Free to stress less #stressless


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We have more power than we realise to live a stress free life, the solution is to stop expecting a trouble free life and start getting to know your inner calm.

Finding a new way to handle pressure.

Stress usually appears when the pressure of our situation becomes overwhelming. Fortunately we don’t have to wait for the perfect day to enjoy stress relief. Adapting to the pressure is possible. It is a life skill well worth developing.

Lets have look at how yoga, mindfulness and meditation can offer a treasure box of coping tools for when the going gets tough.

Let me start by admitting that managing pressure is a new skill I didn’t always have. I would describe myself as a duck that was often paddling madly under the surface where no one could see. I know what it feels like to be exhausted and stressed by responsibilities. Asking for help wasn’t a strength of mine but I can remember when this all changed for me.

I had rushed home from town with the weekly supply of groceries in the car and our four children. I had promised Howard I’d bring him home lunch by 1pm. It was an ordinary day but I had put so much pressure on myself to travel 80km with small children and rush about town. I pulled into the carport, stopped the car and laid back into the seat, stressed. I said to myself, ‘I will not do that again.’ From that day forward I made every effort to not put myself under the same pressure again. I think about each day and imagine it flowing well.

There is so much in life we have no control over but it is a surprise to realise that we do actually put a lot of pressure on ourselves such as-

*Saying yes to every thing that is asked of you, even when your schedule is already full.

*Expecting ourselves to do too many jobs in a small amount of time

*Worrying about the worst case scenario or things we have no control over.

*Not having enough fun.

*Trying to put out an image that looks like you are doing a good job when the truth is you need a hand.

These days I enjoy my life so much more because yoga, mindfulness and meditation developed my understanding of coping skills. So this are my top 10 stress management tips.

 

1/ Self Care – Don’t run on empty, nourish yourself in every way

2/Have some fun – Don’t take life to seriously, leave room for some fun.

3/ Breathe – bring a calm breath into most situations.

4/Smile more often!

5/Get fit and healthy, you will have more energy and enthusiasm to cope.

6/ Show compassion and kindness to yourself and others.

7/ Leave some space to rest, relax and enjoy the ordinary details all around you.

8/Walk, run, move your body. Get outdoors as much as possible.

9/Drop bad habits and pick up a few good ones e.g. more water, less alcohol!

10/ Sleep Well – Ask for help if you are not sleeping (This should have been no 1)

Contact me at blissfully present nel@blissfullypresent

I can help you sleep well again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Stress relief

How being calm is actually being strong.

Calm strength –

Extra Narelle

We don’t often think of being calm and being strong as the same thing but it certainly can be. Choosing to respond to the challenging situation in front of you in a calm way takes great courage sometimes. You don’t have the protective armor of anger, defensiveness, frustration or worry. You let go of the habits that you thought were important and you connect with a deep well of inner peace and stillness. You may feel a little vulnerable at first until you realize that your calm response can be relied upon. Often being calm is the strongest and most effective way forward.

 

A good place to start to understand the benefits of being calm is in your day to day routine. When something happens that normally makes you feel upset, try to resist getting caught up in the drama of it and keep feeling good. So many silly things happen throughout the day, that are not worth getting upset about. The traffic is going to flow the way it wants to flow, interruptions happen, relationships can be challenging, children can be challenging and our environments may not be perfect. You don’t have to look too far for a reason to not be calm but don’t let it slip away so easily.

When something doesn’t go your way, take a breath and try to respond consciously rather than emotionally. Decide to react later, not on the spot. Tell yourself that the situation isn’t worth getting all upset about. Realize that being calm is conserving your energy, keeping your heart open and your wiser-self awake. Being calm supports your body, brain and highest-self functioning at its best.

 

Stress causes digestive issues, the heart rate increases, the breathing shallows, adrenal glands are stimulated and the sympathetic nervous system is activated. Your body and mind are preparing to protect you. Fear, negativity, a sense powerlessness and worry drive’s an unproductive reaction. When you stand back later and look at your response it can almost feel embarrassing. Was the situation really worth all that fuss? Could you have responded in a different way? Did your words and actions help?

 

We all know what it feels like to get upset or over react to some pretty silly things. This is the place to start practicing calm. Find the gap between the situation that is frustrating and your best self. Don’t get pulled in. Stand back with your awareness and let a few things slip through to the goal post. You can’t control the game all the time. Some times the best way to win is to breathe, smile and walk away until you are calm again.

 

Feel that place within you that is always present, always at peace and always strong. We all have this inner power although it isn’t always something we are totally aware of. It is where our love, kindness and most compassionate self wait. When the layer of protective emotion settles and the thoughts of limitations or frustrations clear, something truly beautiful happens. The calm rises within us.

 

So lets look 5 Quick Calming Techniques.

1/ Breathe – When the breath is calm and smooth, the emotions and thoughts tend to follow. When you feel yourself getting stressed, watch the breath.

