A woman who was conducting a stress management workshop walked around the room with a raised glass of water. She asked, "How heavy is this glass of water?" Participants called out answers ranging from 8 oz. to 20 oz. She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."
It’s the same with stress. The longer we carry it, the heavier it becomes. Life is trying these days. Some of us are out of work, some of us have had our hours reduced, and some of us can’t find a job in the first place. We are all stretching our dollars as far as we can. (And don’t get me started on that nonsense going on in Congress!) It’s pretty evident that we all need to develop coping skills to get through. (Check out my August 22nd blog Taming Transitions for some techniques.)
In her article “How to Stay Peaceful During Stressful Times” at www.transitioningmovement.com, GG Renee Hill states, “It’s in our best interest to develop a tolerance for uncertainty and discomfort…The key to maintaining your peace of mind through stressful situations is to let go of the outcomes and allow yourself to experience everything – ups and downs – without judgment.”
I’ve condensed a few other tips from her article:
Stay in the moment. The current situation may really suck and you want it to
end immediately. But is there a lesson
to learn? Bad things happen and you can
survive them. Try to remain calm and
Don’t be your own martyr. Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy. We are so used to drama, that if it doesn’t exist in the first place, we create it for ourselves. Is this you? Save your energy for what really matters. Pay attention to the signs your body and spirit are giving you. If we can learn to not sweat the small stuff, we’ll have more resources available for the big stuff.
Know when to walk away. You know deep down when it’s time to walk away. Be true to yourself and trust your instincts. You can’t be peaceful if you are conflicted. You have choices; exercise them.
Shift your focus from the closed
door to the open door. Look for the
silver lining. Is there any good that
can come of the situation? Does it
afford you an opportunity? Did you learn
anything from it? It may be difficult,
but remember that gratitude can be a powerful influence.
Surround yourself with positive people. If there are people in your life that drain your energy and hold you back, perhaps it’s time to disengage. Don’t blame them; they are only resisting change. But if you don’t move forward, will you regret it?
Give yourself permission to put down the glass of stress at least for a little while and be good to yourself. You deserve it.
Until next time,
Stacie Beard, LMT
Stacie is a Nationally Certified and Licensed Massage Therapist at Cheveux Salon and Day Spa in Bel Air. You can reach her at 410-569-3299.