Stress Less, Breathe More
I must start our by stating that I believe there is good stress and bad stress. As in most things in life, there are opposites: good and bad, yin and yang, light and dark…(you get the idea). Let’s start with the good kind and then work our way along the continuum.
When you are put in a situation where you are challenging your capabilities, whether it is competitive sports, public speaking, or starting your own business, you are having an intimate experience with good stress. Without these challenges, your life would remain stagnant, albeit comfortable. If you are content to live life just below the surface, great; but maybe you just need a little encouragement or a fresh perspective.
Try replacing your fear with a heightened sense of awareness. Look through eyes which are not placing judgments on situations or people, and simply observe. Practice this relaxed state of mind, and notice how your environment (and the people within it) becomes more supportive.
You could easily become adept at coming up with reasons why you shouldn’t face a challenge or make a change, and the truth is sometimes your rational mind has a point. Just be careful when your comfort zone gets too lived in–the more you take roots there, the harder it is to get out. Taking an intelligent risk when the timing is right can turn your life from ordinary to incredibly fulfilling. In doing so, you’ve taken a very positive step toward tackling that other kind of stress—the bad kind. I am sure most of you are familiar with bad stress, the kind you can certainly live without. Some examples of this bad stress might include:
* you just got a phone call from your boss saying he wants to see you right away; he was not speaking with his “happy voice.”
* your dog just deposited a smelly package on your clean carpet, and you are expecting the appraiser to inspect your home first thing in the morning.
* you have a date tomorrow night with “the one,” and you just discovered the making of two massive eruptions–one the left side of your nose, and one front and center on your chin.
No doubt, there are many more examples—some having to do with paying the mortgage, and maybe some having to do with the upcoming 4-week visit with your misunderstood, the glass is not only half-empty, it’s dark and cloudy, brother. Just thinking about these topics can cause your mind to escalate out of control with worry and doubt about your abilities, and extreme anticipation at the thought of your next gin and tonic. Stop the madness, now!
First thing you need to do is, breathe; that’s right, breathe. The idea is to focus on something other than discursive thoughts. So, actually, you are not just breathing, you are also FOCUSING on the breath coming in through your nose, filling your diaphragm, and then releasing the breath out of your mouth. When you blow this air out, try releasing whatever unpleasant thoughts you have out with your breath. Just let it go, like lint you’ve pulled out of the bottom of your purse; blow and release. When you breathe in again (yes, keep breathing), picture pure positive energy coming in through your nose, and filling your diaphragm. And this time when you release the breath, picture that pure positive alive energy, drifting out, bringing a loving essence to everything it touches.
Like with anything else in life, in order to get the benefits of some thing, you really need to commit to it. One of the strongest ways to manifest success (whatever that means to you), is to believe. Children offer wonderful inspiration when it comes to belief. They use their imagination in such a way that not only entertains, it creates a life where the stresses of the material world do not affect them.
Now I know what you are thinking: “Yeah, that’s great. But, I am an adult, with adult responsibilities. I have to go to work, cook the food, and clean up the dog poop!” Fair enough—however, this does not mean that you, like the child, cannot use your imagination. Many new age books these days like to use the word “visualize.” I like to use the word “imagination,” because it has a connotation of a sense of fun. And, adopting more fun in your life is essential to releasing the bad kind of stress.
Let’s focus, now—we were talking about relieving bad stress, right? Remember we were breathing? Good! Okay, so once you are at the point where you are filling your body with that pure positive energy, imagine the energy transforming every single cell in your body. Like an internal massage, your organs will be touched with a renewed energy. Try and really experience this sensation. Embellish it and color it. Realize your creative energy, and let it work through you.
This whole imagining or visualizing process may not come naturally to some of you. I understand, because I used to think life was pretty serious business myself. And, the more I thought about how serious it was, it seemed the more life kept throwing me serious stuff to prove I was right. I used to watch other people—laughing, having a good time, and think they were pretty frivolous. It wasn’t long before my judgment turned to envy. Then, finally, I started to think, “Maybe appearing a little silly is not such a bad thing.” The more I played with this thought, the more I found myself smiling. Sometimes I even made myself laugh out loud, because of something stupid I imagined myself doing. I don’t think the people who saw me smiling knew I was just having silly thoughts; they actually thought I was being friendly—can you imagine?! If you knew me back then, you would know that this would have been quite a stretch. The funny thing is, when people started smiling back, I actually did become pretty friendly.
During this whole change of attitude, I did continue breathing. No, I didn’t forget. I guess the point is bad stuff is bound to happen. What I would lovingly like to recommend is for you to take a few deep breaths before you react. The situation you are faced with will become a whole lot more manageable if you allow your imagination to take you to a positive place. And just as if you were approaching an angry person on the street and you looked at them straight on with a genuine smile, look at your undesirable situation with the same positive energy. Nine times out of ten, that angry person will be much less angry, and that difficult situation you are facing will be much less daunting.
Copywright 2007, Avenstar Enterprises, Inc. – Our Inner Source