Are you experiencing any stress?

The other day someone asked me what kind of things I do to de-stress. My first thought was, “oh shit, what the heck do I do for stress relief?” My second thought was, well, I do this and this and this, doing a mental run down of things I do that help me relax. And my third thought was, wait a minute, de-stressing is way more complicated than just checking things off a list and viola you are stress free.

When we talk about stress, we usually do so in terms of situations we find ourselves in like traffic, deadlines, idiots in customer service – you know the triggers. But stress actually originates in the mind. Underneath the surface there is a kind of mental unrest that leads to frustration, quarrels, anxiety, depression, overwhelm, insecurity…

Sometimes stress is good and it pushes us to make improvements in our lives. But, for the most part, I think stress kicks our ass!  We have no idea how to manage it.

Stress is normal, moderate stress is beneficial, but staying in a continual stress response is unhealthy. Over time we create our own individual stress response patterns by the thoughts we think, what we believe, the way we breathe and the way we hold our bodies. These patterns however, eventually block the natural flow in our bodies and we become frequently sick, tired, irritable and over all ‘stressed out’. Most of the time we don’t even recognize how much stress we have until it starts damaging our health.

There are no universal stress reduction techniques because stress, and our response to it, is so individualized. We mostly rely on the coping approach. We take a walk, we go on vacation, we take a drink, we take a puff. Helpful? Yes, a reboot is definitely a good thing, but it’s not a long-term solution. Ideally, we want to be relaxed human beings all the time but things are always going to come up in life to challenge that notion.

So, what can we do?

In the following posts, I will run through a few I do that help me manage those crazy ups and downs of life. As with most things’ consistency is key, which sometimes is the hardest part!

1. Practice Yoga
2. Breathe!
3. Oil Your Skin

I just want to mention one more thing, that I think it’s particularly helpful with combating stress, and that is gratitude.  I find it hard to be angry or anxious or frustrated or depressed and be in a state of gratitude at the same time. Instead of starting your day with activities that instantly throw you into a state of stress (to-do lists, checking your phone…) wake up with gratitude. By doing this, you immediately become aligned with the universal vibration (you know the one, whatever your word for that is) and your whole day will be different. I’m not saying it will be stress free, because stress doesn’t really change, but you do!

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