You are unique, and managing stress in your life is about finding what works for you. True, stress is inevitable, but you do have options. You can choose how you are going to react to the situation in a way that will serve you in a positive manner. This is your decision and no one else gets the advantage of making this decision for you. One method that can help remind you of this is the SBRC, or Stop-Breathe-Reflect-Choose strategy. It only takes about two minutes, you can do it anywhere, and it can help you to reduce your negative (and harmful) reactions to stress.
The next time you encounter a stressful situation, try these four easy steps:
Stop. Just for a few seconds, stop what you are doing and stop the continuous flow of negative thoughts about the situation.
Breathe. Take in a deep breath, feeling your abdomen rise and fall, releasing any tension in your body as you exhale.
Reflect. Considered what is really going on. Is the situation a crisis? If so, will worrying and becoming tense help to solve it? Will this situation matter to you in two weeks? Six weeks? What action will really serve you in this particular situation? Is there anything productive that you can do to make the situation better? Make sure to ask yourself rational questions and listen to your rational answers. Talk to yourself in an encouraging, constructive way. It might seem that getting upset with someone when they have upset you is a rational response. But, really think through the response and consider whether it will make the situation better or simply add to your stress level. Consider all aspects of the situation, the consequences of different responses, and what you want to achieve in the long run.
Choose. Now, make a choice. You can make a choice about how to react to achieve a positive effect — a choice that serves you and your goals. This choice may differ depending on the situation, but through this process you will realize that you have the power to choose your actions in the face of stress. You don’t have to become tense, irritable, or upset. You will also recognize that holding onto tension or negative thoughts often makes situations worse, and it can have a harmful effect on you. With practice, you can take control of your reactions.
This guy made a unique choice about how to handle his stress! Let us know how practicing the SBRC stragegy works for you.