How many of us know how to effectively cope with stress?
I see a few hands go up, but for the most part many are avoiding eye contact with me. I know... I know... it isn't always easy coping with stress.
For most of us, we weren't taught how to cope with stress that well. Our dearly beloved parents often didn't know how to cope with stress in their own lives and that's what they taught us. It isn't that we should blame them for anything because they did the best with what they had (ok, maybe not all parents did the best, but I'm sure some did).
All too often, we deal with stress by acting as if it is not there. We avoid it, numb it and disconnect from it. We look at anyone who acknowledges it with raised eye brows as if they are doing something wrong in life.
We keep ourselves so busy...
Sometimes we keep ourselves so busy that we don't have to acknowledge its presence in our lives. Sometimes we have a few extra numbing and mind altering substances just so we can continue on separating ourselves from what is going on.
Some of us do very well at shoving it deep down inside of us so we just don't have to look at it. Humans are pretty good at that. Yeah, there are days when we need to do that, but so often we forget to flip the switch back the other way and deal with the stress.
Often we avoid and disconnect and numb stress in such an unconscious way that we're oblivious to its effects upon our body ... and our mind. It is there, but we're in such a busy mode and disconnected mode that we don't see it.
When I've gone into some deep healing moments on the table, one of the first things we do is observe what is there in that moment - what we feel in our body. There are many times that I don't feel anything until I stop and start to ask the question and notice it. Then, it intensifies and that is the launching pad for the deep healing work.
Numbing and disconnecting...
Regardless of how you deal with stress, coping with it by numbing and disconnecting is not the best way. It may be necessary in the moment, but if this continues, it starts to have major impacts on the different systems in the body. It opens the door for illness and dis-ease.
Learning to be aware of its presence and learning to cope with stress is key to finding a more happier and healthier life. It may not happen all at once and some of us may require much more difficulty to learning how to do this, but you mind and body will thank you.
If you do nothing and just let it build, at some point it will try to get your attention. The daily buildup of stress can be just as harmful as traumatic experiences. Trust me - and I share this from my own personal life - you don't want to go down the road of letting it build and not finding a way to let it go.
Coping with stress is about letting go, but doing so on a daily basis. We have to find ways to stop and "smell the roses" or life will takeover and we'll be left wishing we had. There are simple ways and more profound ways to cope with stress, but it all starts by stopping and observing and feeling in your body.
After that, your body and your mind will guide the way if you allow them. They will show you things that you may not have realized, but it all starts with observing and feeling the stress within your body.
I leave you with this question - what will you do today in learning to cope with stress and letting go? How will you allow yourself to feel it in your body, so you can let it go from the cellular level?
Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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