The Ultimate 5-Step Guide to Chronic-Stress Relief
Chronic-Stress is an Option
Stress creates major havoc inside our bodies.
It bombards us with stress hormones that will cause everything from a muffin-top to high blood pressure to heart-attacks and mental disorders.
The truth is, until you learn to consistently work on the root cause of that stress, you can never be truly healthy.
If chronic stress is not addressed, eventually your body is not going to be able to take it anymore.
Either you will burn out big time (like I did), or you will be diagnosed with a condition or disease that is going to wake you up and show you that taking care of your health should be the most important thing in your life.
A few years ago, I let it get really complicated and crazy and stressed out.
I was taking on everything and delegating nothing: house work, my kids’ immediate needs, cooking, cleaning, online work, and trying to homeschool my kids.
In addition, I was not being honest with myself. I was not happy with my relationship, felt completely and absolutely trapped, and refused to accept my desire to leave.
I burned out. Completely and utterly burned out. I got really depressed. I got really numb. I got really chubby. My knees really hurt. Nothing seemed right.
I was not happy.
I was not taking the time to take care of my own needs; I was not filling my own cup. I was completely and utterly empty.
I was living a life for others, to fulfill others’ expectations of me, and that caused me to say yes to things I didn’t want to do, to work on things I didn’t want to work on, and to pour myself so totally into being a good mom that I completely forgot about myself and who I was.
It got to the point where, if you gave me one hour just to myself, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what I liked and didn’t like anymore.
So I just got depressed and cried a lot.
But I woke up. Somehow I woke up and realized that if I didn’t do something about that situation right away, I would not live on this Earth for much longer.
So, I started doing the 5 STEPS you will read below on a regular basis, and my life begin to change right before my eyes.
Little by little. Day by day. My life transformed from terrible to amazing.
And stress? What stress? Very little would stress me anymore – I began to feel content and fulfilled almost all the time.
And this is why I call this post the “Ultimate 5-Step Guide.”
These are 5-FOREVER steps that, if practiced on a regular basis, will literally change your entire life, starting with major chronic stress relief.
The 5 steps outlined here will target that DEEP place inside you that is at the root of all the stress you create for yourself and that you are feeling right now.
Though it will take a few weeks for you to see some major changes, you will start feeling relief almost immediately.
SEE ALSO: Why You Should Love Anyways
STEP 1: STOP EVERYTHING AND BREATHE – SEVERAL TIMES PER DAY
“You are never required to do more than you can do in peace. Right now, take a breath, return to peace, and refuse to leave.” Martha Beck
I have the above quote taped to my computer.
It reminds me that life is not about doing stuff all the time. Life is also about space, peace, and breathing.
Such a simple concept but so hard to become aware of.
Several times per day, become aware of the very moment you are stressing out about something and then gently do this:
Slow down. Find any quiet spot. Close your eyes, and rest in the movement of your breath for about 1 minute – notice your belly going up and down with your breath. If any thoughts come your way, just go back to the breath.
This will target that core inside you that creates the stress.
So, not only will it give you immediate peace, it will also give you long term stress relief.
When done several times per day/every day, this exercise will allow your body and mind to flow from one activity to the other with a lot less stress. Stress will dissolve significantly with time.
Once a habit, it will become such a beneficial part of your life.
Stop now. And then stop again an hour later. And then again, several times per day. Follow your breath for 1 min. Then say something nice to yourself.
I work on this EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
STEP 2: START A DAILY MEDITATION HABIT
If I could transfer to you the feeling and the change that meditation has made in my life, you would immediately decide to work on making this a habit.
Meditation has SO many benefits; it will literally change the physical structure of your brain.
It will also completely change the way you react to stress.
Studies have shown that meditation can cause parts of the brain associated with learning and memory to grow in size, and those connected with stress and anxiety to shrink.
Headspace did an amazing job explaining meditation benefits and showing the scientific evidence for those benefits in this free resource: “The Science of Meditation”
I meditate for 20 min every day. I use the Headspace Meditation app but there are so many others out there!
Start with a 10-min meditation habit EVERY single day.
Wow, the transformation!
Meditation will nip your stress right at the source with amazing short and long term effects.
You will be more aware of yourself and your life.
You will get to know yourself so much better, and the people around you will definitely benefit from it.
You will also melt stress and feel immediate relief every time you sit to meditate.
Just do it, please!
STEP 3: SAY MORE ‘NO’ THAN YOU SAY ‘YES’
When you are invited to an event, or somebody asks you for a favor if the immediate answer in your mind and heart is not — “Hell yes! Of course I want to go to this meeting/party/etc..” — don’t do it.
Yes, I know, it is much easier said than done.
But trust me on this, when you get used to saying no more than you say yes to people in your life, your stress level will significantly decrease.
When you say yes to things you really don’t want to do, but you do it just so you don’t appear uncaring and rude, you create major stress very deep inside yourself.
I was such a yes person.
I said yes to everything, and it killed me inside.
YOU are the first person who you should care for.
When you start the habit of honouring YOUR desires first and foremost – you will see!! You will start to have more trust in yourself and more confidence in your own intuition.
And stress….oh, that stress…it will be really hard for it to take a hold of you.
CHECK IT OUT: Beat Back Stress With Our Mother Of Pearl Wrist Mala
STEP 4: JOURNAL EVERYDAY
Journal please! Journaling is so important!
Treat yourself to a really nice notebook and a smooth, delicious pen.
Every day, set your timer to 20 min and just write and write and write anything that comes to mind.
This is how I journal. (But you could also discuss specific topics that are bothering you at the moment.)
Now, here is the secret to journaling: no censorship. You must write down what is in your mind and heart, no matter what it is.
Sometimes what you write will be pleasantly awesome, but sometimes it will be something you don’t want to find out about yourself. Regardless, it will be SO good for you.
Journaling helped and still helps me to find answers and ask the right questions in my life.
Actually, “journaling-meditation” is a killer habit pair.
It will boost you and your life like nothing else. When you journal, you have a conversation with yourself every day.
The good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, the amazing, the million dollar ideas, the TRUTH of who you really are all come out in clear and bright and truthful colours.
Little by little, you will start to remove that mask that we all put on to feel accepted by others.
Journaling will change your life.
When you journal, you get to treat that chronic stress at a very deep level.
STEP 5: FOLLOW YOUR DESIRES MORE OFTEN
Your desires are there for a reason.
Your desires are telling you exactly who you are and who you want to become.
When you push away your desires, you are telling yourself that you don’t deserve the best, that you are not good enough, and that the fulfillment of true desires is a magical thing that only happens to other people.
This creates a HUGE bubble of stress inside of yourself.
The pressure inside that bubble will grow and grow and grow until something shocking happens and wakes you up.
I had the very strong habit of always pushing away my desires. I didn’t know why.
Later I found out that the deep reason was that I didn’t think I was worthy of good things.
Here is the truth: You are worthy of the fulfillment of all your desires. Period.
Start following your desires and watch a big huge chunk of your chronic stress melt away into oblivion.
Start small. Start by following one small desire per day.
For example, if you feel like taking a nap after lunch, do it. If you feel like cancelling the three birthday parties your kids have to go to this weekend, do it. If you feel reading a book instead of cleaning the kitchen, do it.
You know what I mean?
The 5-Steps to immediate chronic stress improvement above, worked and still work beautifully to eradicate about 90% of the chronic stress in my life.
There are many others, of course, but these will give you a really good foundation for a life of peace and true inner happiness.
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