Powerful Ways to Cope with Stress and Stay on the Path to Success

This past weekend I did something that took me way out of my comfort zone.  I shared a stage with 32 other amazing speakers at the Habitude Warrior Conference here in San Diego. 

My colleagues that day were not just any amazing speakers, but the people whose work I have studied and long admired such as Denis Waitley (a legendary Productivity Coach), Bill Walsh (the President of Powerteam International-Multi Millionaire), Brian Smith (founder of Uggs Boots), Rhonda Britten (Emmy Award Winner), and Cheri Tree (Multi-Millionaire).

Sounds amazing and thrilling, right? It was. But I have something I have to confess – the entire time,  I was so scared!

That’s right. I was scared of going on stage to share my story and message in front of the 200 people before me in the audience – plus the 4 million others watching via live streaming around the world.

One of my intentions for my presentation was to inspire the audience to step into their greatness, and share my Recipe for Success. However, instead, I found myself caring too much what others thought of me.  Oh yes, I was a nervous wreck. 

Have you ever put a person on a pedestal and then later realized it wasn’t necessary, and that they weren’t so different from yourself? After all, we are all people, and we all go through the same things in life. Sometimes we forget that everyone is a person just like ourselves, especially when it’s a large group and all eyes are on us.

At the conference, I found that my breath became shallow and my body tightened up so much, that I was like a wind-up doll about to pop a spring.  In my moments of fear, I didn’t even realize that I was in pain.

After the conference, I went downhill.  You name it, my body was sore and my head was pounding.  It was in this moment that I realized that I couldn’t keep moving forward doing what I loved, if I was going to hurt myself physically with my stress and fear each time.

Once I stopped and had this realization, and I felt into the pain I was experiencing, I realized that this happens anytime I get severely stressed or want to make a good impression in my life.

If you are an entrepreneur or business owner, you too know what it’s like to live in a constant state of change, stepping out day after day, being vulnerable and visible to the world.

Once I became aware of my own pattern, I was able to transform my future in dealing with stress. I did it by asking myself the following questions, which I would suggest that you too, ask yourself:

  1. How do you manage stressful situations?
  2. Do you catch yourself getting stressed during the holiday season?
  3. Do you notice when something big comes up when you’re about to take a big risk?
  4. What happens to your body when you start to feel stress?

Managing stressful situations has become a practice that I now feel is necessary to help me share my gifts to the world.  It’s easy to check out when stress appears, (like eating fatty foods, drinking, shopping, TV, or anything else we do to check out of our current reality); however, these will only temporary ease the pain and stress. It will come back if we don’t stop it in its tracks.

 Therefore, I’ve created 3 quick healthy practices you can do when you start to feel overwhelmed when a stressful situation strikes.

1. Notice your breath

When something starts to feel stressful, notice how your breath is in a shallow state. Once you acknowledge your breath feels stuck or repressed, it’s time for deep breathing:

First, place your hand on your stomach and start to take some deep breaths from your stomach, up through our solar plexus, then through your chest.

Second, in the nose, out the mouth, 3 times

Third, in the nose, out the nose, another 3 times

Forth, add counting as you take a deep breath in for 5 counts, then out 5 counts.  Always make sure your counting is the same on both ends.

2.  Feel where the pain is coming from in your body.

Your body is always sharing messages with you and when we hurt, it’s our chance to listen and send love to the area that is hurting. This may sound counterintuitive because when we are in pain, the brain registers it as “something is wrong.” But the more we acknowledge that nothing is wrong, we are able tune into our body. Our body is communicating and bringing up something for us to listen to, thus the more we appreciate and acknowledge the pain, the easier it is to move through the pain to the other side.

First, feel where your pain is in your body.

Second, focus your breath and energy there.

Third, picture a white healing light around the area. (you may even want to rub your own hands together fast to create that hot feeling of energy, then place them on your pain.)

Forth, say these words out loud to yourself: “I’m sorry, please forgive me, I forgive you, thank you, I love you.”

Fifth, send the pain loving energy and sit with it until it dissipates.

3.  Visualize What Brings You Peace

Visualization can be so powerful!  Where do you feel most at peace and tranquil?  Most of us feel great when we are surrounded by nature.  Maybe you are sitting by a lake, an ocean, in the midst of trees, or in the middle of a forest.  The important thing is to engage all of your senses while clearing the mind.  Smell the air, feel the elements on your skin, hear the soothing sounds around you.

If I’m in a stressful situation, I picture myself in nature, surrounded by trees. I’m feeling the light breeze in my hair and smelling the air or flowers around me.

I’m curious to know how you handle or manage stress when it rears its head in your life. Have you ever practiced with the healthy ways I mentioned above?  Please leave a comment below and let me know.

And P.S. The conference went amazing! I was informed thereafter by one of the founders that I was one of the top 5 speakers out of the 32 that presented over the weekend. Another moral to this story, we are often harder on ourselves than we need to be because we want to do well and leave a lasting impression. Use the strategies above to move through stress quickly, claim your greatness, and keep shining bright!