It only takes a minute girl

Rosanna Machado | January 26, 2021

I entered last week feeling overwhelmed and anxious about various things in my life. Before 2017, I would have suppressed these feelings and found my happy cheery self to keep going and to support everyone around me. When I faced a tough year in 2017, my immediate thought was that I would be showing a weakness by opening up to friends about my woes. Of course, when I finally did it, I was met with nothing but love and kindness and immediately felt better about confronting what was going on for me. It was a huge lesson to tune in to everything that is going on for me with curiosity rather than judgement – to be an emotional scientist.

As a coach, deepening self-awareness has been one of the most powerful places I can take clients, as that clarity opens up potential and choices emerge. Personally, I was happy to note that my reaction last week was more open and supportive to myself, and it was fascinating to see that, whilst it was a little uncomfortable, it took only minutes for me to put things in perspective through talking it through with a friend and journaling.

I heard Tal Ben-Shahar speaking this morning about happiness and resilience. It resonated with me when he said that giving yourself permission to experience painful emotions is the foundation for happiness. I have certainly found that by embracing everything I feel and being more vulnerable, I am more in tune with myself, happier accepting the whole of me and this has allowed me to form deeper friendships.

Tal also spoke about resilience 2.0 where instead of just bouncing back after difficulty, you grow and move to a stronger place. He made a very interesting point about stress – the problem is not stress; it is the lack of recovery. We often find ourselves in a stressful situation and then exacerbate the situation by ploughing on without recovery time. I like to think of the recovery time as a vital part of my wellbeing. I am unlikely to be able to do my next task efficiently if I have not processed my emotions. Whilst it may not be possible to process everything during a working day, there is invariably time for a 30 second breathing reset or time to jot down what you might want to think about and explore later on.

So next time you feel that stress coming on, take a moment to stop and think about what might be best for your recovery and what tools you have within your armour, whether that’s deep breathing, going for a walk, stepping away from technology or journaling. A quick dance around the house may just work wonders.