The term “stress management” is a bit ridiculous.
Yes, life is hard sometimes. Now matter how carefully we craft our plans, life throws us a few curve balls that bring stress. There are major issues like business re-focusing, family changes, or friends who need our help. Sometimes it’s as simple as a bad driver, or noisy workman next door that bring stress into our lives.
To me the term stress management means organizing it so we can handle it better. However, as Sadhguru says, “Why manage something you do not like?” Why not get rid of it?
When we feel stressed we tighten our bodies: clench our jaw, tighten our shoulders, squint, contract our gut, and more. In addition, these reactions cause more internal issues than just tight muscles. For example stress hormones are released that can cause a myriad of health issues over time. Once the stressful situation is passed, or we walk away from it, there are usually some tight muscles or stress hormones that remain.
I believe that getting rid of the stress quickly means less of the deleterious effects are left in our bodies.
Yes, I know it’s easier said than done (like many things in life). However just recognizing this has helped me to move through challenging situations more quickly.
Here’s a few tools:
- Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s (almost) all small stuff. Or if small stuff is bothering me, I used it as an indicator that I have been ignoring something, so I try to make time to understand what it is so I can let it go, using one of the techniques below.
- Ask myself, “What do I want?” Often it’s something simple, such as help on a project (or dinner), or to take a break for a few minutes. I get focused on getting things done and forget to honor myself.
- Consciously work to process stressful feelings
- Breath deeply, then exhale forcefully–focusing on pushing out the stress.
- Move. Get up and move around. I have found push-ups to be really good at helping me get stress flowing out of my body. Or jumping jacks or steam engines–once again focusing on pushing out stressful feelings when I exhale
- If driving somewhere it’s okay to be noisy, grab the steering wheel really hard and yell. I often end up laughing when I do this, which brings in good hormones, a win-win!
None of these tools solve the stressful issue itself. However they help me gain perspective so I
- know whether the situation is not worth my energy and focus so I can quickly let it go, or
- have more resilience and strength to work it through
What do you think about stress management? Does letting go and letting flow help you be happier and healthier? What tools do you use? Please share in the comments below and help us all!
Have a Joyfull Wednesday!