Diffuse Anxiety By Asking Yourself This One Simple Question
How a simple 'Yes' or 'No' question can help you relieve stress.
Anxiety is the great unifier these days. It seems everyone is suffering from it. What if gaining perspective on your anxiety was as simple as asking yourself one simple question?
In my book – You Can Have It All, Just Not All At Once, I explain how this simple yet effective yes or no question can help you get to the core of what’s bothering you so you can understand and relieve anxieties. By looking at a stressor with this question in mind, it can help you change your relationship to stress.
First, name your stress.
Many of us may carry around stress from day to day, but aren’t able to put a name to what is causing us to feel that way.
The next time you recognize that you’re stressed (maybe when your shoulders start to tense up, or you realize you haven’t eaten all day), take an intentional pause to notice what’s brought on the feeling, and then write it down.
For example, you may write: My partner is causing me stress.
Doing so makes the idea concrete. It’s stabilized from mind to reality; it’s solid, identified and anchored.
Then, ask yourself the question.
Once you have the source of your stress written down, consider the question: Is it true?
Then answer the question with a simple 'yes' or 'no'.
Any defense, justification or story is not inquiry. Inquiry is to get still and let the answer show you...so just meditate on that.
Recognizing whether you believe that thought to be true can help you identify why you act the way you do in certain scenarios. For example, if your answer to "My partner is stressing me out" is "Yes, that’s true", that may explain why you avoid your partners’ phone calls or texts.
Finally, flip the narrative.
Consider what would happen if you didn’t believe that thought was true. If you responded to My partner is stressing me out, with No, that’s false, would they still cause you stress? Or would you open yourself up to another reason for how you feel?
In other words, your partner and their actions may not actually be stressful in and of themselves - rather, it’s your thoughts about them that stir anxiety.
"It’s what I’m thinking and believing about it, that is the cause of my stress."
Try re-framing the statement to identify whether your own actions are the reason for your stress. For example, writing down: I am stressing out my partner.
Then you can begin to see where you are stressed out and how you approach people: "I’m short. I can be argumentative. I’m rushed. I’m not connected", etc.
The practice is ultimately about changing your perspective, instead of getting stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts.
Everything shifts, then the way you see everything shifts.
I help organizations better lead, engage, train, and sell to Millennials and Generation Z. If you’d like help solving tough generational challenges inside your organization, click here.
Sherri Elliott-Yeary, CEO of Generational Guru is an award-winning speaker, professional business consultant, and published author who energetically engages international audiences with her practical strategies for attracting, growing, and retaining top talent and loyal customers from every generation. Sherri brings over twenty years of hands-on experience to support you in designing generational solutions that address:
Cross-Generational Leadership Challenges
Generational Blind Spots in Sales
Effective Recruitment and Retention
Marketing to Millennials
For more information, please contact Sherri via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call her at 469-971-3663.