Reducing Stress—Be An Advocate For Your Well Being
I know, I know You may be saying, ‘Bird.You expect me to be thinking about MY WellBeing when the sky is falling???!!! The world is falling apart! I’m worried for My Loved Ones, my friends! The ECONOMY!! What are ya talkin’ about girl???!’ Uh huh, I know we have a multitude of scenarios we’re living and points of view: ‘I am out of work, alone and miserably lonely. I am working from home with school aged children doing remote learning AHHHHHHH! I am taking care of my aging parents and/or in-laws. I am separated and worried for my aging parents. My business will go bankrupt if I can’t open and I will lose EVERYTHING I have worked so hard for for so long!’ Yes, so many different situations we are suffering through and I can hear some of You saying, ‘how do You expect me to be an Advocate for my WellBeing when we are in Crisis Mode of EPIC PROPORTIONS—I’VE GOT MORE STRESS NOW THAN EVERRRRRRRR.’
Oh gosh, do I hear You. We are ALL affected by this Global Event in some way, shape or fashion. And YES, with all that is going on that is EXACTLY why You must be an Advocate for Your WellBeing. The more You freak out, the more You worry, the further away You move from any semblance of Well-being and could ultimately be of no use to anyone, let alone Yourself. And when a bunch of us get together on social media further fanning the flames of fear, it may feel like solidarity, but nothing really gets accomplished except upsetting ourselves more. Ask Yourself, if You and another person get stuck in an elevator for hours, would You rather be in there with them having a panic attack rollin’ around and taking up space or them remaining Calm and using that Energy to make a bad situation more bearable than it could be if you had PanicStricken Polly in there with ya?
Have You ever been in a situation where You were scared outta ya gourd but remained Calm and were able to help a stranger chill out?
I have been in some instances of being scared myself but was able to remain Calm and it helped to Calm everyone else around me including the person in distress. It is in hindsight, a miraculous thing to experience as everyone around followed my lead in terms of Calmness. You may have a boss that panics at everything, making the work situation quite tense, while on the other hand, You may work for someone who is way cool and doesn’t have hissy fits when things go south. Panicking does not Solve a thing, and when we do that continuously, it puts us in a negative zone as far as Wellbeing goes. Oh yes, You may be able to power through because of a steely determination to keep all the balls up in the air while doing a one handed handstand, but boy, all that stiff upper lip stuff does is help to bust up Your Immune System. Another important reason to advocate and BE an advocate for Your WellBeing, especially NOW.
When You take care of Your WellBeing, and make that a priority, it’s a win-win for EVERYBODY. You have got to take Conscious care of Your MindBodySoul Connection. Be more of an Observer of Your Thoughts and Actions. Become more Aware and put into Action those things that take care of YOU.
So much of the root of imbalance and dis-ease is in how our Minds process things, how we Think, how our approach to things go…are we Conscious, Aware and Present? Or are we operating by rote, on auto-pilot? That’s a question in and of itself to ask Yourself as a check-in. Are You Conscious and Present or on auto-pilot? Are You neglecting Your WellBeing by doing or not doing things You know will benefit You? Here’s some things to consider…
Are You Aware of what happens to Your body when You see something You disagree with or have a dissenting opinion from another on social media? Do You feel Your body temperature rising, Your heart rate and breath quickening? Though seemingly benign, our constant inner explosions to stimuli be it on a personal, business or social media front sends our emotions up and down constantly and continuously in a given day. One of many reasons sitting still and BREATHING DEEPLY is paramount to Success. It gathers You to Yourself. It gives You time to gather Your wits.
You can always tell what Your Predominant Thoughts are in a given period by how You feel. Sad? Angry? Cranky? Invigorated? Enthusiastic? Uplifted? How do You generally feel about Life?
GOALS: to reduce stress and knee-jerk reactions to stimuli. How do You do that? One plan of action is to OBSERVE, IMPLEMENT, DIFFUSE (OID).
This plan of action is not a sprint so try not to judge, just
1) OBSERVE Your patterns. Just OBSERVE. Keep a log or summary—how You behave, what Your mental workings are when You are stressed. What are Your behaviors when stressed? (and these are not things to ask Your partner, children or friends about, this is about YOU recognizing Your behavior of moving away from WellBeing)
* Do You start worrying & imagining the worst that can happen? (In other words, using Your Imagination to Create the things You DON’T want)
* Do You over or under eat?
* Bite Your nails?
* Bite Your lip or clench Your jaw?
* Engage in ‘uncontrolled’ leg tapping or shaking?
* ‘Uncontrolled Thoughts/racing mind?
* Get headaches? Constantly? Backaches? Stomach aches?
* Snap at people/loved ones? Bad moods? Get or stay depressed for long periods of time?
* Spend a lot of Your day holding Your breath?
