Do you want a life of less stress and more joy?
Are you feeling frustrated in your conversations? I don’t know about you, but I am trying really hard to be the architect of my life and build the best of me in all I do. This means less stress and resistance AND more joy in all I do.
A life changer for me was understanding that conversations are like calories.
Honestly, understanding this is the easiest thing you can do right now to have less stress and more joy in your life.
Contrary to popular belief, not all calories are created equal. 100 calories from a can of coke is not the same as 100 calories from a bowl of broccoli. Who knew? According to Dr. Sarah Gottfried, your body is going to process them differently. The can of coke is going to release the stress hormone cortisol and put stress on your body. Whereas the bowl of broccoli is going to nourish your body and cells, protecting them from stress and disease.
Conversations are the same. Not all conversations are created equal.
You know those conversations we have daily – the ones where we react, shoot from the hip, tell others what to do, or even gossip with ‘good intentions’? Those kinds of conversations stress us out. Our intentions are good but the impact is bad.
These kinds of conversations feel judging, blaming and shaming and have a similar effect on our body as a can of coke – they release the stress hormone cortisol. This makes it impossible for us to be happy and connect with others.
Basically, these kinds of conversations keep us feeling stressed out.
I think of these kinds of conversations as unconscious conversations. We have them all day long without even thinking about it, reacting to whatever is happening during our day. Know what I mean?
Conscious conversations, what we like to refer to as curious conversations, are like the bowl of broccoli. These kinds of conversations are intentional. What I mean by this is that you have to have awareness of what you are doing and saying in the moment. This means being present to actively listen and asking open questions to learn and understand, not fix and solve. Conscious conversations are what make us feel good!
These feel good conversations put us in a brain state where we are able to connect with others. As we ask questions and gain understanding we release the feel-good hormone oxytocin. So not only are we happier, it’s healthier for our mind, body and soul. We aren’t stressed out!
This doesn’t mean that you have to agree with what you hear. It just means that you are intentional to listen, learn and understand even when there is a difference of opinion and perspective.
How do we do it?
Much like we need to have an awareness of our physical health we also need to have awareness of our conversation health and relationship health. The part that is so frustrating is that no one teaches us how to do this, we are just expected to know how.
So, ask yourself right now – Am I feeding my conversations a can of coke or a bowl of broccoli?
If you are uncertain, think about how you would answer these questions:
- Are you uncomfortable when you hear things you don’t like or agree with?
- Do you find yourself telling others what to do because it’s easier, faster and get frustrated when it isn’t done the way you want?
- Do you avoid emotional conversations for fear of being judged or not feeling safe when saying what you really want to say?
- Have you had conversations that moments later you can’t remember all of what you talked about?
If you said yes to any of those questions then know that you are not alone. Most people spend a lot of time distracted in their conversations without even realizing it. This is how we get stuck. Create ruts that we can’t get out of. And then we blame everyone else for being here.
So, here’s a STRESS FREE tip:
We know we need to be aware of the kinds of food we eat and levels of stress we endure to keep our bodies at optimum health. The same is true with conversations. We need to have that same awareness and intention in our conversations to support optimum leadership health and relationship health.
Start by paying attention to what you are feeding your conversations throughout your day -is it a can of coke or a bowl of broccoli?
If you have no awareness of what you are feeding your conversations then it is impossible to control your stress levels in anything you do.
If you are anything like me and were never taught this stuff in school, then check out our free course Instant Communication Clarity. How else do you know if you are doing it right?