Take a guess at what condition low energy, headaches, fatigue, upset stomach and insomnia indicate. If you said, everyday stress, you are correct. Actually everyday stressors create these symptoms and many others.
What can you do to stop suffering from daily stress when we live in a stress filled world?
First step is to become mindful of how you are responding to frustration. My pal and the author of, Destressifying, Davidji proposes that all stress stems from your needs going unmet. In our fast paced lives there will always be stuff to sweat, right? Whether it’s traffic, constricted finances or the waiter mishearing your order, life has a way of messing with your well laid plans. If stress is your go to emotion when things go wrong or simply don’t go as planned, then you’re guaranteed to stay stressed. If you can see your stress response clearly, you can decide to change it.
This is not to say that certain situations in your life aren’t in fact truly stress worthy. Life can be scary and sometimes it’s close to impossible to control your stress response. However, what I find often in my psychotherapy practice (and living in New York City) is that for many, stress has become their primary response regardless of what is actually happening.
Stress can be addictive. As terrible as it feels, subconsciously you may rely on stress to keep you going. When stressed your heart rate increases, your muscles tense and your brain uses more oxygen. Stress can give you a boost of energy and in a real threat in the short term, it can actually be helpful. Long term or chronic stress however, lowers your immunity, affects your digestive system and can even increase the risk of a heart attack. Not to mention it doesn’t make you the most desirable person to be around.
For both your health and happiness it’s extremely important to be mindful enough to monitor your level of stress. When you are mindful, you are aware that you have choices. You can choose the words you use; you can choose the actions you take; you get to choose how to manage your feeling. When you are not mindfully awake, you are reacting all the time and trapped in an illusion that it is all happening to you.
Take some time this week and pay attention to how you are feeling. Notice when you feel relaxed and when your stress response gets activated. Note what is happening around you and what is happening within you. Are you simply reacting without being mindfully aware that you have a choice in how to respond? Make an effort to recognize how often you feel stressed. If there are situations that cause you continual angst consider whether there are changes that can be made to bring more ease back into your life. At the end of the day chronic stress does not serve your highest good.
Are you in need of some tools to help you stress less? Learn how to “Destressify” and find lasting fulfillment in my interview with my meditation guru, Davidji, on my new podcast, Hello Freedom. Get tips and tools from the master of zen and find yourself feeling happier, at ease and more free. To subscribe and listen use this link ow.ly/TK2LB.
What do you do to de-stress? Share with me your top two ways that you relax and let go. It could be as simple as deep breathing, as divine as a bubble bath or luxurious as a tropical vacation. I want to hear from you so drop a comment in below and tell me all about it.
I hope you have a stress-less week and as always, take care of you.
Love Love Love
*image courtesy of Tinou Bao