De-Stress: Tips for Your Busy Life
by Kathleen Brown
Are you feeling stressed? Do you look forward to going to work to get a break from chauffeuring kids to and from activities? At the end of the work day, do you scramble to finish deadlines and rush out the door to pick up kids? Do you rush to work and after school activities, leaving no time for a nutritious meal, just a grab-and-go meal from the local burger joint? Is there just not enough time to do the laundry, house cleaning, spending quality time with your kids or your partner?
Life is busy and busyness can be stressful. Stress is a state of mental tension caused by problems in your home, at your work, and in your social life. It causes worry and anxiety. If you ramp up the stress, you can become distressed, which is the state of being in great trouble.
There are many effects of stress on one’s health. Of these mentioned below, how many do you identify with?—Disturbed sleep; stomach problems; alcohol, tobacco, drug, or caffeine use; irritability; negative interactions; negative thought processes; sadness; irregular menstruation; impotence; back pain; muscle tension; headaches; coronary heart disease; repetitive strain injury; clinical anxiety and depression; and burnout.
While working full-time, I became an adult student to get my CPA/CMA designation. On my first try, I failed the entrance exam by one percent. Wow! Was that a kick in the stomach! How had I gotten so close, but ended up not crossing the finish line? After assessing my year, I realized that I’d spent every waking moment either working or immersed in my studies. Obviously, that wasn’t serving me well. I was suffering stress overload and exhaustion. I began to take one full day off each week to meet up with friends, do something fun, rest, or do whatever I wanted to do. In order to keep my one day per week free for me, I did laundry, housework, and cooking while I studied. On my free day, I also blocked all thoughts of school and I never spoke about my studies. I continually imagined myself with a passing grade. On my next attempt at the exam, I received that passing grade. Without realizing it, I was using some of the methods I now practice regularly to buffer myself from stress.
I’m sure you have heard about doing exercise, getting plenty of sleep, and eating healthy to decrease stress and minimize its effects. While these are all great, I have found some other ways that have had a huge impact on me to minimize stress, to change my perception of stressful events, and to keep me from feeling the effects—positive affirmations, meditation, deep breathing, visualization, gratitude, white light protection, mirrors, grounding, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). I am sharing these in hopes they will help free you from the captivity and isolation that stress can create. There is a way out, let me guide you to it.
Meditation is clearing your mind of chatter. Have you tried to meditate? When I started meditating, this is what it was like—“Ohm. Am I meditating and in ‘the zone’ yet? Ohm. Is this how to meditate and get in the zone? Ohm. How will I know if I’m meditating and in the zone? Ohm. I’m hungry. Ohm. I want a snack. Ohm. I forgot to throw the laundry in the dryer. Ohm.” Does this sound familiar? Be persistent and continue to strive to clear your mind for just a few seconds at a time, then work your way to longer periods. Here are a few examples of things you can try to achieve a relaxed state—listen to and concentrate on music, use a guided meditation, concentrate on your breathing, or repeat a mantra or a word such as “Ohm.”
When you are stressed out, I’ll venture a guess that you tend to shallow breathe. When you do this, you don’t have sufficient oxygen going to your brain. To relieve stress, try deep breathing into your diaphragm instead of shallow breathing into your lungs. In any situation, you can use this method to eliminate stress without anyone else even knowing you are doing it.
As I did on my second attempt at the entrance exam, visualize the result you are looking for. This works well with a situation that you deem a potential for stress. Visualize in as much detail as you can. How does the situation look? What are the sounds associated with it? Is there a taste, a feel, or a smell? Walk yourself through the day you want to have. Visualize all aspects of the meeting you will be attending such as who is there, what positive things are they saying, what is the positive result that you want the meeting to have?
Give these methods a try. You can practice them anywhere with little time involvement. They can help you move from stress and distress to de-stress to make your busy life busy without the stress.
Kathleen Brown is a Psychic Medium who imparts the hope, guidance, awakening, and illumination of the firefly in her readings. The guidance she receives helps people make better decisions in their lives. For more information and to register for the workshop, see the Directory of Services ad on page 21 and Calendar of Events ad on page 5. On Facebook at Kathleen Brown Psychic Medium.