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Coping smart with stress Becki Pickett

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SUMMARY

Great podcast today with Becki Pickett. M.C.P. on how to deal with stress. She has a workable blueprint to identify, clarify and manage problems and the stress that they cause.

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Welcome to another edition of the Rock Your Business podcast, and if you own a business, or actually if you’re just a human, you deal with stress, right? So I have an expert on here today. Her name is Beck Picket and were going to be talking about how to handle stress and what is truly causing your stress. So Becky, how are you doing today?

 I’m super, how are you, Steven? Great to be here.

 Oh awesome Becky, thanks for joining us in. We’re going to dive right into this because this is a huge topic. Every person deals with stress on different levels and people handle it differently. So one thing I have learned from Becky in the few times we’ve already spoken is that stress is a side effect. Of the real problem Becky. I love the hear more about that.

Great thanks Steven so much. Yes you know I have. Clients in I read and hear and see things every day about stress management and all of the great techniques, and they are all wonderful and I advocate all emotional Wellness techniques. Whether it’s deep breathing or grounding or meditation. Journaling all of those great things. But I have a theory that stress, as you said, is really not the problem. It’s a side effect of a problem. What I tell people is, let’s talk about what it is. What’s the real source here? Once you can identify that an rate it in its severity, then you can decide how much of your time your energy and what I call emotional resources, are you willing? To expand to make that problem better in your life and therefore the stress would be managed better. Love this, love this so it’s kind of like going to a doctor. It’s like all right Doctor. I’m having headaches and they just give you a pill OK and then you know week later you’re still having headaches. Then they go give another pill. It’s like look we have to get to the true core reason of what is causing these headaches. Not just be giving you aspirin to get rid of the headaches right? Exactly, and that’s what I try to explain to people, is. Not only would it will this help you. Alleviate the stress. Manage the stress, but it’s also going to be a way to alleviate future problems.

Yeah, I love that. So talk about that now now and maybe give us maybe 30 seconds of kind of your background real quick. And then I’d love to hear more about you, know addressing these problems. Maybe they came from something that happened. It could be stuff that’s in us from childhood. It could be stuff that’s new to us. It could be physiological changes, environmental changes. I mean there’s a lot of things that cause stress. And it’s hard, and your body. So I know. I maybe ask you two or three questions here, but I’d love to hear more about you real quick in your background on this and then dive right into the stress question.

Sure, basically I I formed my modality from the fact that I was unofficially emancipated as a teenager. I left home at 16. My dad had been through a very long illness. My mom was emotionally depleted from that. I had an opportunity to get into college very early, which I did and started out on my own. So I found myself at 16 without much of a parental safety net and trying to learn to navigate that grown up world and that meant I had to learn to problem solve. So I became really good at. Breaking down what was going on and what did I need to do to move myself forward, then Fast forward to that made me obviously have a real interest in psychology that I got my undergraduate degree in that I went back several years later as a returning student and got my Masters after my children got into high school. I was in a family business with my husband. My husband was in a family business. We went through a really bad financial situation. I found myself calling upon those same problem solving schools again and realized that I had a real real theory here that was working. I had a small practice started using it with my clients. It started working for them. I then had another big shift in life and put that on hold. And went into doing this in a volunteer capacity in grief support. I had been through several situations in my own life with some severe. Repercussions from death and and learning to deal with grief. And I used that in a volunteer capacity with a very large Member Church and did a lot of work with helping people work their way through grief, which is a problem. So I. Here we come to the pandemic pandemic heads and I started hearing from people from my past who called me and said hey can you walk me through this? I’m having a lot of trouble with the stress and I’m feeling from what we’re going through with the pandemic and my life is upside down. I’ve lost my job. My kids are being homeschooled. What am I going to do so I found myself really talking to a lot of people again about problem solving and that. That the stress is. Top, but we’ve got to figure out when you can’t pay your mortgage. Deep breathing doesn’t help. What it helps it helps in those few moments that you having a panic attack, but it’s not going to pay the bills. So sometimes getting that confidence of. Grabbing a problem and actually working through it can then lead you into all kinds of great places of how to deal with your life. And get to that place that you call happiness and success, which is what we’re all looking for. So I also during the pandemic because I was basically shut down with anything going on. I decided this was the time to write the book that I had in my head in my heart. And so I wrote the book Coping Smart. How to overcome a problem and get out from under the stress which will be coming out soon. And I’ve already started on the second book that will be geared toward parenting and coping smart with parenting. So that’s that part of it now, what was the next part of your question? Wow? I mean, that’s OK. Let’s stop there. For a second. I mean it is. It is, yes, everybody’s lives changed in 2020. I mean, we’ve never seen not only the United States, but you know all around the world. Shut down like this. You know in countries were shut down and there still countries that were recording this on March 22nd, 2021 that are shut down still. And so. It causes, I mean, we’re talking little things that cause stressors in people’s life. This is a major day. So you know it is huge to be able to handle this and I love man I love and the other thing you said about the book.

