As guideposts in our lives, if you are uncomfortable or stressed, but you're not quite sure why, it might be time for to reconnect with your values.
I consider core values a guide-posts on life's path. They are your unique markers of right and wrong. They can help you to build healthy relationships, make decisions, and tackle the tough stuff that life offers. I think of them as one of the power players of your inner world.
We share our opinions and our beliefs, and sometimes confuse our values with our strengths and we use the term ‘values’ quite often, but you may find that you don’t have many conversations about your values.
It could be because they are a form of personal integrity and there are so many great words to describe different types of personal integrity that it’s hard to narrow the field. Your core values are so deeply woven into who you are that they can be hard to identify by looking at a list.
Not being in touch with your values can cause you to feel anxious or stressed simply because your actions do not align with what is truly important to you.
Not being in touch with your values can cause you to feel anxious, or uncomfortable simply because you may be unwittingly behaving in a way that does not align with what is truly important to you. Maybe you may hold self-reliance as a core value but are in a situation where you need someone’s help. You might find yourself responding to those helping you sharply or feeling stressed by their support simply because you did not recognize how greatly you valued self-reliance.
The same holds true when your values clash with the actions of your social circle or work environment. If you feel uncomfortable but can’t quite put a finger on why it could be a values misalignment between your inner compass and the group behavior. Sometimes the discomfort can come from a values conflict within ourselves when we are growing and changing as old beliefs and values fade and new ones emerge.
The process of privately clarifying your values, and then articulating them can lower your brain’s chemical and emotional response when faced with adversity .
The process of privately clarifying your values, and then articulating them can lower your brain’s chemical and emotional response when faced with adversity and allow you to emerge stronger, and calmer. It’s believed that cortisol levels are lower during stressful situations in people who regularly affirm their values. (You remember cortisol? It’s the neurotransmitter that leads to sleep loss and weight gain when you’re stressed. Yeah, that one.)
Google ‘values worksheets’ and you will be overwhelmed with the free and accessible choices to pick from. Many are good, but the secret sauce is talking about them.