If we take more responsibility for what is going on in our lives – including how we handle stress – we can change it for the better. We have all learned to blame somebody or something for our problems, whether it be a person or event from the past, or our present-day circumstances. You can’t change the past, and there are situations that aren’t going away tomorrow, but you can affect your future by how you see your role in the bigger picture of your own life. Stress keeps that picture very small, not allowing you the perspective you need.
Focus and concentration are important abilities that help us do what we want or need to, and yet, if we lose sight of what truly matters, and stress about things that are inconsequential in the end, we’ll never find harmony. Is it necessary to finish that entire task today? Will your friend hold a grudge if you say you can’t help her right now? Will the delay at the airport go any faster if you get angry, frustrated, or stressed out? In the big picture, isn’t your peace of mind, and your health, more important?
We learn by observation. Staying present in each moment is key, but with the ability to look at the context of why we may be reacting a certain way, or feeling a particular emotion.
When you’re in the thick of stressful emotions, it’s very difficult to make a clear decision.
When you’re angry and anxious, that’s not the time to have an important conversation with somebody. That’s a battle, not a conversation! The ability to step back and observe what is happening to you at any given moment is empowering. The next time you feel stressed, try stepping back. It will take practice, but in time the reflex of observation can become automatic.
Coping With Stress
The reason why people routinely pray, meditate, or have a contemplative discipline is to learn a way to always find a calm space. When something triggers them and they need to know the way back to serenity, they can tap into it at any time. You have to train your mind and body to know when stress is becoming overwhelming. I like to use the exercise of bringing my two fingers together – fingertip to fingertip. As soon as they touch, a memory that I have put into my psyche of being happy, joyful, and positive is released to combat my stress. This is called anchoring.
The next time you feel very happy – such as that sunny day at the beach eating ice cream – quiet yourself for a minute, and then do something physical such as touching your fingers together. When you feel stressed, you can anchor back to the happy memory by repeating the physical action you have chosen.
Love, Love, Love
Derek O’Neill, Creacon Founder
For more on Stress, read ‘STRESS: Is Stress Stressing You Out‘ by Derek O’Neill.