How you talk to yourself makes all the difference in managing stress
Positive chatter and visualisation with best-selling author, motivational speaker, Marisa Peer
“I am not overwhelmed, I have phenomenal coping skills” or what about this one “Nothing is too much for me, I am amazing, and I can get through this.” This is what a positive mind looks like when you plant good thoughts into it says Marisa Peer the best-selling author, motivational speaker and leading celebrity therapist, who featured on ‘The SlowDown’, (a podcast I co-host) on how to avoid burnout.
Squashing burn out with a positive mind Actually, it was quite by accident that she featured on the podcast. I was in London attending the Mindful Living Show waiting to hear a talk about stress and burn-out when Marisa breezed by (not the speaker that was published in my program). Meanwhile, other people were there to hear Marisa’s ‘I am enough’ talk which was in their program. With everyone having different programs, Marisa decided, on the spot, to combine both talks. What resulted was a talk that I am sure, left many people thinking differently about burnout. It certainly did for me. It was a talk which didn’t just require listening but getting out of our seats to see what a positive mind can do to the body.
But before we did that, we listened to the facts on the three main causes of depression which, can lead to burnout and stress: 1. Harsh hurtful criticism to yourself 2, Failing to follow your heart’s desire 3. Believing you are different.
This was a good introduction to a mind exercise, which would tackle the first and third points. Imagining what a great boss looks like The Great Boss Trick’ requires using the power of imagery to create the image of, as the title indicates, a great boss. For me, that would probably be Oprah Winfrey or Michelle Obama (well, we were told to imagine). Next, we had to imagine what that boss would say to us after every working day and, what we needed to hear? Now…imagine saying these things to yourself. I didn’t get far with this one but only because my curious mind was distracted by so many people with their eyes closed, mouthing words to themselves. Lip reading isn’t one of my strong points, but I suspect there were a few people telling themselves how amazing they were, at least this is what I gathered from the collective glowing cheeks. Clearly, words of encouragement, even if we say them to ourselves, hold a lot of power.
Going beyond what you think you can do Having planted nothing but good thoughts in our minds and sent negative thoughts packing, we then had another trick to try out. This one was called the ‘arm trick’. I have taught this at my own workshops, but it was good to be the student for a change and watch how the whole room collectively says “WOW” (which they usually do). This time we stood with our left arm stretched out in front of us, then swung it back behind us and returned it to the same spot. We then got to work on the arm by telling ourselves how fantastic we are, that we can achieve anything we set our minds to, that this time we can swing the arm back much further because we have a positive mind (all good stuff for the ego) and then we swung the arm back behind us. Just those few positive sentences ensured the arm went further than it did before. Astonishing what the mind can do when you set your heart on it (remember point 2?). Like the saying goes; ‘Not following your heart is spending the rest of your life wishing you had.’ It’s certainly not a wish you want to keep repeating.