Stress reduction requires a conscious approach that includes a deep look at the choices we make.Without awareness, self compassion and self care our health, well-being, relationships and professional lives may suffer.
Stress Reduction Requires an Honest Assessment
As life gets busier and more complex, do you find you are feeling more stress and tension? Do you experience a greater sense of being out of control, out of time or out of energy? Have you felt obligations and responsibilities growing and taking over what used to be your life?
It is natural when that happens to begin to lose the capacity for being present in the moment. We also tend to have less acceptance or sense of satisfaction with what is. Pleasure seems to disappear. Our sense of humor dulls and pretty soon we are not feeling happy very often. Maybe our ability to feel anything good at all has exited, stage left!
It seems to be a human inclination, especially for women, that as outside demands grow larger and more demanding we neglect self care. This is a perfect setting for stress and “burn out”. Burn out is not simply an idea. It is a very real phenomenon that affects metal, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.
How can you turn this around?
Begin by identifying what you need. How much you can realistically give of your time, money, or energy? As you move through each day remain aware of your needs and assets, emotional and otherwise. Notice when circumstances are becoming overwhelming and learn to say NO. Giving from an “empty cup” is a recipe for stress, resentment and blame toward others for taking too much. It is neither kind nor gracious and other people recognize this.
Stress Reduction and Maintaining Energy Level, Schedule and Balance.
To truly take responsibility for the things listed in this heading effectively it may be necessary to look at the deeper roots of why self care is so difficult. Start by turning up the volume on the conversations that go on in your mind.
We all have them. Those conversations are often made up of old messages & beliefs formed earlier in life. We usually are not aware that we carry perspectives that may be outdated. Regardless they may be influencing our behavior in a negative way.
Some of these messages or ’beliefs’ are probably good solid values. There are others that served you well at the time, but need revision to fit effectively into your current life. Discovering and honestly acknowledging what thoughts, attitudes and beliefs are behind over-commitment, hectic schedules and lack of time for yourself is one way to begin to design a stress-less life!
Stress Reduction, Needs, Choices and Patterns
It is important to recognize what needs your patterns may satisfy. Your needs are not wrong, but the way you are trying to meet them may be ineffective. Successful change requires releasing old habits and filling those needs in positive ways.
Creating more fulfilling choices for yourself comes from a clear recognition of how each choice affects your whole being. How different would your life be if you evaluated how your decisions affected your heart and mind before you made them? We often run our lives from our heads, from the world of ideas, concepts, shoulds, oughts and musts.
Sit quietly with each decision you make and notice how your heart, mind and body respond to it. This process can be enlightening. When there is a conflict between the mind, body and heart, it is almost certain that you will experience stress and eventually a variety of difficulties will manifest in your health, relationships and performance.
We can create lives that we love. Creating change from the inside, by listening more closely to your heart, is the beginning. Try tuning into your inner voice more often. Make choices from a deeper place within and see if you don’t experience more ease, happiness and less stress!