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Help Clients Manage Stress_Final

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>> Well, hello there. It is great to see you again. I'm excited to share with you some of the most effective ways to help your clients manage the stress in their lives. As you have probably discovered, there are a million ways to over stimulate the body, a competitive job, seemingly endless family responsibilities, sitting in heavy traffic one or two times a day, drinking alcohol, a lackluster diet, constant exposure to electronics, and even the well-intentioned drive for perfection are just a few of the ways in which we overextend ourselves regularly. Rarely do we settle in, give ourselves a break, and allow ourselves to just rest and catch up. This is evidenced by a society that rewards busyness. Everybody everywhere seems to be busy, and we wear it like a badge of honor. How many times have you asked someone how they're doing only to get a reply along the lines of, "Good! I've been really busy" as if that were something to be proud of. We're human beings, but we act more like human doings. Many of your clients don't realize the toll that all of that striving and doing is taking on them. Given the opportunity, they probably wouldn't even know how to get off the hamster wheel and relax. As a busy professional, is this something you can relate to? We refer to all things that overwhelm us as stress, but actually, there are four distinct kinds of stress, all of which have an impact on the adrenals. They are physical, mental, emotional, and perceived stress. Examples of physical stress include illness, injury, and physical threats of violence. Physical stressors also include poor diet, toxins, extreme temperatures, medications, surgery, jet lag, inadequate sleep, and even menstruation. Tobacco, alcohol, and drugs are potent physical stressors as well. Mental stressors include isolation, information overload, time pressure, uncertainty, lack of control, loss of a loved one, unemployment, relationship difficulties, and job demands. Some examples of emotional stressors include grief, worry, anger, frustration, anxiety, rage, hopelessness, resentment, boredom, insecurity, paranoia, and failure. Perceived stress is the extent to which people feel the demands on them exceed their ability to cope. In the case of HPA axis dysfunction, perceived stress might actually be the worst kind. When it comes to your clients, it isn't necessarily about what is stressing them so much as how they react to it. This is actually a good thing because you can teach your client ways to shift their perceived stress and begin to lower their cortisol naturally. You may have a client who gets totally stressed out about something that may seem relatively insignificant to you, like the weather or their standing in a social group, but it's putting their mind and their body into overdrive. Conversely, you may have a client who has experienced a major stressor such as losing a parent or their house burning down and yet somehow they're coping pretty well, not really stressing out and just sort of accepting their loss. As a coach, you wouldn't want to pay more attention to client-number-two's stress. Just because they're a stressor, the what seems more significant. What you'll want to do is tune into your client's perceived stress, the how, and meet them where they're at to see what level of stress management work is needed. So knowing all of this, you're probably wondering how you can best work with clients who are stressed out. Here are our four top tips for helping your clients shift their relationship to stress. Number one, shame doesn't work, number two, suffering isn't necessary, number three, stress can be beneficial, and number four, a shift in mindset can make a really big difference. Let's talk about tip number one, shame doesn't work. When it comes to helping clients manage their stress, one thing is very clear, it does not work to shame them. They're probably already criticizing themselves heavily. People who stress out tend to also beat themselves up. They've probably been told over and over just to let things go, not to worry so much, stop trying so hard to be perfect. They know. They've heard it. It just fuels the determination to beat it, and they stress themselves even more by trying to seem less stressed. For some people, stress is actually exhilarating. They wouldn't know who they were without it. What's actually stressing them is the thought that they need to give up their stress. When criticized, people tend to dig in deeper and persist in their perfectionist thinking. If anything, they've just changed the focus on what they're trying to perfect. Instead of telling your clients to worry less, which is invalidating, lean in deeper and try to fully understand what it's like to be in their shoes, give them the space to talk and vent. It can be cathartic just to get things off your chest. Number two, it's no longer necessary to suffer from stress. Have you ever found yourself stressing about stressing? For many people, it is not the actual stress that's the problem, rather, it's how much they suffer from it. When they have no way to cope with stress, it's like a double hit, the stress itself and then the stress about how to handle it. The Buddhists call this the Second Arrow. The first arrow, the cause of the stress itself, that's inevitable, there will be loss, frustration, anger, and fear in our lives, we can't stop it, but we can stop the second arrow, how we deal with it, how much we beat ourselves up over what happened or how we handled it, that second arrow isn't necessary. Getting mad at ourselves won't make us do a better job the next time or make something any easier. Ask these clients how they can be easier on themselves. Is there a more gentle way they can