Stress, stress, stress, stress. Who hasn’t experienced stress these days? In today’s society the average person hasn’t had so much to worry about or manage than in any other period in human history. From phone bills to insurance, utility bills and virus updates, emails and texts, mortgage payments and entertainment expenses, family issues, relationship problems… the list goes on. Some of these challenges are important issues, while others are caused by our current needs and wants. What should you be worrying about and what shouldn’t you be worrying about?
Good Stress vs Bad Stress
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as good stress. Stress is usually brought about by a sense of urgency… a feeling that something needs to be done or fixed. We usually get these feelings from outside sources… pressure from peers, work, family, etc. Sometimes stress can be brought on by internal sources such as anxiety towards certain issues in our life, worries about our future, etc. Initially, some of these feelings are good for us. If we have become lazy and unmotivated, pressures from family, work, or friends might get us back in gear and force us to focus and re-evaluate where we’re going or why we’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing. These “stress reminders” are good for us in many ways, and are usually the Universe’s way of getting our attention. These stresses are okay and perfectly normal.
The bad stress is another topic altogether. It’s the accumulation of a million different things that overtime, begin to overwhelm us. We might find ourselves with too many things to worry about, too many things that pressure us. More often than not, these type of stress inducers pile up one after the other, with no end in sight. They drive us to the edge and push our emotional boundaries, throwing us into a pit of despair and hopelessness. If gone unchecked, the stress will start to become a part of our daily lives… creating imbalance and disharmony, eventually having major impacts on our health. So how do we overcome this? Simple. By following these steps.
1) Locate the source of your anxiety, worry, or stress.
Where is your stress coming from? From work? Issues with your family? Is it from your relationship? Is your stress related to a particular person? Pinpoint the source, and be prepared to face it head on.
2) Understand that you give life to whatever is causing you to stress.
Sometimes all it takes is a shift in perspective for an overwhelmingly huge problem in your life to scale down in size. I’ve encountered clients who would create mountains of worry and stress over such trivial issues such as missed phone calls or the way someone dresses at work. If you find yourself blowing things out of proportion, stop and ask yourself, “Why am I worried about such and such issue? Is is really that important that it demands a large part of my being to worry about it?” If not, then forget about it. The less you keep these issues in your mind, the less they will bother you. The more you focus on them and think about them, the bigger they will get. Try to clear and free your mind from these worries. Now, if they are bigger issues, such as problems with your loved ones or career issues, then of course they are not to be taken lightly. Those types of issues need a more evaluative approach. Either way, the priority is to not let these issues consume you.
3) Stop yourself when the stress starts.
When you feel yourself starting to cross that line from tranquility into chaos, stop yourself. Literally, stop what you’re doing. If you’re at work, take a break. If you’re at home, go for a walk. Don’t let the pressure build up, as it will be harder to get rid of later. Take a deep breath, and remind yourself that you are stronger than whatever is stressing you out. You are peaceful… you are powerful… you are not going to let these issues bring you down. Take 5-15 minutes to re-connect with your soul and remember who you are: a powerful being with all the tools necessary to conquer every obstacle in your path. These simple reminders and acknowledgements will help free your mind from the overwhelming negativity that surrounds you.
4) Know that stress is a part of everyday life.
Don’t try to escape or runaway from your stress. Doing that will only make the situation worse. Believe me. Seek instead to understand your stress. By understanding your stress you will be able to control it. If left unchecked, it will end up controlling you. There will always be someone out there who will stress you out. You will always be placed in a situation that will cause you stress. Understanding this will help you be better prepared for those moments and those people. Improving your tolerance, patience, compassion, and inner peace will definitely help you overcome stressful situations in the long run. Knowing that there are good stresses and bad stresses will also help you evaluate your own pressures and determine which are which. Apply yourself and your knowledge so that you can control your life. Connect with your Higher Self so that you can always act upon your Highest Thought… the thought that will lead to more happiness, peace, love, and fulfillment in your life.
5) Find ways or activities that will help you take your mind off your stress.
I know of a lot of clients who have found a hobby or activity that helps take their mind off their stress. For some it’s a round of golf. For others it may be a trip to the beach or even a movie. I enjoy cooking, and when something stresses me out I find that cooking a good home meal helps me take my mind off it. Find that activity, and use it as a way to relieve your stress. I also find that connecting with nature is a great stress reliever, as well as working out at the gym. Meditation and yoga are also great stress relievers. They are great ways to purify your mind and soul. Find what works for you.
I would also like to comment that consuming large amounts of alcohol or drugs is not a great way to relieve stress. It may be a temporary way to relieve stress, but definitely not the best way. Those habits will likely lead to addictions over time, which in turn will create huge imbalances and disharmony in your life. And so instead of just dealing with what was stressing you out, you will now have to deal with an addiction, your stress related issues, and all the negative situations that accompany a drug dependent life.
Apply these steps and see if they work for you! Living a stress free life is impossible. There’s bound to be something that will affect you in some way or another. The key is understanding those pressures and making the most of them. Confront your stress and find out the higher purpose in all of your experiences. :)