Truly OBSERVE Your behavior when stressed. And remember, no judgment, this is the fact-finding part of advocating for Your WellBeing. Remember initially until You begin to recognize patterns without the need for reminders to keep a journal & document what You Discover
Once You have Observed & pinpointed HOW You behave/react/are affected by unpleasant and stressful stimuli, the next phase is,
2) To IMPLEMENT measures to ultimately change the behaviors and reactive patterns You have to stressful stimuli. This entails a) taking deep long in-breaths followed by slower out-breaths (deep breathing is KEY in reducing stress levels and taking charge of Your WellBeing), b) inserting a mantra during the deep breathing that You either find or Create like, “I AM Calm” “I AM Guided and Protected” “I Acknowledge the fear and I release it I will know what to do” “I GOT this” “I AM Capable” “I AM in Receivership of Answers” “I AM Centered” or whatever works for You. I tell myself “STOP.” Sometimes depending on my insistence of the replaying of the thought I say, “STOP. Just Stop.” You may have to play with a few to find the right one or have a few to use in different situations. c) CHANGING YOUR MINDSET about the situation/person/place/thing or what you just read that gets You all worked up. If it is a situation You cannot leave or change at the moment, then changing Your Perspective about the situation will help to lower Your stress and pushing back about whatever it is. At the same time, IMPLEMENT the changes You Intend (not wish, not hope but INTEND) to Create for Yourself in reducing stress and igniting Your Wellbeing. Again, keep a written or digital journal and Remember, our behaviors are habitual, practiced over time. It will take time to adjust them. Diligent Attention, Intention, Persistence and PATIENCE will reap results sooner.
As You move through action #2 To IMPLEMENT You will begin to
3) DIFFUSE the stress. Whenever You feel stress rising (that’s OBSERVING) because of Your Practice You can shift into IMPLEMENTING the breath, IMPLEMENTING to change the Mindset with Your mantra if needed thus lowering Your blood pressure, slowing Your heart rate, Calming the adrenal glands that fire adrenaline & arrive at a more Centered state.
In this plan, what are other things You can do for Yourself that will raise a sense of WellBeing? Limiting how much social media and news you inhale is one thing. Becoming much much MUCH more discerning in what You give Your Attention to. Sometimes I am so worn out after scrolling down my newsfeed, my emotions thrown every which way. I find myself asking, why am I so irritable (OBSERVING) and many times can trace it directly back to what digital content I had consumed. Social media, while a part of how we roll, can be lethal to our Wellbeing depending on what You swallow. How many times have You read someone declaring they were gonna take a Mental Health Break from Facebook and social media in general?
Have YOU ever stopped to OBSERVE what happens to You when You’re on Facebook? For example, one day I noticed and realized that in response to a post I saw about something crappy happening to a friend’s child that my body had tensed–I was squeezing my muscles as I wrote a response. Before I pressed the send button, I stopped and asked myself if my comment would help or incite, would be a Solution or contribute to the chorus of outrage. In the time I was doing that I decided not to post my comment because ultimately it wasn’t going to serve any good & at the same time my muscles loosened and began to relax! I went WHOA! gotta watch that!! The ol’ Fight or Flight reactions our bodies do for our protection–heart rate, blood pressure go up, muscles tighten to spring into action & our breathing speeds up regardless of whether the stimulus is a threat or not–it’s our THOUGHTS about what we Perceive that makes the body go into overdrive. The more Aware we become of self, the better we will Be.
And for those of You who have an interest in gemstones and crystals, there are many with cooling soothing properties, that You can use in Your WellBeing. Holding a stone and taking deep breaths is a wonderful way to Calm, Soothe, Ground, Center and Balance—they make exceptional meditation aide. One to check out is beautiful Aquamarine. A Stone of Courage, it has soothing and calming energies and could be wonderful for chillin’ out the nerves using Awareness and Presence, in other words, use it with Intention. Said to harmonize its surroundings, give support to the overwhelmed and encourage one to take responsibility for oneself (credit: The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall for that one). And what Robert Simmons of The Book of Stones says about the gorgeous Aquamarine is so good I gotta quote him: “these luminous blue gemstones are one of the wonders of the Mineral Kingdom. They are good for all types of calming and cooling, from hot flashes…” (Rose Quartz is da bomb diggedy too) “…to anger, yet they also activate the throat chakra assisting one in the clear communication of one’s highest truth. They are stones of the Water Element, bringing one in touch with the subconscious, the domains of spirit and our deepest emotions.” Now whether You can actually physically feel the cooling Energy is not the point so don’t get tripped on that if You don’t feel anything when holding it, the IMPORTANT thing is the Thought behind the reason to use it, because the Thought of it as being a Positive in its usage and the Intention behind it promotes the Healing. The Soothing, Cooling and Calming.
Take deep breaths when the stress starts to rise. Remember that stress depletes You of Your WellBeing. Learn to Meditate and/or go deeper in Your Practice. My services and products are available to assist, they are stress and anxiety relief and mindfulness tools You Can Use.
BE the Peace You wish to see. Advocate Your WellBeing. Remember to Roll With Peace, In Mind…