Oh my gosh, you have a book about. Coping parents helping parents cope man. Sign me up now I don’t even have little kids anymore, but I’m going to buy that book and I’m going to send it to someone having a baby because they’re gonna need it absolutely well.

 You know, that’s the thing we always say when when someone has a child. I said, well, they don’t come with instructions well, but they really do. I have a theory that really they do in is pretty simple. As far as the basics of you there just basic things we can do to make sure that our kids are safe and happy and we sometimes get far away from that. Just like with the coping skills and problem solving, I think we’ve just gotten away from some real basics, which is if a happens an I do be. Then C will be the result. Oftentimes a happens. We do be without any thought about what she is going to be. What’s the impact going to be? And I see that more and more, and I find that disturbing in younger people, especially, they’re really not learning how to stop and think through a scenario before they act. So I think oftentimes we bring problems on ourselves because we haven’t taken the time. To think it through and it’s really not that difficult. I love that, so let’s expand on that a little bit. So yeah, in business it’s not when you’re going to have issues or it’s not. If you’re going to that win and how many you’re going to have this week because the larger you get, the more customers you have, the more employees you have, the more problems you have. It’s just the way it is. OK so and I love this and I tell people to not do knee jerk reactions one step back for a second. OK, no ones going to, you know, unless you’re a doctor and you’re in a trauma unit, you know if you step back for 1/2 hour an hour. I don’t know what you recommend. You know what really look at, how to handle. A situation or problem that comes up you know no ones going to die. Like if you don’t react immediately. In most situations that come up, you’re no one’s gonna die. You’re not going to lose your business. Take time to step back. I don’t know if you have a coping mechanism or what you suggest for people on that. I’d love to hear more. Well that is the 1st. I have five steps that I recommend for people and the first one is stop and think and in that moment think about it. We we use that method with children a lot right? We give them a timeout with a. Go sit and think about this for a moment, but yet as adults, we forget. That’s really a very simple rule. We should all use stop for just a moment and think this through who I love that. Give yourself a time now. I love that.

Absolutely.

Then what does that give you that gives you a moment to really process right? Really process. How severe is this problem and what I tell people is I have four categories that you can assess the severity of a problem that sounds fancy very simple. Is this just simply a complication and inconvenience in my life? Is this a dilemma? Something that’s going to mean that I really need to think this through and really consider some alternatives? Is this a crisis? Is this something that is literally could have life altering effects or is this a tragedy which means your life has been altered? So when you stop and think? I often say we all we want to make a big deal out of everything. Remember the book don’t sweat, sweat the small stuff, sure, and he said everything. Small stuff. Well, if you if you think about it, we’ve now gotten to a place where we super size everything. Everything’s a drama because of reality shows because of social media, everything’s blown up bigger, better. Right, the converse is true when something goes wrong, we tend to think everything is catastrophic, and so I think that’s why we also have a real problem in this country with people having terrible anxiety because we tend to catastrophize things. If you take that moment to stop and think about it, you can realize it may not be as bad as it seems.

Oh, I love this. I love this so that’s one thing my father told me this and I heard it from a mentor another mentor as well as my father God rest his soul. He told me along time ago when I was a kid ’cause I would you know, as teenagers we think everything’s were like taking right like Oh my God my life is over. And he said, look, he says, he said, Steve, there’s there’s basically two things, there’s issues and there’s problems. Problems are like you get cancer, you know you get some kind of really disease or life threatening or altering change like this. He said, he said. And then you know there’s issues, he said. Most things are just issued. He says if it could be solved by writing a check or a change in attitude, it’s just an issue. And then one of those two things and then move forward and that stuff with me all my life. I share that with people all the time and I think it’s just critical for people to understand that not everything is a giant mobile. Just like you said, not everything is the capacity right? Exactly?

