In a world filled with alarm clocks, rush hour traffic, deadlines that must be met, bills to pay and mouths to feed – multitasking, sleep deprivation and stress have become the norm. Everyone has “one of those days” once in a while.
When stress invades and takes over your world becoming a way of life something needs to change. The human body was not meant to operate on coffee and adrenaline on a daily basis. This type of fast pace high-pressure lifestyle takes its toll on your health, your emotional and spiritual well-being as well as your relationships.
What is stress? – Stress is any physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes the body mentally or physically to be in a state of unrest. But what can you do about it? Quite a bit it turns out! I am going out on a limb to make a controversial and shocking statement. Here goes…are you ready? YOU are creating your life. Pure and simple. Because of this, YOU are the only one who can change it and free yourself from this crazy pace that is taking a toll on your very existence.
“What? No, you just don’t understand” you may think to yourself… “It’s not MY fault, it can’t be. I am not the one causing me all this stress it’s my boss, husband, kids, mother in law, insert another possible scape goat here.” While it is true that you cannot control anyone else’s actions, what you can control is your reaction to them.
The first step in eliminating stress from your life on a permanent basis is to start with the basic concept that you are in fact 100% responsible for your life. Once you do that, you can see clearly what (and sometimes who) is not in your best interest to keep. We know this is a big step for some, but by doing this you not only take responsibility you take back control.
Step two is changing your outlook. What is it that we all want out of life? A new car? A nice house? A vacation to Tahiti? Well, sure. We all like those things. But why? What is at the core of wanting these material items and experiences?
It’s happiness, joy, relaxation, and excitement! I think we can all agree that what we all want most is simple. We want to feel good.
Here are a couple of exercises to help:
When you wake up first thing in the morning jump out of bed and declare out loud “Today is going to be a fantastic day!” You may feel like a complete buffoon doing this at first, and even like you are lying to yourself. It’s ok to feel silly, humor us and do it anyway. Your subconscious hears you and cannot differentiate between the truth and a lie, it believes everything you say to be true and so accepts it as fact. Believe your day will be fantastic and it will be.
Another very helpful idea is to make a Gratitude List. Any piece of paper will do, just write down everything you have in your life that you feel grateful for. You will be amazed at how much actually ends up on your list. The more you focus on the positive, the more positive you will draw into your life. And in turn, the better you will feel overall!
Some of us start from such a chaotic low place it’s not easy for us to “feel good” now. Ok, we get that, your goal should be to just feel as good as you can right now. Do something nice for yourself. Take a “me” moment. Go for a walk, have a coffee, just let the world fall away for a minute and allow yourself to be at the center of your world and really be in the present time. After all, if you don’t take the time and care for yourself, who will?
Changing the way that you think is no easy task. It takes practice for the mind is like a child with attention deficit disorder. It runs amuck from thought to thought, making order and serenity difficult at best. Meditation is a good way to practice quieting the mind. Take some time out without distractions and turn on some calm soothing music and just “be” in the stillness. Allow your mind to wander but with the focused intent of being calm and clear and just breathe. With time and practice, you will be able to clear your mind of all thought and you will achieve a serene feeling that will stay with you.
In recent years we have been taught in the workplace that in order to succeed we have to do a million things at once, and do them correctly. That is a lot of pressure! And this is in fact, is not what successful people do. Successful people do one thing at a time with intent and with focus. They use a to do list not on the computer or on a palm pilot but on good old-fashioned paper with a pen or pencil, scratching things off and moving along. Why? Because it’s tactile. It becomes more easily engrained in your mind making it easier to remember. We will touch on that in another article.
In order to lead a low-stress existence let me summarize:
- Take responsibility for your life. By doing so you take back control.
- Change our outlook, the old saying “fake it till you make it” is more than true. It’s very difficult to be sad when your face is smiling.
- Clear your life of things that stress you out – if you don’t like your job –get another one. The same is to be said for personal relationships – if they are beyond repair, love the other person enough and your self enough to appreciate it for what it was and what you have learned from them and let it go.
- Take time for yourself – be nice to yourself. You are important! Maintain your body by eating healthy foods, getting regular care – chiropractic and massages.
- Clear your mind and allow peace to become a part of your daily life and realize that you deserve it.
- Organize – When everything is in its proper place it brings balance to both the heart and mind.
- Just breathe – oxygen is very important for the body and most of us breathe way to shallowly. Make sure to breathe from your diaphragm – your shoulders should remain still.
Stress is a top cause of many illnesses as it manifests itself in the body in numerous ways – high blood pressure, anxiety, heart attacks, headache, cancer, depression and many others. Taking steps today to simplify and distress your life could save your health and your life tomorrow.
Chiropractor & Nutritionist in Fort Myers, FL.
Chiropractic care is a safe, alternative treatment when applied appropriately. Chiropractic treatments help in dealing with the symptoms of many conditions. Are you going to wait for your symptoms to be felt, or are you going to prevent them before they start?
Dr. Jason B. Kaster, a chiropractor, and nutritionist in Fort Myers can help you and your family achieve their optimal health.