Stress is an everyday occurrence in all of our lives. Even the most minor stresses – like, ummm, making a restaurant choice for your office on a jam-packed busy work day, or choosing whether to take the highway or the side streets to your mother’s house when you’re already 20 minutes late to get there – can accumulate and add to your daily discomfort. We all live with stress, but does it have to be where we set our default?
Mental and emotional stress can lead to physical stress. Physical stress involves stress on our internal organs. There is no facet of our lives that does not have a physical impact on our bodies. All facets of life are always intertwined and intertwining. Regretfully, some of us live with stress like “if we can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” Our choice to live with mental and emotional stress in our everyday as if it cannot be altered is a default one but one that can always be transformed. So please read on. Maybe you can apply some of these ways of being easy to transform the stress in your life.
Easy is confident
I remember in a job interview once I was asked what 3 things did I think made a top person in that field a top person. The first thing I said was “being easy-going.”
Not the usual thing folks think of to impress an employer in a job interview. If you think about it though, it goes to follow. When a person is easy with themselves, they are confident. And it works the other way too. Confidence is easy to lead, and to be led by. Confidence is easy to be around. Confidence is easy to admire and promote. And the true test of easy? To be easy-going even when a person has no confidence or certainty of their skill in that arena. In the end, this comes off as confidence.
When someone has nothing to prove to others, when they take competition in stride, and when they don’t feel pressure to be someone they’re not, they are easy about life, and in turn, they are confident. You could even say when someone is easy with who they are, they appear to be comfortable in their own skin. That’s because they are. Easy is the new confidence.
Easy is healthy
Tension, being the opposite of easy, always goes hand in hand with stress. When we are tensing up our bodies – out of worry, fear, anxiety, frustration, concern, trying to make it, “making it happen,” grinding it out, or any other number of emotions or attitudes we feel or act upon that bring about tension – then ease is not present. Bringing ease back to our bodies is also known as relief, health, well-being and resilience. (It’s about to get real real here, brace yourself…) Ease in our bodies allows our stomachs to uncoil, allows our bowls to relax from constriction, allows our intestines to unblock, allows our hearts to ease up and pump freely.
Massage is a great tool to relax your muscles and tissues, but what about your internal organs? We need something deeper for those to loosen. Yoga practice and a meditation practice can help with the inner workings of both mind and body. There are modalities and healing practices that can assist you in fully easing tension in your body, your mind and your heart in ways that can actually alleviate how you accumulate stress in the first place – not just alleviating the experience of stress temporarily.
Easy is fun
Who of you has forgotten how to laugh? I don’t mean a titter (haven’t used that word in… ever). I mean a raucous belly laugh. Have you ever experienced a raw belly laugh that really catches you in your gut and maybe even cramps you up because you can’t stop laughing so hard? Everyone needs this kind of laughter at some times in their lives.
When you’re having fun, and fully giving yourself to the moment – that present moment that we speak about so often – then easy is having its way with you. Play is an incredible way to be easy and fun in a moment where laughter might be inappropriate but levity just right. Play can uplift and lighten the mood in a moment that might otherwise be heavy, laden with negative emotion, and possibly, overwhelming. Finding ways to inject play somewhere into your week, your day or an hour will revive you in ways that can be refreshingly new and completely take you by surprise in each moment. Take a chance.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.