Positive stress management and energy enhancement are beneficial for all of us but especially for those involved in high stress positions like care giving. Integrating these simple skills into your daily life will add to your energy, create a feeling of positive flow within and ultimately bring you more joy, peace and fulfillment than you may now experience!
Awareness and positive stress management
Awareness is a process that encourages change. The first step is to pay attention. Begin to observe your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and actions. Observation leads to having more information about yourself so you may begin to have more choice regarding your inner world and also your actions. From there you can start to experience more ability to feel in charge of yourself and life as well as to have the beginning of learning to develop a sense of inner peace.
Learn to Use Your Breath Properly
Learning to breathe properly has many health benefits on a physical level. It makes you feel more energized, lifts the spirits and can relieve many symptoms of anxiety. It can also help you to experience less of a sense of inner stress, and to create feelings of acceptance, peace, and tranquility. These qualities remain thoughts unless there is a process to move them from the head to the heart!
In addition, focusing on the breath provides a means to interrupt obsessive negative thoughts. Learning how to breathe in a slow, full, easy, rhythmical way can help calm difficult emotions.
Acceptance: Subtle but Powerful Positive Stress Management Skill
Resistance, whether it is emotional or physical, intensifies pain. Learning to experience an inner state of acceptance not only helps you to feel better, but also contributes to positive change and empowerment from the inside out!
Practicing acceptance of minor daily circumstances such as a traffic jam or a computer glitch can help train us for acceptance of life’s larger events. All these approaches contribute to a natural slowing down of the mind. This helps provide clarity and the ability to distinguish between what we can change and what we cannot.
We all have positive and negative traits but often focus on the negative as if it were all there is. At some point we begin to feel heavy, burdened, deeply flawed. This may be the result of early conditioning. However, no matter where it originated, it is possible for you to take charge and create something different for yourself.
A way you can begin to create this shift is to name five things you are grateful for in your life every night before sleep. Upon arising in the morning name five things that are positive about you and that you are grateful for. Focus on these frequently throughout the day.
You can begin with simple things such as the fact that you can see, hear, feel, taste or have good teeth! Progress to positive emotional qualities as you gets more comfortable with the process. Work toward naming 100 traits to be grateful for within a month’s time—watch your energy change!
We are harder on ourselves than we are on others
Before we can legitimately give others compassion, we need to be able to have that skill internally– for ourselves. How often have we heard that the only way to truly accept and love another is to do so for yourself first. We cannot give something away that we do not possess.
Challenge yourself to find three opportunities a day to practice compassion on yourself!
These 5 skills provide a strong foundation for positive stress management. You may need to integrate one skill at a time depending on your needs. Try working with one until you feel it has become a habit then move to the next.
However, if you feel that you need more and can focus on more than one then by all means go for it.
Some people can begin by making a schedule that includes all 5 skills and finding creative ways to slip them into a day.
However you begin, at the start you will probably need to use cues and reminders for each of the skills. After three weeks or so you will notice that they have become a part of your daily routine. It is at that point that you notice their benefit and they become self reinforcing.