Unmanaged Stress Kills and Ruins Lives! Sit a Bit
When I pay attention, I clearly see the arresting ways God works in my life. Often people I meet in my programs (or elsewhere) give me such profound, relevant messages I know the hand of God is at work and it is to my peril to ignore such directives. Two such recent encounters helped release me from the bondage of undue stress.
In a recent workshop I facilitated I spoke with one woman at the day's end who looked sorely overwhelmed. As we spoke she began listing all she had to do today; all she had accomplished yesterday; and the endless list still needing to be done.
As I gently queried this bright, enthused woman she began to see she was doing too much. What really had to be done today? After a very full, all-day workshop could she just go home and give herself some down time and trust she'd accomplish what really needed to be done in good time? My parting words to her that night were "Easy does it."
As she left, I saw the gift she had given me. Hadn't I just been feeling overwhelmed with new work I had taken on, plus a host of other life decisions all seeming to demand my attention NOW?
What Really Needs to be Done Today?
Like this woman, I too was doing more in one day than necessary plus, worrying about all the future tasks to be done. As Jesus admonished us in the Beatitudes "Do not borrow trouble from tomorrow..."
If you are feeling pressured, overwhelmed and stressed ? it is time to stop and ask, "What really needs to be done today?" Also, "How much energy am I wasting worrying about the future?" We need to allow what we have done to be enough and to trust we have the time we need.
Unmanaged Stress Kills
Another client not long ago drove home the importance of managing stress in our lives. I approached this person one day after the program as he seemed withdrawn and resistant.
Sadly, this remarkably gifted man had lost all confidence in his talents to pursue a possible dream in design (although others remarked on the genius he'd applied to his own home). Near tears, he also revealed how he had nearly died from a chronic debilitating disease caused by extreme stress.
With chilling clarity, this man's demise and hopelessness showed me the dangers of eroding oneself with excessive worry, stress and self-doubt (which as humans we all slip into from time to time.) Loudly, this message spoke to me of the importance of managing stress, giving ourselves much needed breaks, trusting in the timing of things, and being on our own side.
Pressuring ourselves to do more or worrying about what must be done does not alleviate the underlying feelings of inadequacy and fear. Rather than pushing ourselves to do more or allowing negative self-talk to erode us can we instead sit a bit with ourselves?
Sit a Bit
This can be a challenge because often it is exactly these scary feelings and thoughts we are trying to escape! Try sitting and breathing and accepting this wholly human condition. Let us give our precious selves some kindness and compassion when these driven, crazy-making moments arise.
Breathing? Letting go? Trusting in a perfect timing?
As we sit with ourselves we need to do so without expectations. We don't have to get it right or achieve some special state. We simply practice kindness toward ourselves and acknowledge our uncomfortable or painful feelings.
Herein, old habits begin to dissolve of their own accord. Also, from this place we can more clearly make decision about what our true priorities are and put first things first.
In an interview with Mahatma Ghandi; Ghandi said he meditated two hours each day. The interviewer asked, "What do you do when you are too busy to meditate?" Gandhi replied, "Mediate four hours a day." Clearly, taking the time to sit with ourselves is a priority especially when we are far too busy or stressed to do so!
Teresa Proudlove has been inspiring, supporting, and guiding over 3000 people upon their career and life work path for over fourteen years - with compassion and heart. Teresa's workshops and writing, offer a deeper understanding and respect for ourselves, for others, and for our lifework path. This entrepreneurial woman also owned and successfully operated two women's retail boutiques for ten years. For over twelve years, Teresa was a well-read newspaper columnist. Visit Teresa at http://www.yourlifework.com; listen to your inner guidance and navigate through life and work with more meaning, acceptance and peace.
The Three Rs of Handling Your Emotions
My son was watching a Richard Scarry video this morning as I was doing my usual rushing around, getting ready to leave the house. He's watched it countless times, but I've never managed to sit through the entire thing. This morning one song caught my attention, "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands", which I sang many many times as a child in Sunday School, and always followed with "If you're happy and you know it, then your life will surely show it ..." In the version I heard this morning, the first verse was followed by "If you're angry and you know it, stomp your feet", which made me pause a moment. I muttered to my husband, "Since when do kids need to be taught to stomp their feet when they're angry?"
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Living in our world today can be very stressful. While some of the stress that we experience is actually useful for motivating us, a point can be reached where it becomes very harmful, physically, emotionally and even spiritually. Knowing how to manage and even reduce the harmful effects of stress on a daily basis, of staying balanced and centered as we encounter the many stressors of everyday living, is crucial to our well being. Among other things, taking care of ourselves will necessarily involve us nurturing our physical body, of eating healthy foods, of exercising. Learning how to take care of ourselves in this respect is also very important for everyone as our experience of stress can and does affect others as well.
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THE ENCHANTED SELF® teaches you how to access positive states of well being again and again. These positive states are unique to you and often reflect your interests, talents, and potential. I thought it would be fun to finally share with you some activities useful in helping you get in touch with your Enchanted Self. I hope you enjoy them and will let me know how they worked out by writing to me at email@example.com.
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I am worried. I have been biting my nails for weeks and now there is not much left (skin doesn't taste very good) on my hands and feet to chew on. I have been bent over the sink retching, I am constantly nauseated with pounding headaches beating out a death march in my skull and yet, life goes on. To say I am worried is placing the situation into a category far above its position ? I am sick with worry. I am worried to death and I am sick of being worried about nothing. I am even tired of being worried about being worried about nothing - and I worry about that as well!
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Did you know that taking a short trip, such as over President's Day weekend, or anytime, can have the same stress-reducing effects as a longer one? According to a Stanford University psychiatrist, David Spiegel, our minds shift into a more relaxed state during the first few days of a trip. When we have been away from home for long trips we tend to slightly increase our stress, or dread, coming back to home or work.
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