In the demanding world we live in, stress from both family and work is inevitable. Some individuals may find themselves pulled more in one direction than the other, but stress is a universal challenge that we all must learn to cope with. Achieving balance requires utilizing additional tools and resources, even though making time for these can be a challenge in itself. In such situations, we must make a conscious choice to prioritize our well-being by identifying resources that are personally suitable and achievable for us.
Expanding Your Window of Tolerance
No matter your role within an organization or at home, each comes with its unique set of challenges. To effectively address these challenges, it’s crucial to expand our window of tolerance and increase our patience levels. Failure to do so can result in quick irritability and hinder our ability to arrive at effective solutions. Here are some strategies to help expand your window of tolerance:
- Meditation: Incorporate meditation into your daily routine to cultivate patience and emotional resilience.
- Seek Professional Help: Consider consulting a mental health professional for guidance and support in managing stress.
- Take a PAUSE: Before reacting to any situation, consciously pause. This practice allows your window of tolerance to expand, as you’re not rushing to respond impulsively.
- Avoid Hasty Reactions: Reacting hastily diminishes your tolerance and patience levels. Practicing restraint and taking a moment before responding is key.
Expanding your window of tolerance is akin to skill development. The more you practice, the more natural it becomes to pause before reacting, ultimately increasing your tolerance and patience.
Embracing Patience in a Fast-Paced World
Our reliance on technology has conditioned us to expect instant answers. This dependence has eroded our patience and tolerance levels. However, by embracing the Pause and Slow Down techniques, we can reverse this trend. Reducing stress becomes feasible when we approach problems with a solution-oriented mindset, rather than feeling trapped without a way out. Stress often arises from a perceived lack of solutions, but these techniques foster healthy coping mechanisms that offer long-term benefits.
The Art of Shelfing
A valuable extension of the Pause technique is “Shelfing.” Shelfing allows individuals to set aside immediate concerns or stressors, choosing to revisit them when better equipped and resourced. When time constraints intensify stress, Shelfing offers a method to temporarily set aside the issue without feeling compelled to address it immediately. It is important to let go of the need for instant answers. Shelfing enables living in the present moment and prevents overthinking about current stressors. It grants the ability to take a breather and return to the issue when you feel prepared.
Strategies for a Balanced Life
These two techniques, Pause and Shelfing, can significantly reduce stress while concurrently enhancing your window of tolerance and patience. They contribute to achieving a balanced life, which is essential for long-term sustainability. Whether you’re dealing with workplace stress or challenges at home, taking a step back and gaining perspective when you’re calm and resourced can make a substantial difference in effectively managing stress.