Say Goodbye to Stress by Re-Programming Your Mind
If you’re human, you’ve experienced stress. It happens in short spurts and sometimes can last for weeks. Not all stress is bad, if fact, some is essential for your survival; however stress can leave you flustered, overwhelmed, indecisive, and unmotivated. We all experience these feelings from time to time. If you’re sick of stress running your life, here are a few ways that will help you overcome this and conquer your conscious mind.
First, we must understand that stress not only manifests mentally, but in physically symptoms of stress as well. Our body will shrink, our muscles will tighten, and if the stress lasts long enough, it will start to affect our immune system putting us at risk of getting sick.
Harness the Power of Relaxation Breathing for Stress
If you are able, find a quiet area to sit or lay down. Use the following meditation and breathing to relax your body.
Focus on your breathing and try to slow your heart rate by taking slow deep breaths. Close your eyes and quiet your mind. Now I want you to imagine a warm blanket of energy dropping over the top of your head, coming down over your forehead and relaxing everything it touches. Those tight muscles crinkling your forehead are now relaxed, and your eyes are light instead of heavy. Allow this energy to flow inside, now rushing down your neck to your shoulders. Let your shoulders drop and head lay heavy (if you are laying down). The warmth of this energy is now flowing down your shoulders, arms, wrists, and hands. Everything is peaceful and quiet. Focus this energy throughout the rest of your body, noticing that wherever it goes, the muscles relax as well. Allow yourself to be filled up and when you are feeling the peak of relaxation, think about a time in your life that has brought you immense happiness or joy. If you are having trouble doing this, think about something that would make you extremely happy if it were to happen. Continue to let this feeling overwhelm you and start to imagine yourself in that exact moment. What do you see, what do you smell or taste, and what does the environment feel like?
Take a few minutes to yourself. What you have just done is mastered your physical symptoms of stress.
Do a Mental Scan
If you aren’t feeling better by now, there may be more going on and this is where you MUST open up to the idea that something needs to change. “If you keep asking the same question, expect the same answer.” Whatever is going on is an issue. Many times we become stressed or flustered because of an external issue, but this external thing is just highlighting an internal issue or resistance we have. For example, say you planned to meet a friend for lunch. You’ve arrived on time but your friend is late. Instead of getting frustrated and stressed about the time and about your friends tardiness, which may be the surface issue, you may actually be stressed for another, deeper reason. If you look closely, you may see that your stress comes from the view that things should be a certain way, and this rigid sense of how things should be is causing you to resist being flexible with how things actually turn out.
We all see the world a certain way and we all possess certain morals or values that life’s experiences have given us. When something happens that does not follow our sense of how things should be, we oppose it to a certain degree. Ask yourself, is this something I should feel stressed about? Where has this idea come from? What would happen if I changed my belief? You have to accept the chaos in this world and believe that it is not without purpose, that there is an ability to self-reflect and learn something in each situation.
Learning From Stress
You may fall down learning to ride a bike, you may burn your rice because you made twice the amount and didn’t put enough water in, or maybe you don’t get the job because someone else was more qualified. All of these teach us something valuable. Life moves on, and so must we. It’s not going to be easy, but if it were, the successes wouldn’t feel as sweet. The hard part about this is that you’re putting your pride and dignity to question. Get over this and you will reap the rewards.
How to Re-Program Your Mind
Now, let’s focus on how to resolve these issues that cause us stress. Hold your head up and know that you are going to get through this. Make a list. This list will include what you are trying to accomplish. If you can, categorize this list (ex. Relationship, Money, Job, Self, Friends, Work..etc). Now, within each of these categories, ask yourself a few questions.
First, “What do I want?” What is the final result and is the outcome measurable? Second, “Why do I want it?” Who is it for? You, your team, your kids, your parents? Third, “What is my action plan?” What do I do? Now, out of all of this, what portion of your plan would make the greatest difference? Be real, what is the most important? Establish a time frame. How long will this take you, and again, be real and give yourself the closest estimate of time. If you’re writing a 2 page paper, don’t assume it will take 27 days. Lastly, what kind of leverage do you have? What resources do you have that can help you achieve this goal? Friends, family, technology… what do you have that will help you out? Remember, it’s all about asking yourself questions, and NOT HOLDING BACK. Leave the ego at the door. It won’t help you here.
Be excited to take control of your happiness. We perceive the world a certain way and that’s how we see it. If it’s causing you stress, ask yourself if the stress worth it. Can it be different, and will that be okay? Also, remember to focus on the positive parts of life. Bad things are bound to happen, but if you accept that and do your best to learn from these situations, you have already won.