Creating a plan of action is a key ingredient in any form of success, whatever that may look like to you. Once we are clear on what we would like to achieve, we can reverse engineer the process, and create a plan of actionable steps that will take us closer to our desired outcome. In this exercise, Alister will help you create your own personal "success path" through visualization and a self reflective writing task.
2. Strengthen Your Self-Belief
It’s not uncommon for us to doubt our own abilities, to fear the future and to question “am I good enough?”. We may spend countless hours comparing and self-judging, focusing on the things we don’t have and we can’t do, while forgetting to acknowledge all the things that we do have and all the things we can do! In today's exercise we will focus on cultivating a stronger sense of self-belief. We’re going to take a little time to celebrate our greatness, to reflect on our accomplishments and to remind ourselves of what we are capable of when we set our mind to it.
3. Confident Communication
Not feeling properly heard and understood by other is a common trigger for stress, and can leave us resentful and unhappy. This session will focus on improving communication skills through developing assertiveness. Dr. Catherine will introduce you a script that you can try out using to help you to communicate more assertively and express your feelings effectively.
4. Manage Stressful Relationships
The relationships we have with other people can be a major source of stress in daily life. In this session Dr. Catherine will guide you through an exercise on how we can establish healthier boundaries with people who cause us stress and limit the way in which these interactions contribute to our stress levels. The exercise will be mainly focusing on your personal relationships as opposed to your professional ones.
5. Problem Solving Made Simple
When we are feeling stressed, our ability to think clearly and rationally is often impaired. This can make solving problems difficult and we can often feel overwhelmed, unsure of what to do next. In today’s session Dr. Catherine will introduce you to a simple systematic approach to problem-solving to help you to take action and be more decisive in these tricky stressful times, where you’re not quite sure what to do. Following this approach when faced with a problem you’re not quite sure what to do about can help you to build confidence in your decision-making process.
6. Find Clarity and Focus
Stress easily accumulates when we have a long-do list, multiple deadlines and competing priorities. It’s very easy to end up living a life that is inconsistent with your personal values, spending lots of time and energy on things that perhaps aren’t what you really value as important. To help you to clarify your values, Dr. Catherine will guide you through a personal values exercise. This will enable you to clarify what is really important to you, to help you to start living more fully by your values and have a more fulfilling life.
7. Positive Self Talk
Stress can often make you focus on your perceived weaknesses and flaws. When you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, it’s common to end up criticising and blaming yourself. A way of building up our resilience to stress is to learn to recognise your negative thought patterns and actively work to refocus your mind. In this exercise, we will use the technique of positive self-talk. I will help you to identify some of your key personal qualities and strengths. All you need for this exercise is a pen and paper.
8. Release Tension in the Body
One of the physical signs of stress is muscular tension throughout the body or in specific areas like the neck, shoulders, back and head. In this session Dr. Catherine will guide you through a Progressive Muscle Relaxation technique which will enable you to release tension in the body so that you can begin to feel more calm and relaxed.This exercise can be done sitting in a comfortable chair, at any point during the day, but it’s even better to do lying down, especially in bed at night.
9. Peaceful Mind Visualization
Visualization is an effective technique for managing both stress and anxiety. With practice, this technique can enable you to achieve a sense of relaxation in just a few minutes - perfect for when you’ve had a busy stressful day. In this session, Dr. Catherine will guide you through a visualization where you can imagine yourself in a peaceful and safe environment, somewhere that makes you feel calm, happy and relaxed. The more you practice this exercise, the more naturally you will be able to imagine yourself in your peaceful place, and the greater the relaxation effect will be.
10. Mindful Body Relaxation
When we are feeling very stressed, it’s easy to feel ‘stuck in our head’ and disconnected from our physical selves. In this session Dr. Catherine will guide you through a mindful body scan. This is a practice that aims to increase your awareness of the whole of your body to help you to feel calmer, more centred and grounded. You can do this any time of day, but you might like to try it when you’re lying in bed at night, or upon waking in the morning. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing.