Stress Free Living Challenge: Day 2
I'm so excited to see you again for Day 2 of the Stress Free Living Challenge!
Yesterday we talked about some quick tips you can implement when you’re already feeling stressed and when you feel like you’re getting nowhere with your self-care practice.
Today, we’re going to talk about “fixing” a stressful situation and how to figure out why you’re stuck and overwhelmed in the first place.
So a lot of things can be going on mentally, emotionally, and spiritually when we say we feel too stressed. We can be feeling a combination of a lot of different emotions - anger, dissatisfaction, sadness, or anxiety… sometimes we have all of those brewing within us at once.
And most of the time we think that we’re feeling those things because of something that is happening outside of us. We think that our job is too demanding and that’s why we’re stressed. We think that our significant other is too frustrating and doesn’t understand our perspective and that’s why we’re stressed. We don’t know how we’ll ever accomplish that huge dream we have for ourselves and that’s why we’re stressed. We think we don’t know how to make the right decision and we’re stuck between a couple of different options )or maybe we feel like there are no options at all) and that’s why we’re stressed.
If we look at the definition of stress we can really get to the bottom of what we’re talking about when we say we’re stressed. So often we label things. When we say we’re stressing something it means we’re putting emphasis on something. We’re putting pressure on something. We’re highlighting something. So we can do that to other things or we can do that to ourselves!
It really means we’re focusing on something that’s making us feel heavy, weighted, sluggish, pressured, overwhelmed etc. And focusing on these things creates strain or tension.
So if we apply that definition to what’s going on in our lives we can start to really understand more about why we feel the way we do.
When we look at that definition we see that it says nothing about subject matter. It doesn’t say “you feel stressed when something horrible happens and there’s no other option.” It doesn’t say that “stress happens every single time you feel negative emotion.”
See tension and strain comes from resistance. Think about it like exercise or lifting weights - you’re putting some kind of pressure or tension on your body, right? Your body has a baseline state - a typical way of being - and then you add weights to that natural state or you make that body move faster that it typically does or you stretch that body in a way that it isn’t used to - all of a sudden tension arises. This tension breaks down muscles and they rebuild stronger than they were before.
Super basic description of what happens when you work out, but you get the picture.
Your body must function in that space of tension - that reality of not being used to whatever pressure is placed on it - and withstanding it anyway. And because of that it grows, changes, and becomes more than it was.
The same thing can happen with our stress if we allow it to happen.
We can flow into the tension. We can understand the purpose of the tension. We can look at the bigger picture of the tension like we do when we’re exercising. And just by becoming aware of the situation we dissipate the feelings of strain and overwhelm.
If you went to the gym thinking that the stress you were going to put on your body was the worst thing that could ever happen because you knew your body had to deal with some resistance… you’d never go! I know this because I used to do this! I hated working out because it felt horrible. And I didn’t care about the being aware of how all of the pieces fit together. I just didn’t want to deal with the tension. I didn’t want to give the tension a powerful purpose. So I didn’t grow. In fact, over time my body became more weak because I wasn’t using tension in a powerful way.
The same thing happens with our ability to eliminate stress from our lives. Paradoxically, the way to eliminate stress is to embrace it.
We aren’t embracing it because we love it and want it to stay forever. We embrace it because of its potential for creating greatness in our lives. We embrace it because we’ve learned to focus on purpose instead of resisting the discomfort.
Part of being able to do this is creating the habit of being mindful. Being mindful asks us to release the judgment that we place on our emotions. So when you feel your stress rising, when you realize that your tension is growing and that you feel like you can’t possibly juggle all of the things you think you need to juggle, it’s time to pay attention to how you’re interpreting your emotions.
Notice what thoughts arise when you focus on how stressed you are. Notice what you’re placing importance on. Notice where your focus is. Notice, without being mean to yourself. Without going down the rabbit hole of negativity and criticism. And then return to your breath - releasing that frustration and that focus on how impossible things feel. Be in the present with yourself - in the moment when everything is ok, when you’re alive, safe, and centered.
When we do this, we get into a state of surrender - ultimately a state of allowing, a place of trust.
So if you’re ready to give stress a new meaning in your life and learn to embrace it so that it can dissipate, check out the video below!
We’re officially in day 2 and there are some great tips and tools in the video for you!
*AND… a HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT is coming your way!
I’m letting the cat out of the bag and giving you ALL the details tomorrow… but if you’re too interested in creating a ZEN AF, stress free life for good, and you want to master doing some deep mindfulness work with me directly so that you can finally create and LIVE the life of your wildest dreams… you might want to click here :)