'Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.' Buddha
To Let Go of Stress You Must Find 'IT' First
Have you ever stopped to think about the words 'IT' and 'STUFF'?
IT and STUFF are two great words that allow us to tip-toe around naming what's bothering us. 'It's bothering me' or 'all this stuff is getting to me' are lovely non-specific descriptions that allow us to remain socially polite and seemingly still in-control as we voice our tension to others. But if we are to successfully deal with the stress we must move beyond the diffuse terms keeping us mired in a cesspool of fear and anxiety--and stuck--unable to move forward.
To let go of the stress that's 'putting you over the edge' or 'getting on your last nerve' you must be able to identify IT. If you just ignore or deny IT's existence you leave those things eating away at you to boil and fester until they spew out and splatter everyone around you.
- What's happening in your life at this moment?
- What's making you feel tense?
- What do you feel you should be doing you're not?
- How are you failing to live up to someone else's expectations or your own?
Looking over the last three days, what's stressing you out? Pick one situation to describe in uncensored detail in your head--and let it rip!
As you focus on the recent tension-inducing incident notice any changes in your body as you merely think about IT. What happens to your heart beat and breathing? Do you notice any discomfort in your head or stomach? Are you aware of clenching your teeth or tightening your jaw; tension in your neck, back or other muscles? Do you feel tearful or angry?
Our stress-inducing experience has the ability to cause tension as we merely think about IT. We don't even need to experience IT to bring the stress-response on. That's why it is so important to name IT and all the STUFF that's bothering you--so you can STOP STUFFING IT.
'Tension is Who You Think You Should Be; Relaxation is Who You Are' Chinese Proverb
What does this mean? It is living in the 'world of should' that creates the tension and discomfort throwing us into a mental fog and leaving us feeling overwhelmed and tense.
If you care about being your healthiest, most robust self, choose to consciously identify what's causing you tension and bringing out the full stress-response in your body. Name IT and choose to engage in actions that puts you back living in the relaxation state of who you really are.
Trust yourself to hold the key to being your best self. Act on what you know to be right for you. Take the steps that will help you feel fully alive, fully productive, and fully engaged. Be brave.
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For more than 30 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.
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