On a scale of 1 – 10 with ten being the highest, how much stress would you say you are currently under? Are you able to pinpoint what things in your life are contributing to that stress level? For many it is a job, finances, management or a colleague, and for others it’s relationships with friends and family. There are multiple situations and circumstances that can create stress in our lives. My question to you is, what if they did not have to?
What if, no matter what challenges you are navigating, stress was not your experience? Taking it even a step further, what if, even in the most difficult situations you could have a sense of relaxation and ease? It is possible. Relaxation can be one choice away.
I want to share three ways we can relax into stress, so it is not the dominating force in our daily existence.
1. Change the way you look at stress
Perhaps you have decided that stress is the result of circumstances. This point of view puts you at the effect of stress. It suggests that when difficult things occur there is nothing you can do. What if this assumption is incorrect? What if stress and overwhelm are something you invent, something you create, and something you choose? Suppose you have recently lost your job. You are focusing on the loss, worrying about money, telling yourself you do not know where to go from here. All of these things are choices. All of these choices create stress. If you would like to have a different experience you have to choose something else, and the way to choose something else starts with asking questions. Questions take you out of the autopilot of negative thinking and stress and open the door to possibilities you could not previously see.
Questions you can ask are, what else is possible here? How does it get any better than this? If this wasn’t a problem, what would the possibilities be? Asking questions in the midst of difficult situations may take some practice. I invite you to keep going. The more you build the muscle of asking questions rather than choosing stress and anxious thoughts, the easier it will be.
2. Allow yourself to receive more
One of the greatest contributing factors to stress is the idea that we have to do everything on our own rather than receiving. Few of us were taught how to receive. We are taught to work it all out and be independent. While there is nothing wrong with being strong and independent, what if you could receive too? One of the greatest gifts I have discovered that assisted with receiving more is something called the Access Consciousness Bars. The Access Consciousness Bars consist of 32 points on the head that when gently touched dissipate the thoughts, feelings, emotions, ideas and points of view that keep you from having joy and ease in your life.
The next time you are taking on the world and its challenges all on your own, stop, take a deep breath, relax, and find something that can provide a different point of view and contribute, such as someone to run your Bars (there are practitioners all over the world). The important thing is to have a look around at possibilities you have not chosen.
3. Make YOU a priority
What is relaxation for you? Have you ever asked that question? Perhaps relaxation for you is not warm baths or chocolate. Perhaps it is something entirely different. Whatever relaxation is for you, what if you make you a priority and choose more of that? Take one hour or start with 30 minutes each day, and one day each week and make it about you and what relaxes, nurtures and inspires you. Whether it is drinking wine and watching Netflix, going for a coffee with a friend, reading a book, taking a walk on the beach or any other generative actions, commit to making you a priority by choosing those things. The more you do this the more you will begin to see what actually matters to you, what contributes to you, what makes your life greater.
Another great question to ask is, what can I add to my life? The people who do not function from stress and overwhelm are always choosing more. The tendency when stress is present is to let go of things in an attempt to minimize the stress and control the outcome. This does not actually work. Adding things that bring you joy, and inspiration add to relaxation.
While it may be easy to assume that stress is the result of challenges, a quick look around shows that idea is untrue. The past year has presented challenges across the globe, and yet many of the people have continued to create despite the circumstances in their lives. People that lost their jobs have created new businesses. Others unable to return home, stranded in another country, created a new life where they were. No one is a victim. What we choose creates what we experience.