I don’t watch much T.V. but this morning there was some heart medication commercial playing in the background. I mostly heard blah, blah, blah & then some very disturbing side effects, but what made me bust out laughing was the infinite wisdom the doctor (actor) was sharing…”Limit your stress to ensure a healthy heart”. Wow! I couldn’t stop laughing at that ridiculous statement! Really? So I guess most of us look for things that trigger stress so we can experience panic attacks or even better a tightening in the chest so profound we think it could be a hear attack? We KNOW we should avoid stress but HOW? A better question would be… What is stress really??
We were never taught what stress really is or how to avoid it, but are often advised to abstain from it in order to avoid dis-ease. We all need a certain level of stress, sometimes it motivates us & at sometimes even keeps us safe from harm. The idea of getting hit by a car triggers a stressor that keeps us from running into traffic or a deadline triggers a stressor that motivates us to complete a project. Then there are the stressors that block us from experiencing happiness or joy. The stress of not being able to pay bills at the end of the month (future) or a stressor that causes us to sabotage a relationship to prevent us from the pain of a broken heart. You see no matter how we look at stress, its primary purpose is to protect us. Whether keeping us safe from harm or protect us from pain, either way, it’s there to protect us.
When we resist the flow of life, it causes us stress. When we feel like we’ve lost control or we feel we’re not in control, stress kicks in. The truth is, we have NO control over what happens to us, but we DO have the control over how we respond to what happens to us. If you find that you hold yourself back from your hopes & dreams, or you allow fear & doubt to prevent your dreams from becoming a reality, the you are allowing your worries to pollute your daily experience of life, & this manifests into a form of stress within your body.
If we allow fear, worry or doubt to take the lead, it’s challenging to feel good while navigating life, when we hold ourselves back from feeling good, we move into a place of resistance. This resistance creates a vibration specifically to those fears, doubts & worries, it then manifests more of what you are focusing on, it draws in more fear, more worry & more doubt. The more we resist the more we become more resistant.
Breaking this cycle requires an awareness. We need to recognize what it is that we are truly resisting, rise to the occasion by allowing our feelings to guide us onto the path of least resistance, the flow with life. Just saying the words “flow with life” sounds so smooth & freeing. Just imagine flowing through life like the wind. With ease & grace, strong & empowered.
The less resistant we become the more open we become to focus on what we do want. By directing our attention to what we do want, helps us move with the flow of our lives instead of pushing against it, causing us to stress. When you notice you are feeling stressed, ask yourself “how do I want to feel right now?” I’ll bet you’d want to feel less stressed not more. The power of choice gives us the free will to change how we feel & be in charge of how we choose to feel in life.
Changing the way we view fear is the greatest gift we can give ourselves. Fear is an intense feeling that can be experienced both emotionally & physically. The intensity of the physical feeling can be used as a wake-up call to go within, regroup and change the momentum of our thinking. One day at the beach I noticed a school of tiny fish in a puddle between the reef & the shore. They were struggling to swim against the current (in a puddle!), & each time the waves went back out, they struggled to stay where they were. I became exhausted looking at them, I also thought when the tide comes in they’re all going out to sea anyway! These little, struggling fish taught me a valuable lesson that day. When we resist flowing with what is, it doesn’t change the outcome it only exhausts us. What’s meant to happen will still happen, stressing over it isn’t going to change the outcome at all. So we have a choice, to see the lesson & positive message the experience is offering us or we can stress & resist what’s happening in hopes to change the outcome to the way we expect it to happen. At my age, I know the latter never works! We can choose to enjoy the ride & trust the process, after all we’ve survived 100% of our shittiest days, I think we’ve got this! By simply trusting in ourselves we find our point of least resistance & we can start there.
In itself, stress is neither good or bad. How we respond or react to stress creating factors is what makes the difference. That difference is our perception of our coping abilities. If we perceive a situation that we believe we can handle, one that sparks excitement & creativity, then we will feel empowered. But if we perceive a situation that questions our ability to cope, creating fear, doubt about what will happen, then we will display a variety of stress symptoms such as sweating, tension within our body & shallow breathing. These perceptions are based on our personal emotional experiences.
So how can we immediately shift from feeling stressed to feeling good right now?
BE present! Become aware of what your body is telling you. Does it feel good? If not, what can you do to make it feel better? How we feel creates the tone of our life experiences, like attracts like. Want more of feeling good? Then focus on feeling good. Yes, it’s that simple! We chose how we want to feel & there are NO exceptions. It’s all how we chose to see those experiences. When we are in alignment with our inner truth, we feel good. When we feel judgmental, stuck in resistance, frustrated, angry, etc. we can use those feelings to guide us also. All of our feelings, whether emotional or physical, become a gift when we see them as a sign that it’s time to re-align with our inner guide.
Over the next few days practice becoming aware of your physical reactions to different situations, thoughts & feelings. Try journaling about them each day so you can see what patterns your body holds. BE aware when you are irritated or frustrated, anxious, how do you respond to past memories? where do you feel it in your body? How are you breathing? What else do you notice? Once you improve the relationship you have with your body, it becomes easier to change the way you feel into the way you want to feel.
Another way to instantly shift to your mood is by breathing. Take a moment to just BE with yourself & focus on your breath as you relax. Slowly begin to scan your body, ask where the stress is stored. See if you can find the place that stress is within your body. Notice the effects that stress has on your body, your mind & your heart. Can you hear what it is saying? Stress often acts as a mask. Beneath it, you may find other emotions & feelings. Give it a voice, accept this part of you & notice what happens to that stress. When you are ready, take a deep breath & let it go.
Acceptance is the key enduring happiness. It allows you move from feeling happy to actually being happy.
We are always evolving & our experience is constantly changing. When we use our feelings as a guide, we create more self-awareness. When we care about how we feel, we start seeing that we have a say in how our experience of life will play out. With presence and alignment, it becomes easier to see that the path of least resistance is always available to us.
What are you resisting? Can you make a subtle internal shift to accept people & things just the way they are & choose to be happy?
By spending quiet time in reflection every so often, we quiet the mind to allow the voice of reason to emerge, through the stillness of life.
Love & light,