Has anyone lately told you how uptight you are? Are you quick to be frustrated? Have you had your cholesterol checked recently? Are your sleep patterns and dreams telling you anything? Libido limping? Stressed out at work? Obviously obsessing? How aware are you of the various concerns in your life? Denial is not a river in Egypt!
Awareness, or consciousness, of one’s stresses varies greatly from one individual to another. The more aware you are of the various stressors in your life the more pro-actively you can be in diminishing these anxieties. Most people do not monitor their stress levels. They just plod on day to day in personal ignorance. The price is high!
Stress is a silent killer. This negative energy is insidious as it prowls through our body and mind seeking to do damage. Stress usually finds the weakest areas of our being to attack. Where does stress attack you – upset stomach, headaches, clenched jaw, upper back, ulcers? Stress lowers resistance to disease and weakens the body’s healing mechanisms. Healthy living and healing from disease always involve the lowering of stress.
It is important to regularly do an awareness inventory of STRESS in your system. Typical stressors to be examined are:
1. Relationships with significant others in your life, personal and in the work place.
2. Money concerns
3. Career situation now and for the future
4. Health/aging of self and loved ones
5. Mistakes of the past that are not being let go
6. Consistent feelings of anger or sadness.
7. Challenges of various sorts that may be coming up
The purpose of this inventory is not to raise stress, but to help you become more aware so that you can do something about it. Stress can be lowered significantly if you will make the effort. Too many people dull their inner anxieties through frenetic activity, various addictions (especially food and alcohol), or become a couch potato and numb out before the boob tube.
Basic stress reduction would include?
1. Exercise: most everyone can do some form of regular physical exertion.
2. Meditation: There are many forms of meditation from basic deep breathing and mind-clearing to various spiritual experiences.
3. Hugs? Three a day minimum! Go get ‘em!
4. Stretching/yoga: Loosens up the tightness and constrictions of stress.
5. Warm baths: (candles, soft music, libation optional)
6. Recreation activities that bring pleasure to you. Broad category, be careful.
7. Heart to heart talks with your significant other, friends, and/or therapist
8. Physical exam
You can probably think of others that would be particularly appropriate to you and your lifestyle. As the song says, “Don’t worry, be happy.”