Listen everyone! Stress is not going anywhere. We live in such a faced paced society that sooner or later you are bound to feel the effects that stress can take on a person. The important thing to note is that you can create a sense of calm and peacefulness even in stressful situations. Here are 10 steps that I use to stay happy and focused even when it seems like everything is exploding all around me, by doing these simple things, I ensure that the negative effects of stress do not cause stress damage within me.
1. Breathe deeply; The way you breathe is the way you live your life. Breathing heightens our awareness and will encourage the release of many long held tensions. Go ahead and let it out in your breath...it feels great and it massages the muscles involved in respiration.
2. Drink plenty of water; Being in water is a healthy experience, and giving our cells enough water is healthy as well. Water is important so that the minerals can wash out waste that is accumulated. Water is a life enhancing elixir and helps our immune system to function effectively.
3. Enjoy Aromatherapy; Natural oils and scenst can help to calm our nerves and relax us. I love fresh oil of lavender to help calm me when I am feeling tense. The olfactory portion of our brain is closely related to our limbic system, this is the ancient primitive part of the brain where our emotions are stored. Only use 100% pure essential oils and never use synthetic oils in aromatherapy, synthetic ingredients can cause more stress to your nervous system.
4.Move your body to some healing music; I love doing my Yoga and Pilates to calming healing sounds of nature. Music has a power to me that restores, calms and even tames the wild beast called stress. The key for me is to allow myself to get into the music, I do not listen with my mind, but with my heart and my gut and I just let the music fill me. I let it permeate my being and I let it sweep me away. I listen with openness and expectation, and as I do this I also release my tensions and emotions.
5. Eat only whole foods; When we are experiencing stress, many nutrients are used up in the high energy process. It is very important for us to replenish the nutrients that are lost by eating high quality foods. When we eat nutritious foods, we provide organic molecules that can used in the production of raw materials that are needed for building and repairing our body parts.
6. Exercise daily and keep the body moving; Movement is one of our basic expressions of energy output. Everything within us is moving, our lungs expand, our heart pumps, our cells transport and so forth. We were made to move. When we do not move our body, we halt our ability to be well at optimal levels. Think about a river that stands still, still water gets stagnant, moving water cleanses itself and anything that is moving can constantly channel energy. Get moving today!
7. Practice meditation; Meditation helps me to connect with my senses. It helps me to center myself and to come into union with that which is sacred to me. I like Yoga because Yoga is about union. In every pose, we seek to create a union between opposing forces.
8. Confront and accept you fears; Fear is a non specific reaction to real or imagined pain. When we allow stress to take root within us, most of the time, we are reacting to fear of the unknown, in our mind we are thinking...what if...When we allow fear to take root, we will experience stress damage because we are anticipating the worst. Ask yourself, is my fear based on fact? Is there anything I can do about it now? And what are some possible solutions? Most of the time when we face our fears it helps us to work towards possible resolutions and keeps you in control.
9. Change your thought patterns; It is very important to change irrational belief systems that we fall into, because these thought patterns can add to our stress. Unrealistic expectations, jumping to conclusions, taking things personally and equating feelings with facts can lead us down a trail of hurt and pain. Negative thought patterns will show up as physical symptoms, so it is very important to get a grip on those thoughts if you are going to manage stress.
10. Think creatively; when I am stressed, I try to find new ways of looking at situations and I look for creative ways to solve the issue. There are some things that will happen in life that are beyond our control, but one thing that is in our control is how we look at the situation and how we choose to respond.