Learning at Mindvalley: Stress Management And Smart Goal Setting

For the past 90 days I was taking many quests from Minvalley. It really made a difference in my life. Thanks to mentors such as Vishen Lakhiani, Srikumar Rao and Robin Sharma for creating their quest and making difference in people’s life. I would love to share skills that learned. If you never heard of Mindvalley go to IMHO Reviews to read our detailed review.

Identify the Trigger of the Stress

There are many factors that create stress for people. One of the most prevalent external factors is major life changes. Any time there is a transition in life, there is the potential for a stressful situation. Change is difficult for most people because change takes them into often unfamiliar territory. How these transitions are handled will dictate the degree of stress felt.

According to Mindvalley trainer Srikumar Rao, the top ten stressful life events are: a spouse’s death, divorce, marriage separation, jail term, death of a close relative; injury or illness; marriage; loss of a job; marriage reconciliation, and retirement. Though some of these are factors over which individuals have no control, they do, however, have a choice about how to react to the stressor.

Ways to Help Manage Stress

How well stress is tolerated is varied and is influenced by both genetics and life experiences. However, first and foremost, the way stress is handled is a choice. The fact is that people cause a good portion of their stress by the choices they make. Managing stress is mostly dependent upon the willingness of the person to make necessary lifestyle changes.

Strengthen relationships. Build strong relationships and keep commitments to family and friends. Ensuring that a strong support system in place is a key to tolerating stressful situations.

Time management. Don’t be a superhero; learn how to say “no.” Take breaks to keep the mind fresh; time outs when a deep breath is needed. It is important for people to not over extend their commitments. Time cannot be made. There are only 24 hours in a day no matter how hard people try to make time for more activities.

Create Predictability. The more routine created in a person’s day, the more predictable it is and thus less stressful. Again, few people enjoy change. Preparing for new things by anticipating what can happen will help reduce stress. Keep in mind that setbacks and problems are temporary and solvable.

Set realistic goals. Realistic expectations help with being prepared and gaining a sense of control. People do better when they expect less from others who can not give what is wanted. People will always disappoint at one time or another. Success will come if individuals keep working towards their goals and take action instead of reacting.

Healthy eating. I learn it from Ben Greenfield another Mindvalley coach.When the body and mind is in good health, the tolerance for stressful situations is higher. Caffeine is a stimulant and thus does not really reduce stress but rather stabilizes or increases it. Drugs and alcohol can actually worsen the symptoms by making the person less tolerant for further stress.

Exercise

Dissipate the excess energy created by stress by exercising. Exercise will help strengthen the body and mind and will assist in increasing the tolerance level for stress.

Rest adequately. Tired people rarely handle stress adequately. On a continuum, fatigue can be visualized as the middle slider between good stress and distress. When fatigue slides towards the distress end; it is time to rest.

Change the tape

Marisa Peer, Mindvalley hypnotherapist explained that an individual’s belief systems may need to be challenged. Most beliefs are unconscious and individuals may not be aware of them. Reframing can be powerful; look at the situation from another’s point of view. Taking a look at the big picture can also be helpful.

Avoid people and/or topics that create stress. If possible, individuals are better served by steering clear of people or topics that create stress for them. (e.g. politics, religion)

Express feelings. It should come as no surprise that when individuals express their feelings instead of keeping them bottled up; the majority of them tend to release stress and tolerate stressful situations better than those who do not.

Be more assertive. Individuals reduce stress levels when they are willing to be more assertive, willing to compromise when necessary and don’t demand perfection.

Learn how to relax. Participate regularly in relaxation and fun. Laughing releases endorphins. People who are able to laugh at the situations usually tolerate stress more effectively. Relaxing can take many forms; from meditation to simply reading a good book.

Making lifestyle changes in and of itself can be stress reducing if an individual is resistant to the change. In the long run; choosing to make the changes necessary to reduce stress will be temporary and is beneficial physically and mentally.

What is SMART goal setting, how does it work and how can this cognitive behavioral therapy skill be used to improve your life?

Goal setting is useful to everyone regardless of whether they havea history of mental health problems or not. There are many different approaches to goal setting and using the SMART way within the CBT framework helps one to be more effective and productive in this area. Key areas to be explored in this article are listed below.

If you are interested in my personal experience watch the  Mindvalley Review video.

What is SMART Goal Setting?

Smart goal setting is idea that I am using based on Robin Sharma, Mindvalley quest Hero Genius Legend:

Goals are an important means to achievement; using the SMART approach helps one get more focused and provides a clear, vivid picture of the desired goal.

SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-orientated

Specific: avoid generalization, be clear, focus on exactly what you want

Measurable: need clear, tangible goals to assess if goals been met or not

Achievable: attainable, feasible so not winning the World Cup or the lottery!

Realistic: keep it real, sensible, based on fact/reality to be successful

Time-orientated: set realistic time-frames to avoid procrastination/quitting

As well as needing goals to be SMART, it is really important that you think about how much you actually want to achieve the goal as it is only if you really, truly desire to attain something that you will be likely to go the distance, keep motivated and reach the finish. Regular checks back to your SMART plan will help you to stay focused and ensure that you are on track and have not got distracted in the process.

Practical Example

An example of using SMART is when an overweight individual wishes to diet to lose weight. It won’t help reach the goal if they simply say that they just want to be thinner and lose a lot of weight at some point as this doesn’t encompass the SMART components as below.

Specific: I want to lose two stone through avoiding snacks and walking for an hour daily

Measurable: I can weigh myself each week to check progress

Achievable: I will stop buying snacks and walk the dog for an hour

Realistic: With support from friends this is attainable

Time-orientated: I will aim for one pound of weight loss each week over 28 weeks

The SMART approach thus becomes a step-by-step, easy to follow yet concise plan which can then provide a vital framework within which the individual’s goal can be worked towards and eventually achieved.

Key Benefits

Key benefits of using SMART to set your goals include: they are much more planned out, focused, concise, specific and are therefore significantly easier to visualize and thus you are more like to remain motivated and be successful in attaining your goal.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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