Let’s face it, we are living in stressful times. In the past week I’ve read many stories on Instagram about anxiety, stress and resilience and I want to share with you three tools that I use to manage stress in my life. These are called the three M’s, which are:
According to an article on WebMD.com, “Seventy-five percent to 90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.” Longterm stress can negatively impact our bodies in a very big way leading to insomnia, inflammation, hypertension, cardio vascular disease, stroke, brain fog, depression, loss of sex drive, immune-suppression and more. This is why it is important for us to understand stress and develop ways to calm our bodies and our minds. A whole book could be written on this subject because it is so big and so important to understand for our good health, but right now I am going to give you three tools that work well for me.
How Meditation Calms Stress
Meditation is a technique for calming our minds and relaxing our bodies. Meditation helps us reduce stress by taking our bodies out of the “fight or flight” mode that is far too common these days and brings our bodies back into a resting state. One of the reasons that stress ages our bodies is because when we are in fight or flight mode, our bodies are not able to repair themselves. Instead our energy and our blood supply are focused on survival. This is important when we have to flee from danger, however, our bodies start to breakdown, age and get sick if we are constantly under stress.
One very effective technique for calming our minds and taking us out of stress mode is to sit in lotus pose (or sit in a position that is comfortable for you) in a darkened room with our eyes closed and to focus on our breath. Take a deep belly breath in through your nose. Your abdomen should expand as your diaphragm pulls downward. Hold your breath for a couple seconds while you focus on it. Now slowly release your breath through your mouth. Pause before taking another deep breath in through your nose once again. Continue this breathing technique for a few minutes until you feel completely relaxed. During this time you may notice your mind calming as your focus goes from your mind down into your body. This breathing technique takes us out of fight or flight mode and can be used anytime that you feel stress out.
I find that guided meditations work best for me and I have tried a couple free meditation apps on my phone to help me, including Headspace and Insight Timer. I’m currently using Insight Timer, which has many styles of guided meditations to choose from. What’s important is that you find what works best for you. Commit to practicing daily and overtime you will reap the many benefits of meditation.
How Mindfulness Overcomes Stress
Much of our stress comes from our minds being upset about the past or anxious about the future. The reality is that we can only control what is happening in the now. This is why it is important to train ourselves to be mindful and focused on the present moment. Last summer my vehicle what hit by another car. Both myself and the other driver made sure that everyone was ok and we calmly exchanged information. My front axel was broken and my vehicle was un-drivable. In the past I might have been stressed out and been angry over this situation, but thanks to meditation and other mindfulness practices I was able to remind myself that there was no point in getting angry or stressing out over how I was going to get my car towed, repaired and payed for. There was nothing that I could do to change the situation and anger certainly would have made things worse. And quite frankly, it was nice not being stressed out over this uncomfortable situation.
As I suggested, having a meditation practice has made me calmer and more mindful these days. My family can vouch for me that I rarely lose my cool. By observing my thoughts, my ego and my emotions I am able to respond calmly to adversity rather that acting out. This has done wonders for keeping stress under control in my life.
Understanding Manifesting to Reduce Stress
I’ve been an entrepreneur and a small business owner for most of my career. Lately I’ve come to realize that there are two different models for being and entrepreneur that can also apply to you.
Hustle and Grind - This model asserts that you have to work hard and long to be successful. The more hours that you commit to your business, the bigger the results. This can be true, however, this is a very stressful approach to work and I’ve seen my friends who work this way age faster over a short period of time due to heavy stress that they encounter on a daily basis as they react to one crisis after another. As a result of being in the low vibrational state of stress, they tend to attract more stressful situations into their lives, which brings us to the second model.
Aligning and Manifesting - I often write about the Law of Attraction and how it works in my life. By aligning with my true purpose and becoming clear on what I desire, the universe delivers what I need. Hustle is like swimming up a swift river fighting the current the whole way, while manifesting is going with the flow and letting the river deliver you to your destination. I know that this sounds strange and perhaps a little too “woo woo” to those of you who have not experienced this phenomenon. In fact, it can be a bit confusing since most of us are taught to be logical rather than spiritual in our approach to work. However, these days you will find more and more people who have learned how to tap into the power of manifesting to improve their lives and grow their businesses in a manner that is much less stressful. If you want to learn more about this I highly recommend that you read, “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.
Energy, Frequency and Vibration
The great inventor, Nikola Tesla once wrote, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” So why does this matter? Everything has a frequency and when you align with the frequency of what you desire, it finds a way of manifesting into your life. Last fall I became very clear about who I needed to attract to work with me on Total Soulful Journey by defining the skill sets and the qualities of the people who will help me take this website to the next level. Within two weeks the universe delivered and delivered big by bringing two incredible women into my life who were also manifesting this opportunity. The universe also showed me an under served niche in the market place that I had not previously considered.
Whether it’s people, funding, opportunities or knowledge that you need, the universe will deliver them if you are very clear about your needs and if they align with your purpose. One thing that people don’t realize in the hustle and grind model is that the more stressed they become, the more problems that come their way. This is a lesson for all of us. We attract what we are. If we are stressed we get more stress and if we are joyful we attract more joy and success. Whether we know it or not, we all manifest our realities.
Starting today create a morning meditation practice. It can be as short as 10 minutes a day, but do it and stick with it. I promise that it will definitely make a difference in your life and reduce your stress if you meditate daily. Also become mindful of your thoughts and how they drive your emotions. In stressful situations pause and become aware of your thoughts and your feelings. Respond calmly rather that reacting angrily. Anger creates more stress and anxiety, while calm reflection will help you solve your problems more clearly. Finally, beware that our thoughts, emotions and feelings create an energy field that attracts positive or negative outcomes. As you mindfully practice the Law of Attraction you can avoid stress and find more flow and joy in your life.
I’m curious if this makes sense to you and if you ever use these techniques to reduce stress and create the life of your dreams. Please leave a comment below or connect with me on Instagram.
Wishing you stressless week!
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