12 Skills for Reducing Stress
The complete 12 Skills Video Course is now available (for free) in the member’s area. The format is a series of 12 videos that you can watch on your phone or on your computer. If you prefer a short video introduction go to the home page of this site and scroll down to the fourth video, “12 Skills Course.”
The 12 skills play well in the sandbox of your mind and are useful for reducing stress, controlling anger, and working with a wide range of negative emotions. In order to lure you into watching it, I am trying different approaches to introduce the video course and why it’s worth your time. Here is why the 12 Skills course can be helpful for reducing stress:
- Our negative thought patterns are a huge source of unnecessary stress
- We don’t change our negative thoughts because we either can’t see them or we don’t know what to do with them
- In order to identify and change our pesky negativity and reduce stress, we need both left and right brain methods
- The 12 Skills for Honest Optimism provide steps and tools for tapping into both the rational and artistic sides of the brain
Unnecessary Stress is Emotional Static
When we think about peak performance at our jobs or in any pursuit, there are always obstacles. We try to tune in carefully to that exact radio frequency to get the clearest signal from our best self. But there is always static. There are always obstacles. To top it off, much of the static we have to deal with is beyond our control. But much of our stress is caused by the spit-second reactions that are often laced with irritation, frustration, and anger. This layer of stress that we create by our own habitual reactions is not necessary. It’s functions like static, drowning out the voices of our best and most creative thoughts. This layer of unnecessary stress piles so high that it often becomes a major obstacle to our own effectiveness. When we understand this, it makes the challenge of reducing stress more straightforward. It’s just plain easier to wrap your mind around learning to accept unavoidable stress if you are busy working with reducing stress that is unnecessary.
The Stress of Negativity
Because of this, it makes sense to focus on obstacles and sources of static that are within our control. The static we often create for ourselves is unnecessary stress in the form of anger, frustration or worry. When the obstacles are beyond our control this is necessary stress. It’s part of the game. But when our negative thoughts are creating obstacles, then the stress, along with the resulting static, is unnecessary.
The brain is involved with framing and spinning all day long. We frame situations in our mind by interpreting their meaning. We spin information and conversations to be either negative, positive, or both. If we had a cheat sheet that told us all our unrealistic negative thoughts, we might be better able to re-calibrate our thoughts to the real situation. We could use our left brain skills of analysis to carefully compare our distorted negativity with the facts of the real situation. So why don’t we revise our negative thoughts more often and reap the benefits of less stress?
Why We Don’t Change Our Negativity
There are at least two reasons why we don’t change our negative thoughts. First, we don’t see our own negative assumptions about things. We often do not see how our own negative grid is squeezing the situation into a stressful mold. We don’t see our own thoughts partly because they are so familiar to us. Our negativity becomes like the air we breathe. It seems, well, “normal.”
Also, many of our negative thoughts are subconscious. To uncover these, we need a way to tap in to the more irrational, artistic right brain. We need a way to go fishing. We need a way to cut a hole in the cerebral ice, put our line down into the subconscious, and coax some of the dark creatures of the deep into our fish bucket. If we have them in our pail. We can clean them and eat them.
A second reason why we don’t change our irrationally negative thoughts is that we don’t know any practical steps to change them. So, even if we could fish out our stress-inducing negative thoughts from our subconscious and fill our bucket, we wouldn’t know how to clean them up to be more realistic. This is the left brain side of the equation. For the left brain to analyze it’s own thoughts for a new, optimistic outcome, it needs a method. The left brain needs step-by-step methods and tools to pry our negativity off of the real facts of the situation. We need steps and tools because there are new opportunities for us embedded in those facts. And we just can’t see them when our grid is overly negative.
Skills, Tools, and Steps for Change
Underneath the ice of our conscious thoughts is a hidden world of our subconscious thoughts and feelings. The 12 skills and the related tools can help you
- Drill a hole (get access to the negative thoughts that are tripping you up)
- Clean the fish (make simple changes to your negative thoughts so that they are more realistic and optimistic) and
- Savor the flavor (enjoy the good things that are around you)
Ready to watch the videos? If you have signed up previously you can click here to login to the members area and start viewing the videos. If all this is new to you, I suggest you sign up here (it’s free). Go check your email to confirm your subscription and then register here for the free member’s area. Registering will log you in immediately and you will see the 12 Skills course ready and waiting for you.