There are exercises, massages and aromas that can help bring temporary stress relief. However, ultimate stress relief rests in your mind. It really isn’t outside events that keep you stressed. It’s how you think about those events and the resulting action or inaction that keeps you up tight.
A close look at stress
Stress is not a bad thing. It’s a survival mechanism we have been provided. It quickens our senses and gives us added strength and speed. If you suddenly look up and see a car careening toward you in your lane. Stress kicks in instantly and can help you avoid an accident. If a tiger is chasing you, it’s stress that kicks in to give you the speed to hopefully keep you from becoming his lunch.
Stress is also related to fun and enjoyable events. If you’re getting ready to go on vacation, chances are you will be experiencing stress. If you’re expecting to go on a date with Mr. Perfect, you may be stressed.
Stress is also associated with those events which aren’t at all fun and enjoyable. The death or illness of a loved one is one example. Change, such as moving to a new city and away from your comfort zone is another. A 500 point drop in the stock market can really pour out the stress related hormones if that’s where your investments reside.
The part your mind plays
Most of the events listed above are temporary stressors. They disappear after a few days or weeks. Our bodies are designed to handle these stressors, but the most insidious type of stress is that which does not go away. However, how we think affects what we do and how we go about doing it. If our thinking is wrong, we can think ourselves into a permanent state of stress. Here’s how that works.
Fear of the unknown and it’s all unknown for all of us.
Fear breeds stress and the physiological changes that go along with it. You’re afraid of losing your job, your house or your health. As long as that fear smolders just beneath the surface of your thoughts, you will live in a state of permanent stress. Once we realize that no one is really in control of the circumstances which life deals out, we can let the fear go. That doesn’t mean you don’t plan for the future, whether that be one day, one week or years ahead, you just mentally prepare to have a change in plans or direction at a moment’s notice. That’s a joyous way to live.
This may sound like a contradiction to the concept of being prepared for change, but it isn’t. Let’s say you have a number of tasks you want to accomplish, but you fail to prioritize them. So, during the day you maybe do the easiest or most enjoyable tasks first, but run out of time to do the important ones. You feel overwhelmed and over stressed. A little planning would have avoided this situation and thus avoided the stress associated with it.
Lack of action
For example, let’s say you promise someone you will meet them at noon for lunch. You realize by 9:00 that you’re not going to be able to make it, but you fail to call the friend. You think about it periodically from 9 until 11:30 when you make the call. Every time you think about it, there’s a little dose of stress. When you finally get around to calling, you are afraid your friend might be angry. Your lack of action created stress. Procrastinators can be victims of this type of stress.
Living in conflict
You can move away from relationships with other people, but you can’t move away from a relationship with yourself. When people live in ways that conflict with the paradigms they believe are correct, they live in a constant state of stress.
Let’s say you believe you should exercise every day because it is good for your health and being healthy is important to you. However, each day you allow other activities to interfere with your 20 minute walk. Every day you will become more stressed because you aren’t doing what you deeply believe you should be doing.
If you watch the talking heads on television, you’re probably going to end up stressed all the time. Why? Because you hear about all the horrible things that are happening around the world about which you can do little to change. That sense of helplessness and hopelessness is stressing.
Also, if you are constantly demeaning yourself, “I’m an idiot,” “I’m not very smart,” “I’m fat,” “I’m too skinny,” “I’m not pretty,” “I’m too old,” “I’m too young.” This type of foolish talk can not only stress you, but lead to depression.
All of the above causes of stress are related to improper thinking. What you think is the crux of stress. Each of the stress causing activities above can be changed by changing the way you think. When you do that you will have the path to ultimate stress relief. You are the only one who can control your thoughts and that’s a good thing. As long as you take responsibility for your thoughts, you can change your life in ways beyond your wildest dreams.
An excellent start on this process is simply to listen to yourself think with awareness. Be aware when you’re talking yourself out of doing something you should be doing. Be aware when you think of doing a project that you know is low priority. Be aware when you think negative thoughts. The awareness alone will move you in the right direction. Surround yourself with people, books, CDs and videos that will help keep you on track. As much as possible, avoid negative conversation whether on TV, radio or from the mouths of associates.
We here at SpaFromScratch want you to be a happy, healthy goddess. We know that controlling the state of always being stressed is important to accomplishing that. That’s why we created this post. It’s our way of letting you know that we love you.
Now go have fun and relax.