Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Learn How To SUMO

stress management
Eek! Beat those stressful situations with SUMO
Millions of people suffer from stress in the workplace.

The causes are diverse - from having to meet targets and deadlines to irritating co-workers and bosses, to name but two.

Often it is easy to blow small incidences out of proportion (who's taken my holepunch again? Grrr...), or we tend to succumb to victim mentality and become all bitter and resentful, for example when overlooked for promotion and a colleague is chosen instead. Ouch.

By the time someone goes off sick due to a stress-related illness, that person may well have experienced many little incidences that one day have led to the final straw, and BOOM - a Tower moment!

Nervous breakdown,
a good day to start again
Before you get to that point, I'd like to share with you a stress-busting technique, which I learned many years ago whilst still working my socks off in the corporate world.

I learned how to SUMO.

The person, who taught me, was Paul McGee.

S.U.M.O. stands for Shut Up and Move On.

It sounds harsh at first, but in order to avoid getting stressed about stuff, it is necessary not to get worked up so easily. Simply let go and move on.

How many people needed
to put up a f*cking tent?
It doesn't mean you have to take every crap they throw at you, but look at each incident that annoys or upsets you with more logic and reason.

How can you do that?

Here are the 7 questions to help you SUMO:

1. Where is this issue on a scale of 1 - 10 (10 = death)?

Compared to death, most people will rank their issue low and often feel much better as a result. They realise it's not that bad and move on.

2. How important will this be in six months time?

Think: most issues are just water under the bridge six months later. If this is the case, then you may not need to answer the following questions, and skip along happily with a refreshed mindset.

3. Is my response appropriate and effective?

Or do you have a flair for drama? If yes, for God's sake, move on. And if you want to speak your mind, choose your words wisely.

4. How can I influence or improve the situation?

Yes, some issues are ongoing and linger in the background. They really need sorting out. You either address them appropriately or decide to accept them. Acceptance helps you reduce your stress level. Acceptance helps you to move on.

Defeat, hollow victory,
win at all cost, betrayal
5. What can I learn from this?

Sometimes we have to deal with big issues, such as change in the workplace, job losses, poor career prospects, disagreements and personality clashes that can be challenging. These situations always offer us a lesson to help us grow. Avoid self-pity and disillusion. Make sure, your answer to this question is empowering...and then move on.

6. What will I do differently next time?

Apply your lessons learned. This way you are moving on.

7. What can I find that's positive in this situation?

Losing your job or being overlooked for promotion aren't necessarily moments of joy in your life, but they can be opportunities in disguise. Every cloud has a silver lining. Time to move on.

Of course, you can use the Tarot to help you answer some of the questions above, if you are facing a stressful situation at work or, yes, even in your personal life. Any situation that irritates you, keeps simmering in the background or even makes your blood boil.

 Shuffle your deck and pick a card for each question:
  1. How can I influence or improve the situation?
  2. What can I learn from this?
  3. What can I do differently next time?
  4. What can I find that's positive in this situation?
I have been using the SUMO technique for many years, and learned to look at seemingly stressful situations from a new - more constructive - perspective. I hope it will serve you well, too. 

Let go of being a victim, learn to SUMO instead. 

Warmest wishes,


PS: Make sure you visit the SUMO Guy and watch him in action. Funny and inspirational.

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