“Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” -Hamlet
New Years Day will soon be here, so why not get a jump on those resolutions? A big change many people want to make every year is learning how to relax, so this article will show you how to do it!
When I moved to Los Angeles a few years back, one of the things that struck me was people’s total and complete lack of coping skills!
It is not at all unusual, to watch someone allow their day to be ruined because their Mocha Soy Half-caff Frappuccino came as a grande instead of venti. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, that is fine; since it doesn’t really matter!
That’s just it: it is all too easy to get hung up on stressing out over things that DO NOT MATTER. In the video (embeded on the side), I explain where stress comes from, how to know what is bothering you, and why; and how to know how to let go of things and *relax*. So here in this article, I’d like to discuss some of the hidden aspects of stress and how you can learn to manage it better.
So first and foremost: what is stress?
From a biological perspective, our body interprets all stress as one of two sources: there not enough to eat, or something is trying to eat us.
Our physiological system has no concept of an argument with our boyfriend, or having to bring paperwork home to do over the weekend.
As such, our body responds by elevating our hormone levels and preparing for combat: fight or flight.
If you’ve ever heard of Cortisol, the ‘stress hormone’? It’s a hormone designed to give us quick boosts of energy, that is easily stored as fat. It’s a very ingenious hormone to have, when running from bears or starving through the winter, but in the modern age, it is a sure fire recipe for a big belly and back side if you don’t know how to relax!
High blood pressure, cancer, and countless other dis-eases are all linked to stress, so one of the best things you can do for your overall health and well being is to kick the stress-habit.
Because it is just that: a habit.
We’ve discussed before about the difference between being committed and being attached. In life, it isn’t what happens to us, but what we make it mean and how we react to it, that matters.
So considering this can literally be a life or death choice, it’s worth getting a handle on it now!
Everything you are, everything you have, think, feel, and believe, is the combination of your past experiences, conditioning, upbringing and beliefs. So if you have formed a habit of interpreting things in a negative manner, you can start turning it around today.
Here are a few steps you can take.
1. When something bothers you, ask yourself: what is really going on
here? Or to put it another way, ‘what is so’ with this situation? If you are confronted with someone who is upsetting you, look at it and see if your response is appropriate. For instance, if you find your snap at people when your kids when you come home after a long day, take the time to see you aren’t actually reacting to THEM, you are reacting to your own inner stress, does that make sense?
2. When something DOES bother you, recognize that you have TWO
choices: change it, or deal with it. I talked about this at length before so I will only mention briefly, that all you can do is all you can do. Don’t get caught up in a cycle of endless complaining with zero action, that is a sure fire recipe for stress at least, and more likely full blown depression.
3. Realize that people do what they do.
With extremely rare exception, they are too busy caught up in trying to face their own issues, baggage, challenges, and insecurities to be trying to actively plot to hurt you. Or to put it another way: they are too busy worrying that you are out to get them, to worry about trying to get you!
4. Learn to meditate.
Meditation has been proven again and again to help lower stress levels and increase over all well-being. I wrote another article and posted a short, but VERY powerful meditation that you can find here.
5. Focus exclusively on what you want.
Anthony Robbins says that “Stress disappears in a state of certainty – it is essential to develop empowering beliefs that let you know that there is always a way if you are committed“, and I couldn’t agree more.
If you keep your mind focused on the end result, on the thing that excites you the most, then you will automatically start attracting new and better things into your life.
6. Be grateful for what you have already got.
It’s a common belief that if you just had ‘more’ you’d be happy.
More money, more love, a bigger house, a nicer car, but the fact is that true happiness can not, and will not ever, come from things. And I can prove it: everything you have now, you were once wishing for. And if it’s not making you happy now, then what makes you think you’ll he happy with more? So start by giving thanks and being truly grateful for the good things in your life, and you’ll find that the small stuff just doesn’t get to you at all, and even the big stuff doesn’t look so bad.
In fact, I’ll leave you with one more quote from Anthony Robbins:
“Here’s a two step formula for handling stress. Step number one: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Step number two: Remember it’s all small stuff.” – Anthony Robbins
What do you think they should do? Feel free to comment down below!
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B. Dave Walters
Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host
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