It’s Possible To Feel The Stress Without Becoming The Stress
As moms, we play so many different roles, don’t we? Our titles include CEO, Nurse, Gourmet Chef, Cleaning Specialist, Royal Chauffeur, Architect, Interior Decorator, Gardener, Secretary, Accountant, Artist, Teacher, Coach, Musician and Counselor. It’s a surprise if we aren’t pushed to our limits sometimes…and beyond. How do we keep track of it all?
Stress in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. How we respond to stress is what makes the difference. In fact, the presence of stress can train us how to be stress free. According to dictionary.com, stress is the physical pressure, pull, or other force exerted on one thing by another. It is also the importance attached to a thing; significance, meaning, weight, value, worth. While the latter definition is not one you might think of when it comes to relieving stress, it can provide some helpful insight into why stress happens in our lives so we can understand how to be stress free.
Stress tends to occur when there’s been an overload in some area of your life. The overload can be a good thing. Having a baby, moving to a dream house, a job change are all major transitions that exert spurts of stress in short bursts of time. Everyday life also brings good stuff that exerts stress steadily over time. Whether you’re dealing with a stress spurt or a steady-state stress, learning how to be stress free enables you to feel stressed without being stressed. It empowers you to stay calm in the midst of chaos. Let’s explore how, starting with a personal story.
Everyday I eat nuts and seeds, some of the foods recommended for staying healthy. Since I’ve cut sugar from my diet, I’ve fallen in love with almonds. It’s like chocolate to me. But lately I’ve been consuming multiple handfuls of almonds on top of almond butter, everyday. This was too much, and it led to kidney stones.
What was producing stress in my life? The importance and significance I was attaching to almonds! This can happen with anything…career, kids, a significant other. All good things but like clutter, you need to have space for them. If you run low on space, clutter piles up, leading to stress in the everyday flow of things.
When you start to feel stressed, can you promise yourself to notice something? What person or thing has inserted themselves into your life, that you are valuing and attaching significance to? That person or thing may be exerting a strong force on your life. Sure you can feel the stress, but you yourself do not have to become the stress. Does that make sense?
Let’s practice how to be stress free in 3 simple steps. It’s possible to feel the stress without becoming the stress!
- Take a quick inventory of your life over the past week. What events, incidents or interactions have happened that produced stress in your life, your kids or husband’s life? Where has there been an overload? It can be an overload of a good thing, like food, friends or fun. Maybe work or volunteering stressed you out this week. Jot down some notes.
- Prepare a few quick 5-minute Emergency Tools for dealing with stress spurts. Let these be a part of your “tool kit.” In my tool kit, I have a 5-Minute Workout, 5 minutes of Deep Breathing or 5 minutes of Meaningful Prayer that I do when I get into a pinch and feel stressed. After using one or two of the emergency tools, the stress that I felt didn’t get further access to my mind, heart or body. I didn’t become the stress. When you exercise or breathe deeply, more oxygen gets into your blood and circulates throughout your body to help you see better solutions and empower you to make better decisions.
- Prepare a few 15-20 minute Strength-Rest activities for dealing with steady-state stress. Again, tuck these away in your tool kit. Journaling is a great way to express your thoughts and feelings freely through writing. Other effective activities include art where you can engage your visual senses and creativity, and music where you can relax to soothing sounds while engaging your auditory abilities. As you know yourself best, pick and choose activities that give you strength and help you recharge best. Here are some activities from my personal tool kit that you can play with to spark your own ideas: a 20-Minute Workout, 15 minutes of Cleaning, 15 minutes of Decluttering, 15 minutes of Journaling, 15 minutes of Playing Guitar, a 15-minute Healthy Beverage Break, a 20-minute Power Nap and a 20-minute Craft Time.
Breaking up your Emergency Tools and Strength-Rest activities into chunks of time equips you to easily insert any of them into an already full schedule. This is an application of Time Blocking, a cool productivity trick used by highly effective people for better focus so they can get more done in less time. Use it to get in more quality down time as you practice how to be stress free.
Did you know you can train yourself to turn emotional heavy weight into positive energy you can use? I work with small groups of moms dedicated to improving their home ambiance through physical and emotional fitness. Click here for details on the next 7-Day Heart-Body Happiness Bootcamp.