In today’s world all you have to do is turn on the television to increase stress and anxiety levels. Stress is a part of our lives but we do not need to let it get to levels where it makes us sick, depressed, or paralyzes us with anxiety. Researchers have found that stress is the root cause of a lot of diseases and a lot of physical and emotional flare-ups. As a life coach and holistic health consultant, I have found that there are many simple things that we can do to lessen our stress and anxiety levels.
Get a good night’s sleep. Sleeping 7-9 hours a night reduces stress and anxiety. It gives us a good foundation to emotionally and mentally deal with whatever comes our way. Many people have problems falling asleep, myself included. I have found that magnesium supplements, melatonin, and EmergencZZZZ™ help me to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Go outside in nature. The act of being in nature and appreciating all the beauty around us diminishes stress. Go outside and take in the beauty of the trees, mountains, water, birds and the sky. Where I live there are beautiful mountain views in every direction. The sky is amazing with the clouds lightly floating around. Go out, be a part of something so wonderful that stress melts away. When you connect with the earth, your internal rhythms begin a restoration process and stress is diminished. Connecting with Mother Nature might also restore your vitamin D levels and help you sleep better.
Pause and take five to 10 slow deep breaths. In the throes of mounting stress, panic or anxiety, deep breathing will interrupt your mind from increasing the stressful thoughts and will get more oxygen to the brain, which is always beneficial. Taking longer, slower breaths connects us with a profound part of ourselves and restores our mind and emotions into a more peaceful place of awareness.
Give up worry. Dr. Wayne Dwyer tells us to let go of worry in his book Your Erroneous Zones. After reading this, I questioned if I could do this since I had perfected the art of worrying. It is so easy after watching the news to create an immense worry mindset. Worry creates more stress, increasing anxiety. Most of what we worry about never happens. I slowly shifted out of the worry mode and my outlook on life improved greatly. Stress and anxiety diminished.
Create reminders. We all make choices on how we are going to respond to and be in life. Under my clear cellphone cover I have a list of words that are how I want to experience life – love, peace, kindness, compassion, humility, and gratitude. When I pick up my phone I see these and they remind me of how I really want to be. The first day I placed them under the clear cover, I had a heated discussion with someone on the other end of the phone. I kept looking at the words thinking, there is another way to approach this situation. By staring at the words, I was able to calm down. If you do not have a clear cell phone cover, post a word or words on your computer, television, phone, refrigerator, etc. to support your alignment out of stress and into a life that is centered in peace and delight.
Life is too short to be overtaken by the stress and anxiety viruses. Practicing a few or all of these steps will help you debug your mind and emotions of stress and move you into a world of beauty and joy.
Tips for Reducing Stress, Part II
In the Spring newsletter I wrote Tips for Reducing Stress, Part 1. You can read that article here. When we reduce stress, we strengthen our physical body, find clarity and peace. We become more present and find more viable solutions to those stressors. With less stress, we have more energy to do the things that bring more joy. With that said, here are some more tips for reducing stress.
Learn to meditate. Meditation has a lasting calming effect. Studies show that it reduces blood pressure, calms the nervous system, creates clarity of mind, and a deep sense of inner peace. Meditation is easy to learn and can be practiced almost anywhere, anytime.
Get creative. When we engage our creative side, stress melts away. Draw, paint, write, build! When we express our creativity, the anxious, stressed out energy is quieted. Our mind is focused on bringing something to life instead of on thoughts that create turbulence.
Forgive. Forgiveness allows us to let go of past scenarios that increase stress levels every time we focus on an old story. When we do not forgive we keep the negativity from the past alive and create on-going stress. Forgiving yourself and others releases heavy energy that we have been housing within our mind, heart and body. Forgiveness offers freedom and it creates lasting peace.
Movement. Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, dancing, running, biking and walking are all great ways to let go of pent-up stress energy stored in your body. Some movements strengthen our body and mind, while others create more joy in our life. Movement is anti-aging, raises our energy levels, and reduces stress.
Laugh. Laughter is the best medicine. Stress cannot be in the same place as joy. Find people that make us laugh and laugh with them. If you have a lot of friends that focus on stressful things, it might be time to find new friends. Also, there are plenty of videos on YouTube that will make us roll with laughter. Joy is infectious. Share joy with others and put an end to stress altogether.
Many years ago I was focused on a negative situation. The stress of focusing on it all the zapped me of my energy. It was quite depressing to say the least. I realized that this was not my normal way of being in life and I did not like the hole I had dug down into with the constant stress-filled thoughts. I just wanted to scream, “Get me out of here.” It really was a turning point in my life. Wanting to have a different experience and to find my joy for life again, I embraced all of the tips that I shared in these two articles. Over several months, my life turned around and I found real happiness that continues to support the life that I desire.
The only person that can help you to reduce or get rid of stress is you. We cannot point our finger at others and blame them for our stress. When you point a finger at someone there are four more pointing back at you. Pick one or several of these recommendations to begin letting go of your stress. You will love the lasting long-term effects of a body and mind that feels and expresses peace and calm. If you get stuck, find a good life coach to help you step through the process of empowering yourself!
Dawn Fleming, Soul Life Coach and Reiki Master, www.energytransformations.org