Stress happens in your body but starts in your mind. In addition to the perception of danger or life threatening events, there are two thinking habits that activate the stress response in the body.
The first is negative attention, or focusing on what you don't want/like, rather than what is good, right or challenging in a growth-producing way. The Law of Attraction will bring into your life that which you focus on and play on the movie screen of your mind.
The second common habit to induce stress is an insistence and needing that things be a certain way, rather than preferring the same. Insistence on things being a certain way implies an attachment to a particular outcome, and thus sets you up for disappointment. If instead you prefer an outcome, you still identify your wishes and desires, yet this attitude contains energy of letting go. Preferring carries an element of trust in the unfolding of life and the confidence that whatever happens, you have the resources and ability to handle life.
It's better to have what you need than to need what you want.
The 6 strategies to stress less and enjoy life more:
1. Thinking healthy
Focus on what you do want rather than what you don't want, let go of insisting or clinging to a particular outcome. Where are your thoughts? Are you focusing on what is wrong? Or is your awareness on the solution or even on the blessing that if often revealed down the road?
Are you turning your wants into needs? When you NEED what you WANT then you create unnecessary stress. Try shifting your needs into preferences, relaxing, breathing and looking at the big picture.
Breathe in fully and completely let go of your breath. Breathing is a metaphor for life. Take it in fully and let go of what you do not need.
Stretch your body and keep it flexible and resilient like your mind.
Maintain a consciousness of your habitual patterns. If something is not working, cease the pattern and make another choice.
Be assertive, state your truth with harmless intention and allow another to have a truth that may differ from yours. Respect your needs and celebrate diversity in your loved ones.
6. Sound sleep
Sound sleep is crucial to managing stress and feelings of well-being. If needed, create a routine for yourself that includes a soothing and calming ritual before bed. If there is something on your mind, talk to a friend or journal - get those feelings out of your body and onto some paper or into a friend's ear!
Meditation prior to bedtime can create a nice transition to sleep. A spray of lavender or nutritional supplements may be considered to support a healthy sleep.
Keep in mind these six strategies as you remember that you are the choice maker. One of the few things you can choose is what thoughts you entertain and how you respond to life!
Ellen Simon M.S., M. Ed., LPC is a nationally recognized expert in the field of mind body health. Ellen's unique brand of audio programs is in use in hospitals and health care facilities across the country. She is the author of over 25 titles. This article is adapted from Food for Thought, a 6-audio CD set. For more information visit www.imadulation.com.