I’m (hopefully) coming out of four of the most stressful weeks I’ve had in a long time. As I’m sure you know, the universe has an unlimited array of creative ways to give us a swift uppercut under the chin while we were bent over gasping for breath from the punch in the gut it gave us 30 seconds earlier.
Between being on a speaking tour in Asia and my father passing away, two additional family crises, relaunching my website, and creating a new speaker reel…the stress, jet lag, lack of sleep, less than stellar food choices, caffeine and alcohol transformed me into a burbling stew of stress hormones.
Needless to say, it’s been challenging to be in a positive, confident state of mind. My inner terrorist has been having a field day telling me all the ways I suck, that my business will never be as successful as I want it to be, the phone is never going to ring again and that maybe I should just give up. Or at least go lay in bed and watch Netflix or go to the bakery and eat my face off.
We all have these moments. Or weeks… Or months…
Our bodies are pumping out cortisol and adrenaline – stress hormones – that put us into a state of anxiety and negativity. We might feel stuck or depressed. They rob us of our confidence. They literally hijack the advanced, intellectual portion of our brains where positivity and optimism live.
It’s not enough to try and think our way out of situations like this – stress hormones cut off access to the cognitive portion of our brains where stress management or self-help practices reside.
What we need is a chemical reset. We need a shot of the Four Chemicals of Confidence and Resilience: serotonin, GABA, dopamine and endorphins.
I’m going to share 3 quick and easy strategies that produce these hormones so you can go from feeling overwhelmed and overstressed to on fire and on your game:
- TAKE A H.I.I.T. Exercise puts the body and brain back into an ideal chemical state. High intensity interval training – short bursts of intense physical activity followed by short periods of recovery – burns off the stress hormones and produces the 4 Chemicals of Confidence and Resilience. And the best part is that it doesn’t take a lot of time: just 30-60 seconds of doing something like sprinting up a flight of stairs, doing push-ups or squat jumps changes your chemistry for the better.
- GET GROUNDED. Getting grounded in – and connected to – your beliefs puts the body and brain back into an ideal state. Taking time to reflect on what you value and believe bathes you in serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. You feel focused, confident, and happy. It also creates clarity, direction and accountability. An easy way to start is to identify your top 5 beliefs. What do you KNOW to be your personal truth and values?
- MAKE IT A GAME. There’s a genre of research called neuroscience-based gamification that studies gaming, the brain chemicals it produces, and how to make people addicted to things like video games or gambling. But this technology can also be used for good! When you challenge yourself regularly with small (or bodacious!) goals that reinforce a sense of purpose, it produces the Four Chemicals of Confidence as well as a positive feedback loop…or sense of addiction.