What To Do If You Keep Thinking About Haiti

The devastation in Haiti from this week’s earthquake is all over the news. Clients, colleagues, family and friends are all talking about the suffering there, wanting to understand and find ways to help. This is normal and can bring out the best in people. But what do you do if you seem to be obsessed about the disaster and can’t stop thinking about it?

If thinking about what happened, and is happening, in Haiti is keeping you from focusing on what you need to do at work and/or at home, you need to make some changes. The first is to turn off the news. Stop watching TV, put the newspaper in the recycling without reading it and swear off checking the current events headlines on the internet for awhile. That should help bring your stress down.

You can also do some other basic stress-relieving techniques, like exercising, going somewhere different for a change of scenery, going for a walk, getting out in nature, or doing some breathing exercises (unless you have asthma).

If none of these help, you might try the tapping technique (using my Quick Start Guide to Tapping) on what is bothering you most about Haiti. Say you keep seeing a particular image from the news. Tap on it, saying something like “Even though I can’t stop thinking about that picture of a child crying in the rubble, I deeply and completely accept myself” as your set up. Tap until thinking of that picture shifts in your mind and no longer seems overwhelming.You won’t lose your compassion for those suffering, but the thought of that suffering will stop being debilitating.

If the tapping does not change your reaction to the specific image (or interview, or idea) that has been bothering you, it may be that that image is reminding you of something that happened in your life. Ask yourself if the feeling you get thinking about that image reminds you of anything. If it does, tap on that memory even if it doesn’t seem to be related to Haiti. Our brains can make some interesting and unexpected connections. Once you tap down any negative emotions you have from your memory, check the Haiti image again. If you identified the memory that was being triggered by the Haiti news, your reaction to the image from Haiti should have changed.

It is often possible to use the tapping technique on your own effectively, but sometimes the connections in your brain can be too complex, or the memories too scary or difficult to retrieve, to work on by yourself. In that case, working with someone else (like a therapist or someone trained in this tapping thing) may help you get unstuck. Either way, it’s worth it to clear out whatever has been triggered by the news so that it doesn’t come up again the next time there is a natural disaster.

And please consider donating to reputable groups, like the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres), if you can. The Haitians have had enough pain to contend with, even before this earthquake.

Get started.

Please e-mail me at nancy@unblockresults.com to set up a get-acquainted session by phone or Skype to talk about what might be blocking you.

Luck and the Stressed Out Person

I recently read a 2003 article on a study of lucky v. unlucky people. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/3304496/Be-lucky—its-an-easy-skill-to-learn.html Among the conclusions the researcher reached were a few that stuck out for me: (i) both lucky and unlucky people create their own “luck,” good or bad; (ii) lucky people notice more, and so discover more good things to take advantage of; (iii) stress narrows a person’s focus so that they notice less; and (iv) people can be taught to be lucky.https://unsplash.com/photos/w1MrSC_JMs8

I’m not surprised. I’ve noticed that once clients lower their stress they become much more creative, seeing possibilities where before they seemed to be facing brick walls. Once the stress has lifted, they are also much more likely to change rather than keep doing the same thing over and over, getting the same less-than-stellar results. And with creativity flowing and motivation to change, these clients start having positive experiences — meeting the right people at a networking event, realizing a way to save money, catching a mistake before sending out a report.

Most of my clients don’t describe these experiences as “luck,” but this researcher would probably categorize them that way. So the bottom line here is: to increase your luck, lower your stress.

Get started.

Please e-mail me at nancy@unblockresults.com to set up a get-acquainted session by phone or Skype to talk about how we might work together on what’s blocking you.

Getting Rid of Unreasonable Fears Fast

A client of mine was thrown for a loop this week when he had back-to-back calls from a friend and a relative. Both callers expressed doubts about his plan to take his business in a new direction. The extreme stress he felt from those calls almost derailed his plan completely.

My client had determined that he had to change his business’s approach to deal with the realities of the current economy. He had done a lot of research into what customers wanted, what they would pay, and how best to approach them. His  energy and enthusiasm were higher than they had been in weeks. He was almost ready to launch his new service.https://unsplash.com/photos/iR3dtvKmwAw

Then came the calls. Although the callers intended only the best for him, and they were by their own admission inexperienced in the business area he was pursuing, their trusted words took a powerful toll on him. They not only had him doubting the wisdom of his plan, they had him questioning whether he was capable of keeping his business going at all. He had trouble thinking about anything other than the calls and his motivation came crashing down. He estimated that his productivity was cut down to a quarter of what it had been before he said “Hello.”

A few hours later he contacted me. We talked and used the stress-reduction tapping technique I teach while focusing on what was bothering him about the calls to help him clear his stress. Within twenty minutes, his head had cleared. He dropped the fear that he wouldn’t be able to succeed and was able to quickly re-orient his thinking around the fact that, while his callers had his best interests in mind, they knew almost nothing about the area he was working in. Their reaction was based on their own fears and concerns, not on a reasoned analysis of the market for the services he was offering. His analysis of his business and the market had not changed — he was on the right track. His motivation and energy came back to where they had been, or even higher. He called the results “amazing.” (This from one of my more skeptical clients, who took a long time to accept that this tapping stuff might actually help.)

As a bonus, my client realized in the middle of our tapping how to get around an obstacle that had been blocking him from asking some contacts to refer him business. This was not something we had focused on at any point. It shows how getting rid of stress can open up your creativity.

Could he have achieved this without our talking and tapping? In time, perhaps yes. But given what a fast-moving month this was in his life and the stakes in the decisions he was about to make, he told me he was grateful for how quickly he was able to clear his head and move forward without lasting distraction on a purely emotional level.

Get started.

Please e-mail me at nancy@unblockresults.com to arrange a get-acquainted call by phone or Skype to talk about your blocks and how we might work on them together.