Author: Brianna Wiest | Source: Thoughtcatalog.com
Some people seem to breeze through life, adapting to every stressful event with comparative ease. Nothing seems to hold them back and they handle problems as they arise efficiently and with minimal stress. These people are resilient, they have the right frame of mind to be able to cope and they are not afraid to face stress head on.
It’s all too easy to be negative these days. These are difficult times but having a positive mental attitude certainly helps an individual to be able to overcome the types of stressors that most people have to face such as potential job loss, bereavements, financial concerns or poor health.
Many people hold onto guilt or emotional traumas burying them deep within and this in turn can be a constant source of stress that niggles away and irritates as external stresses build up. Whatever the source of guilt, regret or pain, it will only cause stale energy around the sufferer and hamper any stress reduction if left unresolved.
Guilt and regrets are common as are unresolved issues of rejection, heartbreak and grief but they stagnate and can be a powerful source of stress. To progress and to move away from any previously negative behavioural patterns that might have been developed over the years and to be able to manage stress more easily in the future, it is worth looking back at any of these feelings and identifying how they happened and how they should be dealt with.
Opening up the body, mind and soul to a better way of living means visualizing the negative emotions and recalling sometimes painful memories and this can be difficult, but it’s important that they are identified. Learning to let go of negative emotions and to be ready to move on is the only way forward. Accept that everyone does things that they regret, everyone feels pain, whether self-inflicted or caused through others but it’s unhealthy to hold onto those feelings. Stress management takes many forms and always looks to identify the crux of the matter.
Any visualization can be adapted to suit the individual’s personal circumstances, it simply requires them to focus on what they are trying to achieve before starting the visualization.
Healing Arrows is another useful visualization that can help you to focus on the inner most hurts and wounds that may have been damaging over the years. Focussing on these wounds is not to make the person re-suffer but to allow the sometimes fermenting wound to be emotionally cleansed and allow healing to take place.
With eyes closed and in a quiet space, the individual should focus on a time when they experienced emotional pain, trauma or conflict. This can be an emotional journey but to face up to any buried feelings, guilt or pain is an important part of the journey. If the event was simply buried at the time and is still tender and raw inside, then healing will not have begun yet.
Imagine the wound and lying within is a buried arrow, which is still keeping the emotional pain alive. Mentally imagine moving the arrow from the wound (the trauma) and realize that it doesn’t hurt to move it but instead, a sense of relief is experienced as the situation (the pain) is now able to heal and the wound is being cleansed.
Focus on the memory associated with the wound and watch it dissipate. As with all things in life, it’s important that the situation is accepted but understand that it is now possible to move on.
This is quite a powerful visualization and can take some time for the power behind it to materialize; it should be practiced regularly for maximum effect and can be adapted to suit.
Write down something positive about life. Too often people concentrate on the negative aspects of their lives and this becomes the complete thought process upon which they live. No life is all good or all bad but to help ward off feelings of negativity and stress, write down all of the things that are good on an individual basis and then re-read it.
It may sometimes come as a surprise as to how much good is already there and how minimal the stress is by comparison. This technique provides clarity.
Because stress can be endured over a period of time without the individual truly becoming aware of it or by them simply accepting it as part of their lives, one of the most important aspects of stress management is to take those first positive steps towards making key changes as this will then create the strong foundations that are required to master stress control.
It’s important that progression is consistent throughout; they may be small steps individually but they are powerful ones nevertheless. The idea is to change any existing behaviours and to stress-proof new routines as much as possible, re-inventing both thought and actions going forward. This might sound difficult, but the most difficult aspect is always going to be identifying areas of change, after that, it is merely consolidating those lifestyle changes.
When life is muddled and very stressful, identifying the stress triggers that cause the problems will make changing them that much easier. Taking a pen and paper, write down all of the things that cause the most stress.
– No time to yourself
– Problems with the teenage son or daughter
– Money problems- more going out than coming in
– Feeling undervalued at home and at work
– Too much work
The list should be as comprehensive as possible and very honest. No-one else has to see the list and even those annoying little stressors should be captured because although on their own, they may just be a source of irritation, coupled with other factors, they can form powerful stress triggers that can cause much damage physically, healthily and emotionally.
Once the list is complete, it should be scrutinized with a sense of clarity to identify those areas where changes could be made. If necessary break the list down into a series of sub-sections and options such as:
– Feeling undervalued at home
– Having to do all of the housework as well as work full-time
– Main culprit Husband/Wife step-son
– Started happening when partner changed job and worked a lot more hours (pattern established).
– Open up communication to partner
– Discuss jointly with step son and work out parameters
– Stick to it.
By writing down everything that evokes a stress response i.e. churning feeling in the stomach, headaches, tears, anger, or irritability for example, the individual is able to really understand what is going on in their lives and why they feel the way they do. In addition, this clarification of stress triggers helps the individual to face any set of real problems and tangible problems can always be overcome.
Self doubts, irregular thought patterns and feelings of inadequacies or helplessness are more difficult to fight. Ascertain the true cause of those stressors and deal with them one by one.
Yoga can be a great aid to help in the fight against stress. Hugely popular, it is far more than the exercise system that many people think it is. Because it is so gentle on the body, with each movement (asana) being considered and focussed upon before the move is attempted, it is slow, peaceful and relaxing and in a way, utilises many of the techniques of meditation.
Yoga is not about stressing out the body to achieve some of the more advanced moves that is often linked to yoga practice; it is about the individual working at their own pace and achieving many benefits and progressing at a pace that suits.
Stretching helps to relieve any tension that is held within individual muscle groups and the postures work on improving muscle strength and flexibility. Don’t forget that stress doesn’t just impact people mentally and emotionally but muscles store tension too. Other benefits include improved lung capacity (with regular yogic breathing techniques) and a sharper more positive focus and a sense of inner peace and calmness.
Ideally, attending a local class is highly beneficial as the teacher can ensure that the body alignment is in the correct position but there are many excellent yoga DVD’s, books or articles that can be sourced on the Internet. With so many styles to choose from, there literally is a style to suit everyone and the health and stress management benefits are far-reaching.
Once peace and inner contentment is established, meditation can be incorporated within the sessions and this increases the benefits further.
A regular daily practice of twenty minutes is sufficient at first.