Last week we looked at short term “eu” stress and long term “dis” stress and how it impacts our body. This week, I’m going to share with you my top 5 stress-busting solutions.
1) Respect your body. This comes from listening within. What that means is to listen to the feedback through your senses. Close your eyes and do a “check-in”. What are you feeling? Exhausted, needing a stretch, or perhaps some time grounding yourself in nature? Ultimately, you know. The key is quieting the active mind chatter in order to tune in to you. Respecting your body also includes mastery of being the “observer of self”. Meaning we can gain insights and knowledge through a change in perspective by stepping back and looking at our life from a distance. Ask yourself, “What needs to change? What do I need to do to step forward and make that change a reality?”
2) Rejuvenate and decompress. I’ve been speaking about this for years, mostly because it has been my costliest lesson. When we keep overriding our needs with our active mind, we tune out the subtle messages that we also benefit from; like rest, rejuvenation, and decompression from our very busy schedules. When we overcommit and are exhausted then something will likely give out to wake us up. It’s that niggly feeling like something is tapping you on the shoulder. Nourish yourself through making the time to recover… be it from a heavy workout, a stressful month at work, or overindulgence. Schedule down time and stick to it.
3) Change your perspective. How can we view our situation differently? At the end of the day how we respond is all choice. Otherwise every person who experiences what you do would feel the same…which, by the way, they do not. One person’s marathon is sheer joy, while to another it is a form of torture. It is all how we choose to act from what’s in front of us. The operative word here is choice. In every moment we have choice in how we want to feel, think, and act. Check out the E+R=O method for practical direction.
4) Journal and share your feelings. I am a big believer in journaling. It takes what’s in our head – our active mind – and puts it down on paper. I don’t know about you but there are times I am noodling over something that seems “so big” and worrisome. When I get it down on paper, I see it for what it really is…random active thoughts that are not aligned with me. When I get it down on paper, I come back to it and explore with questions. I ask, “What can I learn from this? How did I contribute to this happening? What would I prefer to feel and what do I want to do to make that happen for me?”
When we write our feelings on paper, it gets our emotions moving through our bodies. I remember a comment by a psychotherapist friend in the 1980’s that stuck with me… “emotion is energy-in-motion”. We get sick when we block the movement of an emotion over months, years or decades. So journaling is the private way of moving through it. Of course, sharing our feelings with those we trust is also very powerful.
5) Revisit to live your passion and purpose. What feeds your soul? From 1-10 how present is it in your life? (with 10 out of 10 being fully present, 0 out of 10 being fully absent). What small step can you take right now that would bring your passions into your life? Revisit your purpose. Are your current choices congruent with it? If not, close your eyes and ask yourself what can you change to bring you into greater alignment with it? Wait for the answer to show up.
It will take time to reset yourself and the body from chronic stress. Stay patient so you can reap the rewards.