BETCHA You Can Beat Your Stress Before It Beats You!
The BETCHA process can help you gain confidence in your coping know-how. The more you practice, the more automatically you will be able to apply the six BETCHA steps to reduce stress during difficult situations. Trusting that you have a foundation of coping skills can help you live life with less stress and greater Peace of Mind.
Learning to employ these six quick tips will help you beat your stress.
Your breath is your lifeline. It is also the pathway to beating stress. The breath oxygenates the body and calms the mind. Conscious breathing will improve your ability to focus and concentrate when you encounter a stressful situation. When your mind is calm, you can make more effective coping choices. Research offers evidence that the negative effects of stress can sbe reduced (and positive health benefits increased!) when you breathe properly and cope effectively. When you feel stressed, start by taking one or two deep breaths—comfortably, not necessarily 100% full. Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly. Feel your abdomen rise and fall as you breathe in and out.
Try this affirmation:
Every time I breathe in I heal my body. Each time I breathe out I calm my mind.
Feel where the relaxation starts in your body and allow it to spread, continuing to breathe normally and comfortably. When you want to deepen the calm feeling, you can try another deep breath.
Now that you are calm, you can focus more clearly on the situation. Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions. Ask yourself these questions: What am I thinking and feeling about these circumstances? What coping tools do I usually use when I am stressed? Take a moment to evaluate how your typical coping strategies have worked in the past. How do you think they might work now? Are there other supports or skills you need?
Next take time to think about the facts of your situation. In doing so, notice your thoughts and feelings. Knowing what you feel and think about a situation will help you to know what to do. Think about some coping options. For example, are you in a situation, such as a work environment, that provides guidelines for handling the type of situation? Is this situation similar to something you have handled successfully before? Think clearly about what you want to accomplish. Intentions and motivations play an important role in making choices. Your intuition is a part of your thinking process too. Your gut feelings can help you recognize your intentions and select a strategy.
When you have evaluated what is going on, have paid attention to your thoughts and feelings; have thought about your options, and have used your intuition to recognize what you want to accomplish, you are ready to choose a coping strategy. Matching motivation to strategy gives greater potential for an effective outcome.
Notice ideas that seem to come from an inner sense of knowing what is right. This is the “heart approach.” Including your “heart” or “gut feeling” when thinking about how to handle a stressful situation helps you transcend negative emotions and choose wisely. Using the “heart approach” along with factual evaluation of the situation will prepare you for effective action.
If you have calmed yourself with some good breaths; have taken time to think; have evaluated the situation; have added the value of your intuition, and are clear about your feelings and intentions, you are now prepared to take appropriate action.
You can use these steps in any order that helps you to cope. As you get more familiar with them, you will find them readily available. Trust that these BETCHA steps will take you into new territory of learning to live life calmly, wisely and well.