Stress is a perception that we are in danger, that something or a situation is of danger, unsafe and threatening to us. Our body is perfectly designed to move us away from things, situations, people and places in our lives that are dangerous and make us feel unsafe so that we may survive, be safe, calm and productive in our lives.
Chronic stress, feeling threatened over a long term duration, is hurtful to our body and mind. We are not designed to endure chronic stress over time. We are designed to experience stress under a short term duration. If we feel in danger all day or perceive a person, place or relationship as threatening and not move away from it, our body experiences adrenal fatigue and the feeling of being overwhelmed and shut down in order to survive.
Our bodies are designed to perceive stress, move away from it towards safety and then process the emotions and bodily changes associated with the stress. This re-balance time is necessary so we may return to a calm state of balance and harmony. We must rest and restore our body and mind after a stressful event so that our nervous system, hormones and immune system can re-boot and re-energize.
Too often we create stressful, threatening, and hurtful thoughts and beliefs in our minds that cause our bodies to perceive danger all day. For example, “I am not safe being myself, I don’t like my thighs, I don’t trust anyone, I am not good enough, I am not lovable and I am stupid” are all statements and beliefs some of us play over and over again during the day which causes our bodies not to feel safe and supported. We may not be aware of these beliefs, as many of them have been there since our childhood according to Dr. Bruce Lipton, Author of The Biology Of Belief.
What we choose to believe about stress is actually what greatly impacts how we perceive our stress.
There are ways of living “heaven on earth” and allowing stress to be an opportunity in our lives to strengthen our inner connection to our selves, our soul and connection to a force of creation that is interconnected to all living things. You can call this our spirit, Source, higher power, and/or God. Stress can be perceived as a wonderful opportunity to remind us to come back to feeling safe, feeling the love that we are, and to strengthen our ability to calm and balance ourselves. Stress can also be appreciated and perceived as a way of experiencing the contrast to love and feeling connected. When we are stressed we generally feel fear, separation, and disconnected. Our bodies experience tension in our arms, legs, neck and shoulders. We tend to feel more constricted and weighed down. Some of us feel frozen, defensive and unsafe. All the experiences give us feedback so that when we experience stress, we can break the pattern of what brings us the stress.
Resilience is the ability to succeed and prosper even after facing setbacks and hardships. Our ability to come back to a state of balance and harmony with ourselves, people and our environment greatly effects our physical, mental and emotional health.
Today many of us feel as though we have no time, we feel overwhelmed and chronically stressed.
Try these ways of thinking and relating to stress so that your body and mind can process and release stress:
Special note: *if you are in danger, move away from the danger. If the danger you perceive is related to a thought or belief about yourself, or someone or a past situation, stay in that experience to transform the stressful trigger and try these techniques to re-set your stress response. Listen and trust yourself above all else of course.
1. Feel Grateful and Loving towards that which brings us Stress.
The minute something happens that you feel is stressful, or if there is a person or an opinion about yourself that makes you feel unsafe, say “thank you for being in my life!” When we feel grateful our body feels safe and our mind feels calm. Of course, move away from that which brings you physical danger, but if it is a perception of someone or of yourself feel first and foremost grateful and appreciative that you are feeling this stress. For example, let’s say you are at a holiday party and a family member that you are not getting along with arrives to the party. In the past, we may have avoided a person who we don’t get along with. This year, feel grateful that person is at the party. See stress as an opportunity to practice feeling safe and calm, the opposite of stress. There might be some hurt emotions and resentment that cause us to not want to be with certain family members. We can allow gratitude to swell in our hearts in those moments and notice how this simple act of feeling grateful shifts our present moment experience.
2. Breathe Through The Stressful situation.
The minute you notice you are feeling threatened and unsafe, or that feeling of fear overtakes you, breathe deeply with your nose and bring awareness to expand your abdomen, chest and ribs. Feel yourself breathing deeply and slowly to calm your nervous system and to process the fear and stressful emotions. Watch whatever is causing you to feel stressed as if you were a video camera, try your best to NOT judge, criticize or analyze that which causes you to feel fearful. Instead, focus the attention on flowing your breath and allow whatever feelings and emotions arise to simply flow through your body, just like a river.
3. Ask questions.
Ask yourself, “what beautiful gift and blessing does this person, situation or experience have to for me? What can I learn from this experience? What can I create right now to bring me to a state of calm and balance?” Some of the answers might be, “Accept, forgive and let go of judging this person and situation. Feel compassion for this person or situation. Be patient with this person or situation. Stop being so hard on yourself or this person or situation. Trust that everything is unfolding perfectly for everyone. Trust in the unknown and the mysterious. We are always being brought situations and people that are growing us.”
4. Feel comfortable with feeling uncomfortable and stressed.
Allow the experience of stress to be felt and not something that we try to avoid or run away from with distractions or addictions. There is many times underlying sadness, anger and pain from our past that triggers in us feelings of stress without there being a true stressful event or situation. When we allow our feelings to be felt and breathe through those feelings without any judgement or analysis, we free ourselves from the shackles of our past. Our bodies are constantly releasing, processing and transforming old cells into new cells, changing and growing.
Try these life-changing tips and ways of thinking exercises and let me know how much more energized, light, resilient, empowered and focused you feel! These have greatly changed my life and my ability to come back to center and feeling energized. I even look different! Feeling grateful and creating a healthy, loving and accepting relationship to that which causes us stress is truly life-transforming!
Share these strategies with a friend and loved one. We all need as many tools to embrace stress and love our stress, so that we may cultivate a more peaceful inner earth inside us all, this is the most effective way for us to co-create a more peaceful world. True and lasting change and transformation begins within.
Give yourself or a loved on the gift of a one-on-one Phone, Skype or In Person Emotional Release and Bodywork or PSYCH-K® Life Change Balance Session with me to re-boot your nervous system, release emotional baggage and flush old physical and emotional tensions and pains so we may enjoy and prosper even more in 2015! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.