talk to themselves or react to things? If, for example, they have another sleepless night, show them they can try again without being angry or frustrated with themselves. Number three, stress can actually be beneficial. Health psychologist Kelly McGonigal wrote a book entitled The Upside of Stress in which she talks about how stress can actually be beneficial with the right mindset. She says, "It isn't just the stress that's the problem, it's the belief that the stress is harmful." In her book, she explains, "Stress can make you smarter, stronger, and more successful. It helps you learn and grow. It can even inspire courage and compassion." Viewing it from this angle, she defines stress as what arises when something you care about is at stake. So with the right mindset, it could be a motivating force. If you can't change the amount of stress in your life, it is possible to change your beliefs about stress for the better. This takes us to the fourth tip, changing the beliefs you have about something is called a mindset shift, and it can make a huge difference. A mindset is a person's set of assumptions so well established that it drives them to repeatedly adopt or accept prior behaviors and choices whether or not they are beneficial. It's the collection of core beliefs that you hold so deeply, you might not even be aware of it. But it shapes your decision-making and your coping abilities. Most people's core beliefs are so deeply engrained that they're not even aware of them. Mindsets often have to be deliberately uncovered, and this is something commonly done through coaching. Changing your mindset requires becoming aware of the mindset, disrupting the current mindset, defining a new mindset, and adapting the new mindset to your current thinking. Your clients may hold a particular mindset about their stress, how they operate under stress, how it affects them, and what role it plays in their lives. You can help them gain self-awareness by asking them open-ended high-mileage questions like, "How do you feel when you don't get enough sleep?" Or "What would your life be like without stress?" Or "What are things in your life that you can't control but can't let go off?" Through powerful questioning, you can help them uncover the beliefs that drive their behavior. Once they become more aware of their mindset, it would be easier for them to notice their responses to stress as they arise. For example, your client may have a rough night and noticed that their first thought is, "This is going to ruin my day." They don't have to change it, just notice it. As they begin to notice negative beliefs driven by their mindset, you can get them thinking about how they would like things to be instead. Ask them, "How would you rather feel when you haven't gotten enough sleep?" Again, there's no action required at this point, just help them begin to see how they would like to shift their thinking. As they become more frequently aware of their mindset, define how they would like it to be and start visualizing this happier alternative. They'll start to make the shift. All you need to do is hold them to their awareness. So to recap what we've discussed so far. The four tips for helping your clients manage their stress are to avoid shaming, stop viewing stress as necessary, leverage the benefits of stress, and create a shift in the mindset. Now let's focus on some other great ways to relieve stress. In the next section, I'll share my top five stress relief methods. Ready? Let's get to it. Number one, meditation can be a great way to help your clients relieve stress. Meditation, when taught properly, is a great stress reliever. A lot of people struggle with meditation because they can't seem to quiet the chatter in their minds. It is inevitable that thoughts will pop up. A client who is stressed out and bent on perfection will be frustrated by this. And that will make it even harder to let go of the passing thoughts. It's important to remind your clients that meditation is not about perfection and it isn't about making the mind a clean slate, even expert mediators struggle with this. Rather, mindfulness meditation, which is simply about being aware of one's thoughts, the feelings in the body, and one's own discomfort is one of the best ways to meditate for stress relief. Number two, journaling. Many people journal about their grievances, but this may not actually be all that helpful. Instead, encourage your clients to journal about their successes, their hopes, and what they're grateful for, commonly referred to as gratitude practice. Gratitude practices have been shown to be effective for stress relief in many types of situations, including traumatized war veterans, adolescent transitions, and inside of corporate culture. Focusing on the positives, including a bright future, may help your clients to feel less stressed and bring more awareness to the goodness in their lives. Gentle yoga can help your clients release nervous tension in their muscles and joints. Many people hold tension in their necks, shoulders, backs, and buttocks. A gentle stretching routine performed a few times a week can help to gently and safely relieve this tension. Gentle yoga right before bed can be especially effective for allowing the body to settle into a restful sleep. There are many online resources where your clients can download or stream all kinds of yoga videos. Social connection, spending time with family or friends can make a big difference in stress levels. Of course, the key here is to spend time around positive people with whom you do not experience conflict. Social connections with the loving, positive individuals in your life should be nurtured and increased while you simultaneously create boundaries and limit connections with those people who generate toxic energy. Having genuine friendships makes a difference. Even your