“STRESS is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness” … a very interesting point of view that Richard Carlson shares, don’t ya think?
I believe that our challenges, tensions, discomforts and times of stress are generally indications that we’ve outgrown something or that something in our life needs to change. I believe that its an opportunity for GROWTH.
What is YOUR something ?
When we start to BELIEVE that stress has purpose, we have less interest in seeking quick fixes to ease our discomforts and instead we embrace our adversities as wonderful gifts. We dive into those spaces to fully explore them … to find our pearls.
What is YOUR response to stress ?
Do you shut down?
Do you seek out medications?
Do you self medicate with cigs/booze?
Do you soothe with comfort foods/sex?
Do you avoid the discomfort?
I’ve done ALL of the above because I didn’t know any better. But stress management is a habitual process, so we CAN change things . By being more mindful of our automatic responses, which is the key to changing our relationship with discomfort, which then changes our experience of stress.
My advice is …
Take the TIME OUT and prioritize and privelage the experience for what it is.
Be more aware of our NEEDS and have the courage to identify and fullfill our deeper needs, which Rivka Levy (Jewish emotional health: 2015) describes as being our energy centres. According to Rivka wellness is determined upon fullfillment of our 8 deeper needs …
1. Our ability to just “BE” … our faith based foundation for everything
2. Our ability to “FEEL” … our sense of gratitude for everything as it is
3. Our ability to “THINK” … our state of ego that determines our truth
4. Our ability to “LOVE” … our belief in unique goodness
5. Our ability to “SPEAK” … our purpose of self expression and actualization
6. Our ability to “SEE” … our insight into limitations that hinder change and self improvement
7. Our ability to “ASPIRE” … our transcendence of self and relationships towards unconditional love ❤
8. Our ability to “TRANSFORM” … our courage to develop, evolve and grow
When we start to break it down stress management involves much more than we realize. But the more we understand the more effective our monitoring and management of stress will be 😊
Engaging in unhealthy habits as a way of coping with stress doesn’t get rid of the source of stress, it only surpresses it. The source of tension will continue to bubble underneath the surface until we explode. Or we will suffer disease and illness. Sometimes identifying the source of tension is a challenge of its own, especially when we struggle to live our truths.
So a good starting point is to explore alternative activities that we associate with relaxation, especially during times of stress. Maybe like me, your something is to create NEW healthier habits that will improve your overall health and wellbing ?
So here’s some healthier responses to stress that I’ve been doing myself …
SLOWING DOWN and becoming more aware of my deeper needs, by noticing what’s going on within and around me.
SEEKING SUPPORT and knowing that I’m not alone. Utilizing my support networks and the bountiful information & resources that we have at our fingertips.
Taking PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY because blaming external causes only gives away my power for change.
NOURISHING my body with more healthy goodness and less processed foods and drinking more water. Because basic self care strategies also nourishes my mind with healthier and more productive thoughts.
SLEEP & RESTING because its not only OK to take time out, sometimes its ESSENTIAL for my healing.
Increasing EXERCISE & physical activity because it helps to process the messy mind and shifts blocked energy.
Spending more time in NATURE because it grounds and connects me with the flow of universal energies.
Being more CREATIVE and PLAYFUL because it taps into my self expression and imagination. I do more things I enjoy and experiment with other things I haven’t yet done and I have FUN doing it 😊
MEDITATING because it helps me to become more aware of my connection to self and the source of divine truth ❤
And for the seekers I EXPLORE the space of stress by asking …
What is causing me discomfort?
What is or has changed in my life?
How am I thinking about it?
How does it make me feel?
What am I avoiding and Why?
What am I afraid of?
What is hurting me?
How does the change support my growth?