I am inspired to write about this in part because of the extreme cold we just had in Chicago and how this affected my body, which in turn showed me deeply the ways I carry my stress emotionally. It showed me how it’s time to rethink my rituals and change things up a bit.
The cold also showed me how i am truly in charge of my emotional and mental stress.
Lately, when people find out what I do, they always ask me how to destress from this fast paced, pushing through like a bull, driven world, and information overload.
Perhaps beginning to understand that you do have control over how you feel physically, emotionally, and mentally will help you.
My empathy and sympathy and well-intended quick advice may not actually help you in the long run, but perhaps these tools will. Tools are always great!
And remember, they only work if you begin to use them, and make them feel more comfortable for you, and your lifestyle.
So - maybe a little bit of tweaking after you try them out is good too, because if they don’t vibe with you, you probably wont keep trying them. (That’s good old experience talking here…)
Here are some tools to try to reduce physical, emotional, and mental stress.
A. Reduce Physical Stress
Breathing is great.
Breathing is not meditation, it’s just plain old breathing.
Breathing with an object is even better!
Breathe while holding something in your hand. (a round object seems best)
Put your full attention on the object while you consciously breathe in and out. Use slow, focused breathing.
Start for a minute at a time and work up to 5 minutes.
You may be totally surprised , yes! totally surprised, by how much stress is relieved.
B. Reduce Emotional Stress
This is my biggie, and one, I inherently feel we all forget about.
Take responsibility for your stress. (yep - pure suckage here…)
No one else causes you stress. They never have, and never will.
We get stressed when someone does something we don’t like, and we react with a variation of fear
or anger, affecting our body and mind (my lesson form the ridiculous cold. It affected my body)
It’s an endless cycle.
So - start by taking responsibility for your REactions (repeated patterns of behavior), and then consciously
deciding to change them as you see them happening more and more often. Maybe you need to tell
someone “when you do ______ (fill in the blank), I experience _____ (fill in the blank)” to get the
proverbial ball rolling. This is the beginning of breaking the cycle!
C. Reduce Mental Stress
This begins by changing your expectations, of yourself, and of others.
Expectations are responses to negative events in the past, and projecting them into the future.
The bigger problem occurs when you dwell on negative expectations.
Ike (eekay) - the world is what you think it is. Negative expectations or positive expectations.
The choice is yours.
I realize this is tough stuff - taking responsibility. It sucks sometimes frankly.
But life is not about a filtered Instagram photo or Facebook profile. It’s life.
And if you don’t take some action to help yourself, nothing can change and let the good happen.
I’m totally in it with you.
Stick it out.
WE can do it!
Lisa Kai is a licensed bodywork therapist in Chicago Illinois. She specializes in transformational bodywork including Lomi Lomi and Visionary Craniosacral. This blog contains her insights on bodywork and everyday tips for practicing Aloha for the body, mind, and spirit. Lisa also practices Aloha, is a nature loving tikiphile, digs jazz (well, all types of music really!), double dips her veggies, is an artist, and embraces change.