STRESS; IT’S EVERYWHERE; WHERE ARE THE ROSES?

When we interact with the world, there is stress. It can be a good thing if it motivates us to be successful. However, it is a bad thing when it overwhelms us.  So, management of your reactions to your world becomes crucial because chronic stress puts your health at risk.

Some of the body’s reactions to stress: headaches, depression, and attempts to self-medicate as with overeating, drug, and alcohol additions. The heart and blood vessels are stressed and can lead to high blood pressure and heart attacks. The stomach is affected with stomach aches, heartburn, and ulcers. The cortisol levels in the body change which can contribute to obesity and other changes that eventually lead to diabetes. The immune system is depleted and resistance to disease is lower allowing sickness to prevail.

We don’t need to make ourselves sick. So, the first step to addressing stress is to get organized. Create a schedule. Make time for all that you need to do. And, then, stick to it. If that means you need help, do that too. “Ask, and you shall receive”. There is a lot to that simple sentence. It also may mean that you need to say ‘no’. It is ok to say no; especially if you are stretched too thin. For some of us, that is a big undertaking. But, like all things, saying no becomes easier over time. (I find it is easier when I think through the results of the situation: if I do it and deplete myself too much, is it a positive outcome? Or, if I find someone else to do it, is that the best outcome? Also, I filter it through, “Am I just feeding my ego by overdoing?”) By the time I think through all of those, I usually come to a good conclusion.

Aside from directing our actions, we also have to orchestrate how we react internally. And, if you find yourself continuously drained, something has to give. Since we can’t just crawl into our shell and wait for it to be over, we must do something. Several Stress beaters are:

  • Deep breathing exercises – deep yoga abdominal breathing is good for managing blood pressure and for longevity.
    • All breathing is through your nose
    • Start: Inhale for a count of 4 – hold for a count of 2 – exhale for a count of 4.
    • Do 10 slow breaths. Do this 2x daily.
    • The hold should be ½ of inhale, and the exhale should be double the inhale.
    • Gradually increase this over time to where you can slowly inhale 12 – hold for 6 – exhale 24.
    • The hold at the top nudges your lymphatic system and increases your immune system.
  • Changing what we consume – add a soothing tea, or this salad.
    • Stressbuster Tea is chamomile tea with a little honey to taste.
    • Also, try this salad:
      • Romaine, Iceberg, and red leaf lettuce in equal parts,
      • ½ c. zucchini,
      • ½ avocado,
      • ¼ c. soft cheese grated
      • Soothing Salad Dressing: olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste
      • the lettuces are very relaxing on the body
      • The avocado soothes the hormones.
    • Active, mental/body energy exercises – some meditation each day centers us to get a good start to the day, and others can be used at the moment of stress.
      • “Blowing up Roses” is a great exercise to use immediately to address the point of stress.
        • Identify the stressor.
        • In your mind, visualize the stressor ‘nestled, or surrounded by’ a lovely flower of your choice. The flower represents your love, compassion, understanding, and peace.
        • Now, you are going to give this stressor a send-off. Again, this is by your choosing because this has to feel real to you; or you will not release the stress. The send-off could be: releasing it to float up and away, a laser beam could disintegrate it, the heat from the sun could melt it into a puddle that is absorbed by the ground, an anchor attached to it could pull it down into the water and into the bottom of the ocean, or it could be blown up into a billion pieces that become dust and is blown away. (My favorite is the bomb blowing it up.)
        • Once you have done this, check inside to see how you feel. If there is still stress, do it again; and again, and again. After each time, check and see where you are. Soon, you will notice that you feel different; relieved, and calm. Then comes the giddiness afterwards when you see that it worked.
        • One time, I did this right in the middle of a one-sided argument. I was not mad and the person arguing was just projecting their anger, with someone else, on me. So, to keep myself from reacting and accepting their anger, (because misery likes company), I started blowing up roses. They had no idea that I was doing that. And, after a couple roses, it was all I could do to keep from laughing at them.
        • It really works and can save you.

So, the next time you are getting pulled into a stressful moment, try one of these as your rescue and you will be happier for it.

 

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