do it differently?

B stands for Breath. Once we are able to face our stressors, we have to have the ability to calmly understand where they originated. After Awareness, we need to be able to take a Breath to bring us back to our center and to a calm state instead of a fight flight freeze stress reaction. By taking a breath, we can bring ourselves to balance and Focus on why we've had a stress reaction.

C stands for Choice. After being able to Face and Focus on our internal thinking, we foster insight and curiosity about our options and opportunities. Having the ability to make a Choice gives us Freedom. When we have a Choice, we don't feel trapped by our fears, shoulds, or shame and blame. Having the ability to make a Choice gives us a sense of control. With this control, we have Freedom of thought to take action.

D stands for Doing. Stagnation is a fight flight freeze response. It is often triggered with fear of the unknown. To counterbalance internal fear, the act of Doing is required. When one enters the Doing stage, the energy within ourselves begins to Flow. From this creative stage of Flow, new ideas, new empowerment, courage, and compassion come with greater ease.

As we face this unknown territory of the world today, we can be consumed by our fear or we can learn and grow. We can become part of the solution. Remember that Awareness, Breath, Choice, and Doing are the ABCDs of stress shifting that can reduce stress and worry. These ABCDs are an easy way to remember to grow and learn. We have the ability to Face our stressors, Focus on why they have captured our thinking, become Free to make a positive choice, and then enter the Flow of taking positive action and doing. 

What we do in this time of uncertainty is our choice. In every moment, we can always make a new choice. So join me making a positive choice one moment at a time. Moment by moment we can handle the unknown which is the new normal. By doing this, we can become stronger and healthier today and into the future. Learn more by taking the Stress Shifter Skills Course.