Small changes make big differences.

Tuesdays with MOJO / Notice and redirect

Marjorie Spitz Rento1 Comment

Last week I had the pleasure of leading the last class of a four-week series I taught for one of our corporate clients.  I love my work with Balance Integration!

The course for thirty was a wellness immersion, and the last class focused on stress and mind management.  Ironically, it was the most stressful day I’ve had since joining forces with Balance Integration, experiencing the following:

  • Major kink in our vendor’s logistics for getting tracking devices to participants in time for an upcoming Steps Challenge (thank you noncommittal Fitbit customer service)
    • Resulting in me spending hours with Best Buy online, the phone and at the stores (thank you Best Buy customer service, especially the snarky woman who showed no empathy)
  • Water turned off in my building just as I was about to take a shower (thank you building management for not alerting me)
  • Glitch in technology at the presentation (thank you conference call service for the annoying hold music that loops over and over with no mute option)
  • Even an unprovoked street person yelled at me. Sigh.

The hypocrisy of what I was about to profess to the class was not lost on me!

I did my best to shake it off by practicing deep breathing, doing some pushups, inhaling calming scents and striking my Wonder Woman Pose.  Still, the presentation wasn’t my best, although the class was engaged and enthusiastic. 

After all of that, and a frustrating time at FedEx to overnight the aforementioned tracking devices, I had to go to a networking event and “be on.”  In the rain. 

I needed an attitude adjustment! 

The universe was playing with me, testing me, and I was determined to make it through and check my negative aura at the door.

Easier said than done, right? Sometimes you just have to go with it.

As Scarlett O’Hara said in the Gone With The Wind, “Tomorrow is another day.”  She had something there as the very next day, just like that, the energy shifted: 

  • Public transportation ran like a charm -- the subway conductor even opened the closed doors for me as I rushed to get a departing train.
  • Back at yet another Best Buy, the rep was quick, efficient and kind. 
  • And when I arrived at my client with 30 Fitbits in hand, the original shipment arrived.  Yup, all that time and drama for naught. 

Sometimes life is a struggle, and we’re given a choice:  Throw a tantrum and make everyone around you miserable, or trudge through.

Which do you do?

In the course, when I prompted the class to share stressors, one participant said “I get stressed when someone else is stressed out.”  There is a lot of truth to that.

Energy, whether positive or negative, is contagious.  When my husband is experiencing traffic, stay away!  His kind, generous, powerful spirit transforms him into an unrecognizable ogre (sorry honey), and my stress level skyrockets.  Conversely, the opposite is true.

Stress not only impacts those around us and our mood, but also our physical and emotional well-being. 

Stress hormones literally (and importantly) increase our blood pressure, sugar levels, heart rate and circulation when confronted with danger. Those physiological responses are necessary when faced with a life-threatening situation, like an attack by a wild animal.

That’s all well and good when being attacked, but what about when we experience stress from traffic or an email from our boss?  Too often our bodies stay in a state of low-level chronic stress, with stress hormones pumping through our system at a constant rate.  Thus disease as well as weight gain, sleep disruption, depression and a distracted mind ensue (among other things).

 Let’s stop it in its tracks!  I encourage you to enact these life-saving steps to reduce stress:

  • Make a list of your stressors (today!)
  • Consider, when do they tend to happen?
  • Can you be aware and recognize them as they begin? 
  • How can you alter your reaction? 

I call this the “notice and redirect” phase of stress reaction prevention.   The more aware you can be of your stressors, the more you can control your reaction to them, and thus prevent the harmful impact they may have on your body.

Stress is a killer.  The key is to control its impact on your system.  You CAN adjust your attitude and push on through.  Go for it, and may today be a very resilient day!

Positively Yours,

Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™