Well, you know what’s interesting is that. Everyone has problems, that’s inevitable. That’s not Debbie Downer that simply inevitable. I think the sooner we realize that, and the sooner we accept that, then it’s easier to say, OK, you don’t get quite as ruffled. You don’t. You don’t dial, dial up the drama every time when you say, OK, this is a problem. I can solve this, I’m good at this and that. That helps you realize that. That’s part of it is interesting. We there’s certain parts of our life that we just accept. You get in a relationship and you all of you recognize there will be ups and downs. Why don’t we realize that about life? Why do we think every day has to be great? Why do we think everything has to go our way all the time? It doesn’t. And as we know, we learn by those things that don’t go our way. Those make the time that do even better and we learn from those and we that’s how we make progress in our life is the same thing. A problem is just an opportunity. It’s an opportunity. To do something different is an opportunity to think in a different way. The thing is, we all come at that though. with very different perspectives and i think that’s also part of the dilemma here is what is your perspective Is it a dilemma, which means there’s kind of an either or thing I should do here? Or is it a crisis which is really life altering, meaning that I really there’s a chance that if I do this or that is really going to make a huge difference not only in my life and in someone elses life, or is it a tragedy? Obviously that’s the most obvious of. The categories is a tragedy. We know with that bills like in what that is, but it also has very specific things which I line out for people when I work with the client on looking at their particular situation. Their particular problem. Once we understand where it is, who’s involved, who’s going to be affected, what the collateral damage of your decisions, what are your options? Then we talk about how to take that particular specific problem and work a bespoke plan that they can use that with all of the things about who they are, how they what their style is, what their temperament is, what their personality is, because all of those things make a difference in how you handle a problem. So that’s the first step. The second one is, I tell people you’ve got to get on top of your emotions. What I tell people is ask yourself this question. Are my emotions in this moment serving me or are they swaying me? Now we say well. I have these feelings. I can’t help how I feel you can help how you feel now. The first emotion that hits your mind is going to hit your mind is all part of those things that make you you. But you also can then type that moment. Should I dial this down? Is this worthy of the emotion that I’m feeling is really of what I’m going to do with this emotion, or is the problem because having that kind of reaction to it, so it’s about getting control of your emotions in a way that works for you. Some of us like to be more dramatic than others as part of who we are. Some of us are. Quick to to get angry. Some of us are very slow to burn for that. That makes a difference in it as well. And then the third thing is I tell people let’s really clarify your options. You always have choices people say. Well, I didn’t have a choice. Of course you did. You always have some sort of choice. Choices are based on intent. You’ve got to decide what does she really want to see happen. What can you do to make that happen? Is that possible and what are you willing to do to make that happen with those options, and then the next step is I tell them let’s find a workable solution which is based on all of those things. What are you willing to do? What are your deal Breakers? What is acceptable and unacceptable view? And I found Steven that working with people. That definition is very different for each person. We all have different levels of tolerance. We all have different things that bother us or don’t bother us and that has to be figured in as well and that’s why there’s no one size fits all as far as the plan, the plan has to be what you’re willing to do to make this work for you. and then the last step is i teach people what i call this seven RS of coping and that’s really what people want to think about the most and i absolutely feel this is necessary to problem solving and it is if you’ve got to learn to reframe frame whatever you want to put on it. If you want to be visual and literal, just think of it in a different way. How can you say it or feel about it in a different way? Then I tell people, resist. The temptation of ruminate. It is so easy to set and feature self up over things you didn’t do or things you should have done or wish you hadn’t done, and you just can’t do that. You’ve got to resist that temptation to ruminate. Then you’ve got to recall things in the past that you’ve done that have worked for you. When was the time that you help really got yourself through a problem? Then you’ve got to replace those thoughts that come in your mind. You cannot let those catastrophic putting things come into your mind that you gotta learn to write them. You’ve got to rate how anxious you feel, how, how, depressed. Like going to a doctor and it gives you a scale of 1 to 10. How bad is your pain? If you can do that with the way you’re feeling in your emotional life, then that’s going to help you cope as well. An rebel always rebel. That means celebrate always celebrate even the tiniest thing, even the tiniest step we’re getting where you want to go is a good thing to to think about and to recall again when you need to, and then rest. Take time to rest, reset and replenish. We all know we’ve got to do those things. Get your sleep, take a moment for yourself. Take time for yourself. Meditate whatever it takes to get you in a complex. I love it. That is fantastic so so this is in the book right? And is the book about should be soon. You know how those things go. so to be announced but it should be here in the next few weeks break very very quickly fantastic so so i have i do have one more comfortable in my skin so sometimes we have to think a little further than what kids say because they don’t always articulate the feelings and the reason they don’t. It’s not that they don’t want to share is that they don’t have the words and I think sometimes that happens also with adults with deploys. Again, we all come with this at different levels of self-awareness. and sometimes people don’t know how to articulate and because they don’t it comes out in a different way so it’s not always what you see all is what you hear sometimes you have to look a little further and i think that’s where that real understanding that real empathy comes from whether it’s employee employer put myself aside in this phone

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