Stress Management Tools: Notice + Shift + Rewire
Making small, incremental changes over time can dramatically improve your health! How’s that for a truism?
Creating opportunities to slow down is one of the core messages that all this time on the Autoimmune Protocol has taught me.
We know this stress management ‘stuff’ isn’t difficult. But, just because it’s not difficult doesn’t mean it’s easy.
I wonder what tools you regularly use to manage stress? Can you name them?
Just as you schedule a time to exercise in your diary, so too, should you schedule ‘time out’ for yourself…
Enter the ‘Notice + Shift + Rewire’ (N+S+R) Technique
This little 3-step practice is the brain-child of Eric Langshur and Nate Klemp, authors of ‘Start Here: Master the Lifelong Habit of Wellbeing‘.
N+S+R is a remarkably effective way to be more present in the moment and just settle your chatty mind.
It’s one of those neat little exercises that you can do anywhere. And, it’s super quick, too. You don’t need to find a quiet place to meditate for a fixed period of time. Rather, you can practice N+S+R while you’re loading the dishwasher, sitting on the bus, in the shower…
How do you DO THIS N+S+R Thing?
It’s as easy as remembering the acronym…
The ‘notice’ (N) step – the act of becoming aware of where your mind is at a given moment in time.
This is the trickiest step. It requires you to become aware of your thoughts as an observer. I find the easiest time for me to catch myself at this is when I’m beating myself up about something.
+ SHIFT (S)
The ‘shift’ (S) step is where you choose to shift your attention to the now; to be in the present moment.
This is a simple process of bringing your attention to some object of focus that resonates for you – the breath is a popular choice (it’s always with you, after all). But, you can use a sensory response – touch, sight, smell, sound, even taste.
I’m a fan of creative visualisation, so that picture of Bethell’s Beach at the top of this post is one I often use to shift my attention.
+ REWIRE (R)
The ‘rewire’ (R) step is where the magic happens. Spend 20 seconds or so really engaging with whatever you’re focusing your attention on. Notice everything you can about it.
You’re actually creating new neural pathways as you do this!
So, if I’m visualising my beach, I’m there in my mind. I can smell the salty air. I can feel the breeze on my face. I can hear the surf crashing.
That’s it! It’s that easy. And, it literally takes seconds.
Changing the channel on your thinking can have a profound effect on how you manage stress over time. You just have to remember to do it…