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Balance on the edge

The Balance Blog

Mel Robbin's Top 5 Stress Beating Steps

Do you know Mel Robbin’s?

No she is not Tony Robbins sister, but a close cousin based on her impactful work as a live speaker, author, motivational force of nature with her 5 Second Rule!

She recently emailed out her top five stress beating steps to apply to your life and they are too good not to share with you. Let us know how they help and which one was most impactful. Onwards.

Step #1: Hit the brakes

The quickest way to get off a too-fast treadmill is to pull that little red emergency brake. And when it comes to overwhelm, the best way to pull the brake is to just STOP. If you don’t know what to do next, DON’T DO ANYTHING.   I have the tendency to run faster when I’m stressed, yet the only antidote is to slow down. Get still. Take a deep breath. Hopefully you won’t ugly cry in a steakhouse like I did (though if you do, it’s totally okay), but you need to have that hit-the-wall moment and admit that YOU. ARE. OVERWHELMED. 

Step #2: Brain dump

brain dump is how I get out of my head. Or get my head out of everything else. When your brain is fried, it's because there’s way too much going on in there. There’s a fancy term called “cognitive load” which basically means your brain can only handle so much. If there’s too much going on, your mind will start to spill over, like grape juice from a sippy cup with a loose lid. Next thing you know, it’s all over the place, you’re left with this big mess to clean up, and you wish you had gone with the Berber carpets after all because they’re much easier to clean. But I digress. You need to do a cognitive UNLOAD before your brain spills over.

Take out a piece of paper (or a few!) and dump out everything that’s on your mind. What are you worried about? What do you have to get done? Where will the dog stay when you leave for Easter break? When will you make those photo albums you said you’d design online from last year’s trip? Who invented peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Whatever you need to get out that’s weighing on your mind, write it here. Now. I’ll wait...

Done? Okay, now highlight the three most important things and circle the absolute most important one.

Great. Now, your focus is just that ONE thing you circled. Forget everything else until you get that taken care of. You don’t need to worry about it. It’s written down.  Everything else on the list either gets deleted, delegated, or delayed until later.  Trust me on this. Your brain will feel so much better after you do a brain dump. It’ll feel light and free. Free enough to take a step forward on that one thing that matters most. Promise.

Step #3: Ask for help

This is my single biggest weakness. I bet it's yours, too. I bet you’re the first one to offer help when it’s needed and the last one to ask for it. Or, accept it when given.

You don’t have the luxury of being stubborn right now. You need help. And guess what? We all do. “Self-made” is a myth. And when you go into bunker mode because of all the stress, come back out. The worst thing you can do is isolate when you’re stressed. Call a friend.  You may think you have to do it all yourself, but you don’t. Drop the drive to DIY or beperfect and get help getting it done.  You’ll not only be doing something good for you, but you’ll also be doing something good for them too. When you ask for help, you give someone a chance to gift you their time. Know how good it feels when you do something for someone else? Yeah, now give that feeling to someone else, too. Let them help.

Step #4: Go back to the basics

If you ever fall off the positive train, there’s an easy way to get back on track: go back to the simple basics.

Restart your morning routine because it is a research-backed proven method to reduce stress. My routine has been spotty at best for the past two weeks. So it's not surprising that I feel so overwhelmed. Sure, I’m human. And, I have a million “good” excuses for why I got loose with my morning routine. But...it only works when I use it. Duh. If you feel overwhelmed, make sure you go back to the simple things that ground you. For me, that’s starting my day with this morning routine and my 5 Second Journal. Because the journal prompts me to focus on making progress on one important project, it anchors me and calms the overwhelm.

Starting tomorrow morning, I’m going to pick one of the three things that I highlighted from my brain dump and use my 5 Second Journal to guide me in making forward momentum. Something else that always grounds me is exercise. I haven't seen the inside of a gym in five days and it’s not only making me feel unhealthy, but it’s also done a number on my brain too. Science keeps proving how powerful the exercise effect is on mood so this is one habit I’m jumping back into tomorrow. Literally. Hello hot yoga.


Step #5: Scrap your plans and scale back

Truth be told, this week’s letter was supposed to cover an entirely different topic. But when it came to write it to you, I hit the wall. I was not feeling inspired. I wasn’t feeling much of anything, actually. Overwhelm can numb you faster than an ice pack on a swollen ankle.

I thought about bailing, and then realized, no way. I love being connected to you. So I scrapped my plans and just wrote what was front and center in my mind.  And I’m looking at where else I can scale back. Like, I don’t have to answer every personal email right away. Instead of going out on Saturday, we can just cook in. Instead of working in the garden physically this weekend, I can work on it creatively from my porch as I plan out the annuals I want to plant this year. Where in your life can you scale back and take some of the pressure off?

In the future, I’m going to be better at saying NO. With one caveat: I know me. I’ll make mistakes. I’ll fall off the morning routine wagon. I’ll hop on the express train again and again, but when I do, I’ll STOP. Do a brain dump. And go back to the simple things that work to ground me. This life learning thing never ends.  If this resonates with you, and someone you know is running on overdrive and needs some help slowing down, forward this post to them and offer up your help or your shoulder to cry on at lunch.

And if nobody else has told you today that they love you Jared, I wanted to tell you that I love you and I believe in you and your ability to STOP when you feel overwhelmed and get focused on the simple things that work to help you be the most grounded and powerful you. 

~ Mel Robbins

Post syndicated by ZEN Hustlers and source owned content by Mel Robbins at: melrobbins.com

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