most introverted clients who love their alone time can find it very helpful for them to at least have one person they can talk to when they're feeling stressed or overwhelmed in life. Ask your clients if they have at least one supportive figure in their lives that they connect with regularly. If they don't, explore with them how they can create more social connections. For more extroverted clients who get their energy from being around people, an active social life can allow them to shift their thoughts from worries to joy. Encourage them to make time regularly for social activities that they enjoy no matter how busy they are. Number five, reframing a stressful situation can make it much more bearable. Reframing means choosing to look at a situation from a more positive viewpoint, as we just talked about a few moments ago, how we see stress makes a big difference. Encourage your clients to consider what might be good about the situation. For instance, you can ask them what lessons they are learning or how it will make their life better in the long run. You can also suggest they ask themselves the question why is this happening for me rather than why is this happening to me to help them shift their perspective on the current stressful situation. When there are two possible outcomes in a stressful situation, one positive and one negative, choosing the positive outcome makes the stress less damaging. For example, if you tell your client, "As long as you stay stressed, you'll never sleep well, " they're going to continue to have poor sleep. On the other hand, you create a choice and a motivator if you say something like, "Continuing the way things are, it is unlikely your situation will improve, but I am confident you will start to see improvements in your sleep if you try to get more rest." See the difference? You can teach your clients to embrace their own strength in bad situations. You can show them how courageous they are for facing what's happening. You can demonstrate compassion for them as they fail but still get up and try again. What you're doing here is reframing their struggle. And you can teach your clients how to do this for themselves. Reframing a stressful situation appears to decrease the negative impact of stress while resulting in an increase of DHEA production. While bad stress releases only cortisol, believing that stress is helpful still releases cortisol, but it also releases DHEA and other beneficial hormones. This DHEA helps to protect the system from the harmful effects of constant cortisol release. Number six, going on a news fast. The news can be stressful. For clients who are constantly plugged in and keeping up with the latest happenings, a news fast might be in order. In the past, the news was something you watched at 6pm, but now, it's on 24 hours a day every day. It's on the computer and you may even see it pop up on your phone throughout the day. It's difficult to avoid. What's more? It can be difficult today to tell which stories are even true and which ones are made up. To sell the news, news agencies tend to focus on the bad side of things. They promote their own bias, create tension, and broadcast danger. This keeps people watching and it keeps the ratings high. Can you remember the last time you heard something truly positive on the news? Taking a news fast which means avoiding the news paper, news channels, and Internet news for certain periods of time can really help with reframing. It's great to stay informed but not at the cost of high stress. Your clients don't need to know all the bad news all the time. You can recommend your clients start out with short periods just to try it out and work their way up to longer news fasts. They will quickly begin to see that they don't need someone else telling them what to worry about. The same goes for social media. So many of us are constantly glued to our phones, distracting our way through life by preoccupying ourselves with what other people are doing. We have forgotten how to simply wait in a line or sit on a park bench. And the social comparison of seeing what other people are doing or how they want you to think their lives are can create feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, and resentment. If your client reports to you that social media gives them feelings of anxiety or not being good enough, it may be time for them to take a break from it. They can start with 24 hours and work their up to a whole weekend if they desire. Let's recap. The top six stress management techniques that we covered today are mediation, journaling, gentle yoga, social connection, reframing, and going on a news fast. We also talked about the four types of stress and four tips for how you can help your clients with stress. The suggestions in this lecture are meant as starting points for you to help your clients get back on track toward adrenal health. For more information on how you can help your clients manage their stress levels, check out the handout Techniques for Reducing Stress which is in your Learning Center. I hope you now feel that you have a good arsenal of tools to more confidently support your clients as they take charge of their stress. Helping them shift their mindset and modify their lifestyle can make a really big difference in the overall quality of their lives. What do you do to manage stress? How do you survive the most chaotic moments in your life? Drop into the Facebook group and let us know, and share your most effective stress-busting techniques with us. I look forward to reading your comments. That's all for now. See you soon.

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Duration: 17 minutes and 46 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 5
Posted by: ninaz on Mar 25, 2018

Help Clients Manage Stress_Final

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