Everyone has experienced a sense of being overwhelmed, whether that is at home, on the way to work or throughout the work day. Yet the power to change how we cope with feeling overwhelmed can be as simple as switching on or off a light switch. Here's how my simple "Chill Chart Homework" technique helped a man, named Timothy, take control of his stress switch. Timothy and his wife Cathy had attended one of my workshops. He initially had been skeptical about how this "Chill Chart homework" idea could help. He worked as a paramedic and found that no amount of squeezing stress balls or self-help books could help him handle the overwhelming stress that he experienced at work and then brought home with him. After the workshop, his wife Cathy challenged him to try the "Chill Chart homework" technique. The technique involves coming up with a list of 3 home memories and 3 work memories that put a smile on your face. You then summarize the lists on a post-it-note and place it in the upper left hand corner of your vehicle's windshield. As you travel to work each day, you focus on your top 3 work memories. Maybe it's something funny one of your co-workers did. Maybe it was a client you really made a difference for. As you drive home after work, you switch your focus to your "Chill Chart" memories of home. Kids or grandkids are an endless supply of "Chill Chart" memories. Why not relive a fun or touching moment. Or, it could be as simple as something you are looking forward to doing with a friend that night. It all helps to get your thinking moving in a better direction and leave the cares of work at work. Timothy took the challenge, he went ahead and stuck the note in the front of his van and gave it go. After two weeks of trying this out, going back and forth to work and home, Timothy was surprised with the results. Timothy's ability to cope with his day had taken a dramatic shift, he felt centered and less overwhelmed heading into work, while at the same time he would return home more upbeat and connected to Cathy, instead of unloading his stress on to her.
Tips:Take the "Chill Chart Homework" challenge. Make your list and stick it in your windshield. Make sure to select 3 that without a doubt bring a smile to your face. They could be a joke that still makes you laugh that your friend told you at work, an accomplishment that you achieved, or a simple moment that you had with your kids. Be sure to write down 3 related to your work and 3 related to your home life. Oh and don't forget... email me to let me know your results.
Quote to Ponder: "If you believe you can, you probably can. If you believe you won't, you most assuredly won't. Belief is the ignition switch that gets you off the launching pad." - Denis Waitley