HEALING: WHY STRESS ISN’T NECESSARILY EVIL, AND HOW WE CAN USE IT TO HEAL
“IF YOU REALLY WANT TO ESCAPE THE THINGS THAT HARASS YOU, WHAT YOU’RE NEEDING IS NOT TO BE IN A DIFFERENT PLACE BUT TO BE A DIFFERENT PERSON RIGHT NOW.” – SENECA
Pain happens to you. Stress happens through you. It is simply the reality of life. Both of these will happen! I know from experience, but it's also just a fact of life. Stress is something that I feel we have a conscious choice in, and that we can use it for good - when channeled correctly. It’s not always easy to wrap our head around this, but if we start to apply some simply strategies, and lay our Foundations for this, I believe we can build a new belief system that doesn’t see stress in such a dark light (remember: our thoughts, and beliefs play a massive role in how things manifest in all areas of life).
Do have control over how you move through life with stress, as hard as it is, and can feel at times?
How many of you feel stress? I'm sure there is not a single soul that says they don't.
Not all stress is bad. We need stress to survive, motivate, cope, and push ourselves further. Our brains are millions of years old, so they are primitive, it’s an evolutionary advantage to feel + be stressed. Caveman felt stress when they were running away from lions, and tigers, and we still feel it today, and will until the end of time. It just looks very different for us, and in so many ways we’ve demonized it.
We need stress, but how much, and how we deal WITH it is what we need to differentiate...
Stress is your resistance to what’s happening. Life events may create temporary pain, but they do not in themselves create long-term stress – your resistance creates this stress. And it transpires most frequently in one of two ways (or a combination of the two)
YOU REFUSE TO ACCEPT THE PRESENT REALITY. ( YOU DON’T HAVE TO LOVE IT & STAY THERE, BUT BE BEING IN IT FOR EVEN A MOMENT - WILL HELP YOU HEAL THROUGH IT - AND NOT AROUND IT)
YOU CHOOSE TO WORRY AND THINK ABOUT EVERY OTHER TIME AND PLACE. (MOST LIKELY THE PAST - AND WE CAN’T HEAL BY LIVING IN THE PAST)
Thus, the only problem in your life at any given moment is your mind’s perpetual resistance to life as it unfolds.
If you want to conquer the daily stress and anxiety of life, the first key is to live in the present – aka BE here now. Which is so much easier said then done, I know, because I'm working on this everyday.
So today I want to share a few things I've learned along the way, but also things that I work on every single day. We will all live with stress for the rest of our lives! Therefore finding ways to cope with it, move through it, and channel it differently, is the key to living a healthy, vibrant and joyful life.
HERE ARE A FEW THINGS THAT I'VE BEEN MEDITATING ON AND REALLY PUTTING INTO PRACTICE //
Take off your mask. – Let people around you see the real, imperfect, quirky, weird, beautiful, magical person you are. That is enough. It's hard, but don't listen to haters, or people that don't resonate with you who you are. Not everyone will! I've learned this through my own journey of putting myself out there more...I've had people tell me I'm too happy or positive. ALL I can do is send them love, and not think about it for another second. It's not worth it. I will never, ever apologize for being too happy! And neither should you.
Trust your intuition. – You don’t need to explain or justify your feelings to everyone, just trust your own inner guidance, it often knows best.
Let go of the thoughts that aren’t serving you. – Right this moment, your thoughts are setting the direction for your day. Choose thoughts that lead to the day you most desire to live today.
Firmly decide what matters and what doesn’t. – Stress comes from the way you react, not the way life is. The meaning of everything in your life is the meaning you give it. Inner peace begins the moment you choose to be mindful by not allowing another person or event to dominate your emotions.
Take a deep breath when you need one. – You don’t have to solve every problem in your life before you can enjoy being at peace.
Keep sanity in your schedule. – Sometimes we have to say “no” to good things to be able to say “yes” to important things. We can’t do it all. Be mindful and choose wisely.
Practice gratitude. – If you look for reasons to be grumpy, you’ll find plenty of them. Look instead for reasons to be grateful, and see them everywhere. Remind yourself how fortunate you are to be experiencing this moment right here, right now. The more you appreciate it, the better it’ll be.
Detach yourself from the habit of taking things personally. – If you take everything personally, you’ll remain offended for the rest of your life. What other people do is often because of them, not you.
Realize you likely need a lot less than you have. – The richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least. Wealth is a mindset. Want less and appreciate more today.
Fill your life with lots of experiences, not lots of things. – Physical clutter often creates emotional clutter. Focus on having incredible stories to tell, not incredible clutter in your closets.
Just do your best and appreciate it. – Regardless of what happens today, remember, you won’t enjoy your life if you don’t enjoy your challenges. And the very challenges that seem so hard when you’re going thru them are the ones you’ll look back on with gratitude for how far you’ve come.
Focus on the positive. – Positive thinking isn’t about expecting the best to happen every time – it’s about accepting what happens every time, and making the best of it. In other words, a sincerely positive attitude is not a reaction to the way things are – it’s an expression of the way you choose for things to be.
Let go of what’s no longer there. – Letting go is oftentimes a step forward. Sometimes you have to be willing to walk away from what you thought you wanted, to find what you truly need. So don’t let your fears and pains of the past affect your outlook on the present. Live for what today has to bring, not what yesterday has taken away.
Be humble. Be teachable. – An open mind is always less stressed. Remember, the world is bigger than your view of the world. There’s always room for a new idea, a new step...a new beginning.
Take small daily steps. – Thinking too long about doing something is often the reason it never gets done. Don’t obsess about hitting home runs every second. Just get on base, daily. Build positive rituals into your life. Be faithful. Be tenacious. Have integrity. Have fun. Be steadfast. Trust yourself.
Embrace self-discipline. – If you run away from self-discipline it punishes you. When you embrace self-discipline it enables you to achieve the most incredible things (including peace of mind).
Practice patience as you work for your desires. – In a culture yearning and tempted by instant gratification, we must learn the value of patience and perseverance. Be present. Be steadfast.
Exercise your love. – Our stresses, anxieties, frustrations, and heartache often arise simply because we do not see the world, others, or even ourselves as worthy of love.
Spend time with supportive, loving people. – Your capacity to be both effective and happy is directly related to the quality of people whom most closely surround you every single day. And in these relationships, the little things often mean the most.
Walk away from drama gracefully. – Wherever there’s lots of drama, there’s often lots of lying, manipulation and needless stress.
Sleep on it. – If all else fails, the best advice I’ve found is still just to “sleep on it.” Give yourself some needed downtime. Everything changes in the morning.
And I want to leave you with a little reminder:
Whatever is happening in your life right now...
Be in it. Stop trying to fight it, and seek guidance, support + help.
Even if life has been stressful lately, and you’re a long way from successfully implementing the ideas and strategies discussed in this post, that’s OK. Be patient with yourself. It likely took you years to form the habits, routines and life situations that are creating needless stress in your life. So it will naturally take some time to form new and better ones.
But I promise you this: Even the smallest step in the right direction today will bring you some peace. Take that step. And then take another one tomorrow. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY SUSTAINABLE GROWTH + CHANGE HAPPENS.
IF YOU'RE LOOKING TO HEAL ON A DEEPER LEVEL. I WORK PRIVATELY 1-1 IN MY PRACTICE, VIA IN PERSON SESSIONS (TORONTO) + VIA SKYPE. LET'S CONNECT - I WOULD BE HONOURED TO WORK WITH YOU ON ANY LEVEL YOU SO DESIRE + RESONATE WITH.