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Monday, March 11, 2013

Stress management post #2

Welcome to the second part of the stress management series....

I am sorry that I missed Friday's post... I had to manage stress and cut some stuff off of my too busy schedule!

On the first post, I talked about how to live a stress free life...  In order for you body to be able to deal with stress more easily, it needs to be top shape!!!  Kind of like if you want to run your car at 140 km/h (not that I would suggest you do that but....) it needs to be well tuned up!!!  Well same goes for you body and mind!  If you want to take up more than you should (or more than you can), you need to be well tuned up too!!!

That means, taking care of the food you put into your body (preferably plant based and organic), you need to exercise (in moderation) and sleep well!!!

Now that you've had the time to adapt those 3 elements of your life, you're ready for the next part...

Music, laughing and finding your personal space

Music

Music is a well know technique to deal with stress. It has been used for the longest time all around the world!  Of course the obvious is to go with relaxing music...  Soft music with instruments...  nature sounds like waves, wind, rain, bird singing... the sound of bells... but basically any music CAN be relaxing if it works for YOU!!!  I like those types of music... or yoga music or meditation music but not everyone does... so it can actually get on the nerve of someone who does not like them!    The key if to find the music that relaxes you...  be it jazz, pop. rock, classic or whatever music there is out there!  It has to speak to you!  and bring you to a state where you "forget" what stresses you out! Of course, this doesn't SOLVE anything...  it's like a band aid but we all need a band aid sometimes! (for resolving your stress, go to the root of it, we'll address that later on)

Another option is to sing!!! Sing while you;re stuck in traffic!  Sing in the shower!!!  It is said that people who sing in the shower are actually much less stress than people who don't!

You can also play an instrument....  you do not have to be good at it!!!  Just ENJOY it!!!

Laughing

Why do you think there are so many "funny" shows out there?  so many comedians?  so many comedies at the movie theater???  How many times in a week can you find "America's funniest home video" or something similar schedule on TV?People need to laugh!  Laughing releases endorphins which are our natural opiates and have the ability to produce analgesia and a sentiment of well being.
People are naturally looking for something funny when they are stressed... you body knows that laughing is good for you in moment of crisis!  Our society is more stressed than ever before in the story of humanity (obviously, I am not talking here of time of wars).  We need to be able to relax and laughing does a great job!  Plus laughing with people multiply the effects of a good laugh! And brings us closer to those people we are laughing with!

Your personal space 

Now is there a place that you can go to and feel relaxed almost instantly?  It can be anywhere...  On our boat, in the woods, on the top of a mountain, by the ocean, in your bedroom, taking a bath, at the spa, cooking,  in your garage...  anywhere will work! 
Now you need to think of that space and figure out what feels so good about it!  Think of your 5 senses and see what happens!  What do you see in that place?  What do you hear? What does it smell like? Is there a taste to it (if applicable)? What is the feeling on the skin (for ex sun rays, sand or warm blanket)? Now you need to practice having those feelings without going to that place physically...  you need to go there mentally... 
Obviously, you can't run to Dominican Republic or to you fishing boat every time something happens... but you can go there mentally and it will help you relax!!! 
Once you master the art of going to that special place only mentally, this place is with you at all time!!  Accessible!!! No one can prevent you from going there!
It does take practice.. but it is worthwhile! 
Once you master it, when a stressful event happens, you can take a few seconds, close your eyes, breathe and visit your space!  You will immediately feel better!!!

Those 3 tools are not that difficult to integrate to your life...
You can laugh anywhere....  you can listen to music anywhere - it is all so handy now with smart phones and computer that we all have access to so easily!  Just go out for a walk and there is music...  the wind, the birds, the kids playing...
But if all else fails, you do not have an iPhone or a computer with you...  the "music" outside is more likely to be a train going by and cars...  you can always go to your special place!! That is yours...  at all time.. and FREE!!!

What about you?  What do you do in times of stress?

love and peace,
nathalie
xox

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