Stress. We all know that feeling… tense neck and shoulders, racing thoughts of impending doom, and even packing an extra pound or two because of the cortisol our body produces when we are stressed.
Maybe you take a couple of days off and book a fabulous massage to help you relax, but for some reason, only a few hours later your back is all up in a knot and you are worrying about work, relationships, finances, you name it. For some reason you keep going back to our good ol’ friend stress.
On the other hand, you may have noticed that during vacations all the problems in the world seem to melt away.
Have you ever felt so relaxed after engaging in any particular activity and wished you could feel this good ALL THE TIME?
Have you ever considered the idea that you could and are meant to feel good all the time?
I certainly had not.
It never occurred to me that I was going through life in a perpetual state of stress and anxiety. It’s like I became so used to being stressed that I had not considered the fact that being in a perpetual state of relaxation was even an option.
I don’t imagine I need to remind you about the negative side effects of chronic stress, but because I really want to drive this point home I am going to go ahead and do it anyways.
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
- Heart problems
- Gastrointestinal issues
And MUCH more! Visit WebMD for a more comprehensive list of symptoms and effects of stress in your body.
HELP! I am stressed even during my vacations!
Worst of all is realizing that despite going on vacation, you are somehow still stressed out. That is exactly what happened to me in Japan. Until I put my foot down and made the choice to experience conscious relaxation.
Here are 4 things that helped me relax that you can do to deal with stress now:
1. Move your body.
I am a huge advocate of yoga and really value the positive effects it has had on my mind and body since I started my practice back in 2009, but it doesn’t have to be yoga… walking, running, boxing, anything that gets your body moving and keeps your mind focused away from the stress triggers in your life works well.
When you move your body and focus your mind on your body you enter into a trance in which you clear away cellular and muscle memory that is holding onto the stress you experience.
2. Take a conscious breath.
Now that you have cleared away stress through body movement, you want to keep that stress out of your body and mind, and the best way to do it is by taking a big, nice, deep breath any time your mind goes on a tangent you know causes you to get stressed out. It really is as simple as that. But you must be committed to catching yourself having said thoughts and interrupting the pattern immediately over and over. This will eventually teach your brain to stay in the present moment.
3. Let go of how you think life should be like.
One of the biggest stress triggers is the suffering caused by your expectations of how anything in your reality should be like. Your mind, if not kept in check, has carefully devised a way for you to experience reality as you want it to be in order to protect your sense of self-identity. Not making enough money, the job you hate, your Facebook relationship status, they are all as they are and resisting what is will only cause you despair and stress you out. I’m not saying to stay at your job you hate, but rather to accept your circumstances as they are, because, guess what?, you can hate your job all you want, but it doesn’t change the fact you still work there. In fact, by choosing to experience the negative emotion of hate towards your job you are lowering your vibration and your body is the one taking the toll.
4. Realize that you have a choice.
Once you accept your circumstances, you now have the responsibility to choose how you will react. Will you act out of hatred as in the example above, or will you act out of love and give your body a break?
You have the power to design the life you want. As always, with great power comes great responsibility, so take every opportunity you can to be the person that deep down you know you already are and want to become.
Now, over to you: How have you dealt with stress in the past? Leave a comment in the comments section below and join in the conversation!
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