To know if you are stressed, let’s take time to understand what stress is. In my Certified Stress Management Consultant seminar, my teacher, Dr. George Bien, says it best:
“Stress is response to change!”
I’d like to note that there is positive stress and there is negative stress. Positive stress are things that challenge us in a good way. Such as, change (we all view change differently), work we love, hobbies, or even volunteering. These things, though they may challenge us, affect you in healthy ways, giving you more joy, happiness, and a love for life.
The type of stress I am writing about is negative stress. Our bodies can adapt and is suited to handle short term negative stress, so I will be more specific to say this is to educate, make aware of, and/or remind you of long-term negative stress.
How do you know if you are stressed? More importantly, have you taken account for how long have you been stressed?
Here is a quick list of signs you MAY be stressed:
- Tiredness/Chronic fatigue/Lack of Energy or to live fully
- Over or under eating
- Over indulgence of substances (including alcohol)
- Chronic pain
- Unexpected weight gain or weight loss
- Sexual dysfunction
- Sleeping issues, whether too little or too much
- Other physical issues, such as upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation
PLEASE always check with your doctor if any of these signs have been chronic as there may be other health issues not related to stress.
If you were to take a few seconds and breath, close your eyes, (can even put your hand on your heart) what would come up that stresses you? Take a few seconds now and do this. I’d love to know what comes up for you.
Was it something from your internal self, such as your goals, desires, dreams (of lack of meeting them), feeling powerless, expectations you put on yourself or others, etc.? And/or was it something externally, such as family obligations, family in general, your job, unexpected changes, etc.?
Here is a list of some of the most common stressors:
- Birth and/or adoption of a new baby
- Death of a loved one
- Marriage or Divorce
- Job (Just Over Broke) especially loss of it
- Chronic Physical and/or Mental Illness
Please remember, most of our stressors really come from within and you always have the power to de-stress. Are you ready to de-stress and get more peace in your life?
Ways to de-stress:
1. Purposeful deep breathing.
Sounds simple? Please try a 5 second breath: breath in for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds, then let go for 5 seconds. How was that? Can you do 5, 5 second breaths? Click here to find out about my “Just Breath” 21 Day Challenge.
2. Be conscious of your thoughts.
Are you saying things, whether to yourself or speaking them out loud, “I have to, I should, I hate this or that”, or other negative terms?
If you are, start with one thing you can change, especially your words, by simply adding at least one positive statement within your day, and/or take one “I have to do off your list, and/or say no if someone is asking you to help and your answer is “I should”. Doing any of these things will help you to regain your power back.
Also, one small change can help you to be more relaxed and breath a bit more, which helps you to feel and know you are in charge of your life. If needed, when the time is right for you, do another, then after that another . . . It took me several years, but before I knew it, I had more time to do the things that brought me joy.
3. Pay attention to your internal emotional gauge.
Are you having lots of anger, sad or fear pop up? These are all normal emotions and pop up because they simply have a message for you.
I liken them to a toddler. When they go unnoticed, they become louder and show up more frequently. When you acknowledge them, you are able to help them.
This is a tool I use for myself and I use on a daily basis when a negative thought or emotion shows up: I simply say, “Thank you for showing up, what do you need, help me to understand, thank you …” Repeat if needed. Often times, the negative thought or emotion, leaves, and/or there is some insight to why it showed up. Understanding is a gateway to all knowledge and transcendence.
4. Tune in to how your body is feeling.
Sometimes in life we do have certain responsibilities we simply are unable to change, like taking care of our children or a sick loved one.
If your body breaks down, then how can you care for them?
Take at least a few moments every day to bring in some type of relaxation, whether you go for short walk, dance, purposeful movement, grab a blanket and sit in the sun, or by a tree; sit in a park and listen to the birds and nature, if you are in a city, there is a ton of music and sounds that you can listen to giving you the same benefits. Another option is to quietly sit, close your eyes and visualize your safe place, or your favorite vacation spot, or dream vacation.
5. What foods are you eating?
You are what you eat and “Health is your first Wealth”, Ralph Waldo Emerson. I live by the WildFit lifestyle created by Eric Edmeades. I have learned and personally experienced what I eat and drink made a big difference on my stress levels.
At minimum, be conscious of what you are eating, why, when, and how it is really making you feel; this goes for what you are drinking too. Try to reduce your sugar intake; processed sugar is one the worst things you can do for your body … reducing your sugar will help to reduce your stress along with your waistline.
The BIGGEST lifestyle change I made was learning to meditate! This was no small feat for someone who could barely sit for 5 minutes!
My daily meditation practice consists of just 15 to 20 minutes a day.
Start by 2 or 3 minutes a day of just sitting quietly with your eyes closed focusing on your breathe (even take big belly breaths) and go to your favorite place, can put your hand on your heart for an added bonus. But that is it! We have many opportunities throughout the day, what opportunities are best for you? Click here to read my blog about my personal story in why meditation is so important, and its many benefits or click here for my Relaxation Guided Meditation.
Let me know what most resonates with you. Also, how you can apply this to your life.
Sending you much love, light, healing, and abundance!