Reduce stress by finding the third space

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Do you ever have trouble switching off from those things that have been bugging you or upsetting you?

Do you ever wish you could stop your brain from replaying the same old broken record of worry when you go to sleep?

Do you ever have those times when you get home after an awful day at work and initiate a fight with your partner or snap at the kids, simply because it reflects how you felt at that time?

Mmm, me too.

There's that saying that "we shouldn't sweat the small stuff - and it's all small stuff" that I try to remind myself of. But maybe it is about the small stuff - it's just that we just don't need to sweat it.

I have just finished reading a remarkable book called The Third Space by Dr Adam Fraser, which suggests we reappraise all our small stuff, because it is the small stuff that makes us happy.

So what is the third space?

Well it's that space between the activity we have just been participating in and the next one we are about to start.

It's about inserting sufficient space between those other two, to allow us to reflect on what has just been, take a step to rest from that activity and then reset with a new mindset appropriate to what we want to happen next.

It's the same technique that elite sports people such as tennis players use so that they focus on what they need to do, rather than the outcome. It's the technique many G.P's use when they have to rapidly transition from one person's ailment to the next and it can be successfully applied in many life and business situations.

So, rather than bringing home your work worries, a frown and a bad temper, it's about separating from those thoughts and feelings before you open the front door.

It's about knowing how to disengage from a difficult meeting with your boss or manager to transition into a positive appointment with a prospective new client.

Dr Fraser's premise is that by learning to control our third space, not only do we get much better with practice we also enhance our experience of life balance and happiness.

How about you, do you know how to control your third space, and what benefit could it bring to your work, your life and your sense of well-being?

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