June 14, 2016
Posted In: General Health, General Wellness, Nutrition, Spiritual Wellness, White Rock
Life presents challenges. Our ability to deal with these challenges determines, ultimately, if we have stress, what type of stress (there is a such a thing as positive stress called Eustress) and to what degree. A certain situation can be stressful for someone while not stressful for someone else. Jack Canfield expresses it well with his equation E+R=O; Event + Response = Outcome. We all experience challenges in our daily life from our careers, relationships, finances, health, or in some cases, a sudden incident like the death of a loved one. How we are able to view and process and respond to them will determine, in a big way, the impact and ripple effect it will have on our day, week and ultimately our life.
I love that the Chinese characters for Crisis is composed of the character for danger and the character for opportunity.
A big factor, I believe, in how we view challenges in a more balanced way, is by balancing our mental, emotional and physical states to be strong, healthy and resilient. If you put into regular practice the following effective tools to keep you balanced on a daily basis, then you can get through times that prove to be the most challenging.
Here are some tips for daily stress relief:
1. Meditation. As little as 15 minutes of meditation per day to focus on deep breathing and calm the mind has been shown to be effective to help with mood, focus, etc. Upload some soft music or a guided meditation on your phone that you can listen to at a time that works best for you. Many things we do like painting or crafts are very meditative. Find what works for you.
2. Exercise. Through exercise and the release of endorphins, your mood will naturally lift and will help to reduce the release of stress hormones. Exercise doesn’t have to be the gym either. Do something you love to do and get doing it! Power walking with hiking poles is a great.
3. Support System. Ensure you have people you can talk to or be with during your challenging times. Reach out to family, friends, a doctor or therapist who you trust as a good listener.
4. Journal. The act of writing your thoughts and feelings helps to minimize the feeling of overwhelm. You can write something that is troubling you then write the outcome that you want, and burn the paper with love and intention to release the old and bring in the new.
5. Joy. Do things that you enjoy and that bring you pleasure. Maybe you love to dance, indulge in dinner with a friend, treat yourself to a massage, or have a relaxing bubble bath. This can be viewed as “a little bit of holiday everyday”. This is also seen as self care which is not selfish – two very different things but most people as the same, which it is not. You can’t give to others from an empty vessel.
6. Sleep. Ensure you get regular and adequate sleep each night to re-charge and re-focus. The best hours of restorative sleep are from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. Also avoid being on your computer, phone, or ipad for at least an hour before you go to bed. The back light on these devices affects your ability to get to sleep.
7. Laugh. Humour is great to make you feel light and happy and take you to a place of feeling carefree and with out worry. Watch a good comedy movie or stand up act to put you in a different space.
8. Be grateful. When we focus on what is stressful or worrisome, we are feeding that energy. When we are grateful for all that we have and what is good, there is not space to worry. Write a list daily of 3-10 things that you are grateful for. Keep the list where you can re-read it during the day.
9. Take B vitamins, Vitamin C and Adrenal Adaptogens. These help the physical body deal with stress hormones by nourishing the nervous system and adrenals – two key areas involved in, and affected by, stress.
10. Breathe. Shallow breathing takes over when we are feeling stressed or unhappy. Take one minute to breathe deeply and feel how quickly your body and mind can shift from a place of chaos to a place of calm.
Know that “this too shall pass” and that you can get through whatever is stressing you!