A Shift in Perspective

What stresses you out? Do you have things in your life that are difficult to deal with? We can all feel that moment when a person or event begins to bring feelings of our chest tightening, a butterfly in our belly, rapid heart rate, irrational thoughts, a loss of our ability to see things clearly. That increase in cortisol (our stress fight or flight hormone) brings all of these feelings and when this happens too often without awareness, we can bring unnecessary health issues and stress into our lives.

We often look to habits that may help us deal with the stressors in our life but don't necessarily rid of the mind/body connection that brings the stress out in the situation. Learning to deal with your stressors and choose appropriate remedies will help you in the long run and aid in your shift from stressed to simply just being. There are many options for healthy stress coping that directly associate calmness with the mind and body. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of time where I may say "right now, this glass of wine will be just what I need to chill out after a long day"; something that another person may reject as a healthy option. I have absolutely chosen this instead of going on a walk or deep breathing. But are always simply human and have to do our best to be realistic.

My stress reduction techniques are different depending on the issue or person. I have developed and worked on my stress management for a long time and it continues to be a work in progress. I would like to think that my stress reduction coping skills are so strong and solid that things just don't stress me out anymore but that is not the case. Choosing to seek stress reduction in times of crisis or chronic issues life brings is all about perspective. When we work on our stress coping and begin to master it, we take a shift in the perspective of the moment rather than seeing the entirety of the problem fester. The stressor no longer brings the stress response in the mind and body and we become more present and aware in the moment shifting gears into a more relaxed state that deals with it clearly.

This is not always a "it is what it is" or "life is all rainbows and sunshine" but rather learning to allow things and allow people to be what they are and remember that sometimes we cannot make a change or things just don't work out the way we desire. So when the stressful person or event takes place, try tapping into why that moment actually bothers you-perhaps an old wound or an inner child that has not dealt with the personal issue creating this perspective-and then allow the thing to happen and then let it go. Now, when these stressors come from certain people and not just an event, we do have more control over this and we should decide if that person is a priority over our emotions. If there is a person in your life that you cannot change perspective on or maybe they have their own inner child that causes them to behave inappropriately and it affects you, maybe its time to allow that person to shift out of your life. We can make choices to not allow another's energy to penetrate our own if it brings about a negative reaction in ourselves. Some may think this is avoidance behavior and to an extent it is, but I like to think of it as more of a survival technique- to choose a better perspective. We can choose happiness and we can choose to create an environment for ourselves that allow less stress and less mess. We have so little time in this world, maybe what's important is our ability to weed out what no longer serves us and allow more of the things that do.

So what stress reduction techniques do you seek in times of crisis? There are so many choices to help relax the mind and the body and I find that I have habitual practices that keep me in check and then I discover some in the moment that work for me at the time. Taking a walk, enjoying a warm bath, practicing yoga or a more intense movement like running or Pilates, watching a movie or a binge worthy show that helps the mind become at ease, cooking a meal I love the most, listening to music, deep breaths and meditation, spending time with my dog, cleaning up the house, dancing like no one is watching, even a nice nap can help take the edge off. I also love a good drive around in the car; the breeze, music, and free movement all in one!

For me, I decided a long time ago that there are just certain things in life that happen and it feels like a powerful moment when you can truly just let that shit go and move on. Otherwise, were stuck in a state of feeling unsatisfied because we didn't get validated on an argument, someone changed lanes when you were driving past, another customer cut in front of you a the grocery store, you didn't win the game, its raining outside, the house is a mess, the list can go on. Remember to tap in and be present, allow the moment to be what it is and then just let it go. If you cant, take that walk or read your book and perhaps after a few minutes you'll feel more capable to release and let it be. Always give yourself some grace and remember life is not always easy and always sunny, but there are rainbows in the rain if you look in the right direction.

"Don't treat yourself so gingerly; you can let go of stuff. Sometimes it takes three breaths instead of two to do it, but you can do it. Be a little tougher and don't cling to stuff. People go around carrying everybody's stuff all of the time. I just pick it up and put it down. Pick it up and put it down."

-Ram Dass

A great tool to turn to for more help in this topic with more self help and techniques to reduce stressors from various life issues:


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