My Personal De-Stress Methods
I'm often asked "Sam, how do you alleviate your stress?" It's something that I speak about nationally. If you've read some of my other blog posts, maybe you've tried the three step method that I've talked about and written about - Detach, prioritize and execute. If you've tried it, great. Keep going. The feedback on it has been awesome. Like anything new, you've got to be open to practicing it. And I promise if you do, your stress will diminish. You'll be in control, you'll be better at recognizing when the stress is coming on. And that ability to recognize is key as we lead into the question. how do I de-stress?
If you haven't already heard , I've written a book. It's called The Silent Fall. It's available on my website, https://www.samanthahorwitz.com/books. In it, I talk about the lessons that I learned from my battle with post-traumatic stress after being in World Trade Center's Tower One on 9/11, when American Airlines flight 11 was flown into it. I was a United States Secret Service Agent just going to work. That day changed my life. After going through what I did, I decided to put everything out there so that others would have a tool to combat either post-traumatic stress or stress in general. So my book is a tool for your stress battling toolbox where you can reference and revisit the chapter on lessons learned , which helped me combat the stress, and make sense of the new norm and the new daily stresses that I was living with. All of the lessons learned, are in The Silent Fall available on my website https://www.samanthahorwitz.com/books.
One of the ways I battle stress is something that I talk to my audiences about. It is belief. Belief will either bury you or it'll help you soar. If you believe that negative self talk, you believe what the stress is telling you, "You're nothing. You're worthless. You will never figure this out," it'll bury you every single time. But if you believe in something that I call your truth, which lives in your heart - If you believe in what your truth is, you stick to your morals, your ethics, your values, what is important to you in any decision, you will soar every single time. I had to believe that voice inside my head that said, "Sam it's not your time." Because I couldn't afford to believe in the one that was having me pull the trigger." Yes, I did attempt suicide because of post-traumatic stress. So when times get tough, when you are feeling buried by stress, you've got to believe that there is a way out. That the next steps you're going to take are going to alleviate the pain and stress you are feeling.
The next thing has to do with fear. Every day we're faced with fear, and fear comes from stress. There are a lot of different acronyms for fear. You may have seen False Evidence Appearing Real. When we are faced with fear, we've got two choices, Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise. And when you face everything and rise, that's where courage comes from. Courage is not always running into a burning building while others are running out. When you are faced with fear and that stress comes up and you're like, "Whoa." The stress is knocking you for a loop and you're not sure which way to go practice - Detach, take a step back, gather your thoughts, breathe, Prioritize, and then Execute. This is something you have to practice. When you do, and you make it part of your stress busting repertoire you will bring that fear response down. So you will live in this incredible, amazing, courageous zone where no matter what, every time you're like, Whoa...stress...Detach, prioritize, execute. You can tell yourself, "I'm not scared. I can face this no matter what it is." You acknowledge the stress, move through and you're good.
The last thing that I practice everyday and highly recommend for stress management and relief is physical movement. Again, all of my stress busting techniques are in my book, The Silent Fall. When you find yourself completely overwhelmed, get out of your chair, get off of the couch, get out of the bed, wherever you are, get up and move for 10 minutes. 10 minutes of jumping jacks, walk for 10 minutes. Whatever you want to do, move for 10 minutes. Research has shown that when we move, we shut down the fear part of our brain, the fight or flight part (amygdala). And it activates the reasoning part of our brain. (Pre-frontal cortex). So when we move, we are able to focus again. Practice, Detach, Prioritize and Execute. Think of movement as the ultimate form of detachment. You won't always need to do it, but when you're feeling very, very stressed, it is awesome to be able to get up and move for 10 minutes. If you take nothing away from this post, take away movement.
So there you go. A few great stress busting techniques which I use on almost a daily basis. If you understand and identify the stress, you can move through it by doing one or several of the techniques. Again, all of the techniques are available in my book, The Silent Fall which you can get straight through my website, or on Amazon. https://www.samanthahorwitz.com/books
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