Learning to soothe yourself in times of stress
I believe one of the most powerful skills we can develop as we navigate our business journey is learning to tend to and soothe ourselves in moments of stress.
When we haven’t learnt to calm ourselves, we start to direct our energy into unhealthy, resistant thoughts. The more we think in this way, more of the same thoughts appear.
Before we know it, we’ve move out of a ‘healthy flow’ state and into a resistant state.
Basically we become stuck… thinking the same thoughts over and over again and not seeing a way out.
When I was out in the forest in Vanuatu, healing from burnout and trying to figure out how I’d got my life and business so wrong, I started listening to Abraham Hicks recordings for hours every day.
What I took most from these teachings was that to create whatever it is we want to create, it starts with choosing to feel good. And to feel good is not some future thing we strive for but rather is a moment to moment choice, based on the thoughts we are thinking (stay with me…).
I wondered… is it really possible to think and focus myself into a place of feeling good?
And then I realised… my thoughts and focus (negative as they were) had been so powerful they had got me to this place – utterly burnt out, with a failed business, my body in chronic pain, sitting in the middle of a forest, with nothing of my life left.
If my thoughts and focus could get me here… what would happen if I actively chose to think and focus in a different way – in a more positive way. And what do I really have to lose by trying anyway?
So that’s what I started to do.
Almost one year on, I have built a new business – one that is profitable, thriving AND sustainable… and I built it on a nourishing foundation, one that prioritises my own health, wellbeing, rhythm and pace.
I did this by learning to tend to myself and soothe myself in all moments (but particularly in moments of stress).
I want to share with you, one of my favourite tools to do this.
I call this energetic funnelling. But really, that’s just a fancy way of saying finding better feeling thoughts that in turn change your energy output.
And when your energy output is clean and fresh and flowing… well, things feel and flow better. It really is that simple.
There are lots of ways you can practice energetic funnelling (hit me up if you want some more) but this particular activity involves your journal and writing out self-soothing statements.
An example of how I use this
A couple weeks ago, I felt heavy, tired and rushed off my feet. As I stopped to tune into myself, I realised I had a belief running… “I don’t have enough time.” I had been fighting with this belief, trying to ignore it and getting angry with myself that I was “falling back into old habits.” The more I funnelled energy into these thoughts, the more evidence I saw that “I don’t have enough time.”
Then I stopped and decided to take some of my own advice (wink!).
Each morning I committed to sitting down for 10-15 minutes to write out self-soothing statements around the idea of “I don’t have enough time”. Choosing to funnel my energy into a different thought pathway.
Here’s a little look at my statements:
I like the idea that I can soothe myself into feeling spacious. I like the idea that I could feel better, even just a little better right now by adjusting my focus. I like that this is not about making huge massive changes to my life but that it’s about tending to myself in each moment and in doing so I can feel better. I like how sensitive and in tune I now am to my energy. I like that my sensitivity keeps me attuned to my own rhythm. I like the idea of not focusing on a lack of space and time but rather focusing on where there is already ease and space and time existing in my life. I like the idea that if I focus on this, time and space can expand. I am ready to let go of the thoughts that tell me I have to work a lot to make good money. I am ready to truly open up to my abundance. I am ready to step into a healthy flow…
Within two days of journaling soothing thoughts, my energy unlocked. I started to feel energised and excited again. I saw a new way I could structure my client work and calendar so I had more space (it was there all along I just couldn’t see it because I was too focused on “I don’t have enough time”). AND I found three spare, consecutive days in my calendar to work solely on my business (which is how I found time to write this blog post!).
That’s the power of energy work like this. It can shift things very fast.
I’ve got countless examples of this working for me and now I’m teaching it to my clients – seeing it work for them too.
I really hope you’ll give this a go!
I’ve created some journaling examples for you at the bottom of this post to get you started but first, I just want to clarify one small thing…
How is this activity different from affirmations or mantras?
Let me just preface this by saying, I am totally not a fan of affirmations. That’s not what we are doing here.
You’re not telling yourself anything you don’t believe. You’re not making stuff up. You’re soothing.
What you’ll notice is I start most statements with “I like the idea…” or “I am open to the idea…”
There’s a reason for this…
What we are doing here is unravelling the ‘stuckness’ that has been created by funnelling energy into old limiting beliefs that don’t serve us.
When we are feeling stuck and in resistance, the last thing we want to do is try to go to war with our limiting beliefs by stating the exact opposite of what we currently believe (i.e. affirmations and mantras).
This just creates stress to our nervous system and we become more stuck.
The trick is to reach for a slightly better feeling thought (remembering the aim here is to soothe). When we place “I like the idea…” or “I am open to the idea…” in front of any statement, notice how your system is likely more receptive to this. It’s a much more gentler way of opening your mind to alternative ways of thinking, pathways that it may not have seen before because it was so fixated on one limiting belief.
As your mind starts to open to alternative ways of thinking, your system starts to unlock (which you’ll notice as a feeling of calm, ease and eventually excitement), then you can start saying statements such as “I love the idea…” or “ I love how…”
If at any point your system starts to lock up (which you’ll notice as a heavy feeling or stress sensation in your body), find some different wording. Go more general, go back to “I like the idea…” statements.
Remember, you’re wanting nothing more than to soothe and bring ease back into your system. That’s all we’re doing. So find the words and statements that do that for you.
You can’t get this wrong… just look for the words that feel most calming.
I’ve created some self-soothing statement examples to give you an idea of what I mean.
These will help you get started – my suggestion is that you use these as examples but then use your body and emotions to guide you to the statements that are most soothing for you.
Downloadable journal prompts:
Journaling prompts for:
I’d love to know how this goes for you.
Here’s to self-soothing and nourishing ourselves as we build our businesses.