Stress levels in our lives are at an all-time high. Most of us experience stress at least a few times weekly, if not almost daily. Many of us have stress levels that have us headed toward burnout. Since stress and stressful situations are probably here to stay, we need to find ways to manage and thrive, even in a stressful environment. There are some mistakes to avoid in attempting to manage our stress levels.
MISTAKE #1: Not taking care of yourself and showing up to work feeling like your needs are not being met (recipe for resentment)
We can’t give to others when our needs have not yet been met. The result will almost certainly be resentment.
MISTAKE #2: Thinking you will be happy or less stressed if someone else changes their behavior. Happiness and your outlook on life is a choice – start leading yourself first.
You can improve the way you see the world and increase your own happiness without waiting for someone else to change or take action first. Your happiness does not depend on a change in anyone else’s behavior.
The Six G.O.L.D Keys to Well-Being features an assessment to help you determine which of the keys you should implement first. It provides a breakdown of which keys are your strongest and which ones present more challenges and have the most opportunities for growth. Here is how to leverage your assessment results for maximum success in managing stress levels:
- Work with the key with the lowest score for 21 days and then move on to the next key.
- Use the G.O.L.D. journal prompt to help you create an action plan to begin making healthy habits and mindset changes.
- Alternatively: choose to work with the key that sounds the most exciting to you.
The Six G.O.L.D Keys can help you prioritize yourself and become a better leader!
- SLEEP: The gold key of sleep is the practice of relaxing the nervous system and naturally suspending consciousness to promote restoration.
- Prioritizing your sleep is a radical act of self-care.
- The most important skill you can master is how to relax and regulate your nervous system.
Turn your Sleep into GOLD:
- Practice 3-2-1 sleep: 3 hours before bed, no food or alcohol; 2 hours before bed, no work; 1 hour before bed, no screens.
- Give yourself a bedtime and stick to it. Aim for no later than 10 PM because sleeping from 10 PM – 2 AM is best for your nervous system to manage stress levels.
- NUTRITION: The gold key of nutrition is the practice of consuming the nourishment required for optimal health and well-being.
- Healthy food provides you with everything from better mental health to more vitality and energy.
- A healthy gut supports good mental health, AKA the gut-brain connection.
Turn your Nutrition into GOLD:
- The 80/20 rule of eating: 80% of the time, eat nourishing, healthy foods, and 20% of the time, you are free to (without guilt) indulge in whatever you desire.
- Eat more fermented foods for a healthy gut.
- MOVEMENT: The gold key of movement is the practice of activating the physical body to promote health across the entire body.
- Too much sitting is the new smoking.
- Movement can shift our emotions and mood because every time we shift our physiology, we shift the nervous system to self-regulate.
Turn your movement into GOLD:
- 60-75 minutes of moderately intense physical activity a day counters the effect of too much sitting.
- Every day, move your body in some way to help manage stress levels.
- NATURE: The gold key to nature is the practice of immersing oneself in nature through all the senses.
- Nature Deficit Disorder: Studies show that the average American spends 93% of their life indoors.
- Time spent in nature regulates the nervous system as it invites you to slow down, be present in your body, and use your senses.
Turn your Nature Time into GOLD:
- Spend a minimum of 2 hours a week (total) in the natural world (17 minutes a day.)
- Habit stack: do your movement or take a family walk together outside.
- MINDFULNESS: The gold key of mindfulness is the practice of increasing one’s awareness of the present moment.
- Research shows that 47% of people spend almost all of their time thinking about something other than what they are doing.
- Gratitude is scientifically proven to improve your health, self-esteem, and empathy and reduce aggression and stress.
Turn your Mindfulness into Gold:
- Dedicate yourself to being a “single-tasker” instead of the common “multi-tasker.”
- Practice being grateful to attract peace of mind into your life.
- INTENTION: The gold key of intention is the practice of thinking, acting, and being with purpose.
- What you focus on grows. Do you focus on problems or solutions?
- Setting intentions on the back of your goals is the secret to achieving them with ease, grace, and focus. What is your why?
Turn your Intention into Gold:
- Ask yourself, “What is the biggest source of my stress at this very moment?” and choose to look for solutions.
- Create a vision board to sharpen your focus and put your attention toward your visit.
Free resources are available on Alisha’s Website, including the 6 Keys to Well-Being Assessment, book bonuses (master resource guide and meditation audios), and Unlock Your Well-Being: The Podcast.
Ultimately, we can’t change other people, only ourselves. Commit to improving each of the G.O.L.D. Key areas of your life and expect to see great results!