Stress. A simple word, short and easy to understand. It affects everyone and can come from anywhere. We know when we are stressed out, and with some thought we can figure out what is causing our stress. What nobody tells us however, is how to properly handle stress. In this post, I will share with you a powerful way to dramatically reduce the amount of stress in your life. Yay!
There are many causes of stress. It could be caused by problems at work, relationship problems, financial problems…the list goes on. It amazes me that despite all of our education, we are never taught how to properly deal with stress. Sometimes I feel like I’ve had more than my fair share of stress, a sentiment I’m sure we can all relate to. I have read countless books on psychology and positivity in an attempt to reduce stress, and this is what I have found.
Stress is mental.
Of course it is, you say. That’s obvious.
But is it obvious? It seems to me that most people talk about stress as something outside of themselves. Your boss is stressing you out, your spouse is stressing you out, your (fill in the blank) is stressing you out. While these situations may be negatively influencing you, they are not the ultimate cause of your deteriorating peace of mind. Your reaction to these situations is the real culprit. If you can change the way you react to stressors, you can dramatically reduce the amount of stress in your life.
Now I’m not saying that you should ignore your problems, or blame yourself for them. If somebody or something is bothering you, it usually benefits you to address the situation. But until the situation is resolved it is important to remember that you are in control of your own mind, and stress is mental. You are letting them stress you out. Stop letting other people take your peace of mind!
Now for the good part. When you feel like you are getting overwhelmed and you are letting situations get the best of you, here is a technique you can use to calm down and take back your peace of mind.
The technique is very simple. All you have to do is go somewhere quiet, preferably a place that you love or a place in nature, and clear your mind of everything but the present moment. Don’t think about the troubles of the past or the worries of the future. Just focus on the present moment. Inhale slowly through your nose and then exhale slowly out through your mouth. Keep doing this while focusing only on the sights, sounds and feelings of whats going on around you. You could even do this with your eyes closed and focus purely on the sensations of the present moment. After awhile, you begin to feel connected with everything around you. You begin to feel at one with the universe, and your problems will start to lose their hold over your mind.
This process of clearing your mind and breathing in the present moment has been used for thousands of years and to this day is one of the best techniques for reducing stress. It’s called
That’s right! You don’t have to be a Buddhist monk to meditate, and you don’t even need to be sitting. You can use this technique and meditate anywhere. At home, at work, at a stop light, in line at the store, walking through the woods, standing in your favorite place…anywhere. If you practice this daily, you will begin to notice that you have more control over your thoughts and emotions. You will no longer be a victim of circumstances. You will control how you react to situations and in turn, you will control your stress.
Be still, be present, and breathe!