 

2/ Watch Yourself – Say to yourself, ‘How am I going to react to this?’ ‘Do I have the self control to not say anything right now?’ ‘What would be the most productive and encouraging this to say and do right now?’

 

3/ Be In The Moment – We can often handle what is going on in this moment, it can be the perception of what is to come that creates so much extra stress. Learn to see the detail in this moment. The benefits are surprising.

 

4/Set the intention to have a peaceful day – picture what this looks like. Imagine a situation that is normally upsetting and what you might look and sound like responding in a calm way.

 

5/ Notice the calm around you – We often focus on the problems in our life or the challenges, when the blessings and wonderful parts sit quietly in the background. See and connect with the peace, the calm people, the calm places, the things going well and the spaces in between the busyness.

 

 

Breathe, stretch, relax the shoulders, look around and be mindful of the detail in the present moment. All these things inspire a balanced heart rate, good energy levels, clear thinking, good oxygen levels, a calmer nervous system and balanced hormones. This is what you need to be productive and effective when life feels hard.

 

Value a calm approach as strength. Build up the muscles of your calm inner self until responding in a relaxed way is the natural and effective solution for you. Drop the fuss about the little things that normally trigger an upset feeling and know you can handle life’s issues with poise, compassion, wisdom and peace.

 

Someone needs to be calm. It may as well be you!

 

 

Categories: Meditation

No Longer Lost In Thought

Perhaps the best way to understanding what ‘mindful living’ actually looks and feels like we need to explore what not living mindful is.

 

Lost In Thought

A great way to understand what it is to be lost in thought is to compare it to watching television. You enter the TV room, turn on the television, choose a seat and choose a station. These actions are usually quite clear and mindful. You are aware of your position in the room and the choices you are making. You are aware of your body; you assess how you feel and what station suits your mood. You press the remote and start to relax.

 

The point of getting lost in the television is when you start watching the program and forget yourself, in a way. You are lost in the entertainment; fully aware of the character on the screen and the topic they are talking about. Someone could walk into the TV room and you don’t even hear them speaking to you.

 

Not being mindful is just like watching television this way. Your thoughts take so much of your attention, that you cant even see the present moment.

 

 

Automatic Pilot

The mind is extremely adaptable. The first few times you do any new activity your attention is fully in the moment. Once the action is familiar you can go back to getting lost in thought because you can manage a familiar action and a thought at the same time.

 

This can be a real disadvantage if a lot of your days are similar. You might be spending a lot of time lost in thought, if on auomatic pilot.

 

SOLUTIONS:

Sit in a different place at the dining table or office.

Take a new direction when exercising.

Make a conscious decision to taste your food, enjoy a shower and notice nature.

Notice your body and the detail all around you as much as possible each hour or each day.

Repeating a Pattern of Habits

Problems accumulate when we are making choices when lost in thought and on automatic pilot. You might reach for an unhealthy snack and eat so quickly that you can barely recall the flavour of lunch. You might speak without consciously thinking about the impact this is having on the person in front of you.

You are not making clear conscious choices. Each small daily habit creates how fit, happy and productive you are. Each unconscious decision, reaction and habit becomes a future you didn’t plan for.

SOLUTIONS:

Write down some new productive habits you would like in your life.

Make a plan to add small steps of change.

Find ways to remind yourself to add the new habits.

Ask a friend to join you.

 

 

Random Attention Focus

Automatic habits feel easier because you don’t have to think too much about each decision or discipline yourself too much. They allow you to keep thinking like a high-speed computer randomly scanning from one topic to the next. We are thinking about what appears to be a very important concern, when probably the best point of focus is in the now.

When emotions, fears and outer triggers are driving what we think about, we become a couch potato watching the screen that we imagine is our life. So much of what we perceive has happened or will happen isn’t reality.

In effect we are wasting time in the non-mindful state. The intention behind emotion, fear and responding to outer circumstances is usually self-preservation and protection but there is another way.

 

SOLUTIONS:

Create a habit of living fearlessly.

Step out of your comfort zone more often.

Learn something new.

Reduce your stress levels by dropping most of your worries.

Set clear daily intentions that bring out the best and bravest in you.

Mindful Living.

Mindful Living is behaving as if you have nothing to fear, nothing to react to and nothing to protect yourself from. That is why being in the present is so challenging. Your defense mechanisms are down; you accept that trying to control your outer circumstances is exhausting and all but impossible anyway. You decide that the best approach is to face each day with intense gratitude and wonder.

A world will open up to you that perhaps you didn’t know was there. All the beauty, strength and resilience you find in the moment, you will also discover in yourself. From this place you will be awake, alive, courageous and passionate. You will feel emotion like never before but it will pass without all the thought that can spiral down. You can feel and move forward. Feel and move forward again.

You will notice the person entering the room and ask them to sit with you. You will ask if they have had a good day. You will hear if they have had a good day or not because you will be there in the present moment. The peace and happiness you have created within yourself ,will be of benefit to everyone around you.

This will be best place for you to spend your precious time.

In the here and now.

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Categories: Meditation