February 8th, 2017
February 8th, 2017

Break Free From Stress with 3 Power Tools!

If you´re feeling more stressed out than usual these days, I hope you know that you´re not alone.  There is no doubt that there is a noticeable increase in worry around lately.  World events have many of us more on edge than we normally are.  

Thankfully, no matter how stressful things feel, there are powerful tools we can use to break free, a little or a lot.  And, even though there are dozens of great tools, some of them are so effective that I call them Power Tools.  Here are three of my favorites.  

Tool #1  

Breathe.  Breathe.  Breathe.   Proper breathing really is a master key to good health.  It instantly relaxes the body and mind.  In fact, Dr. Andrew Weil (a well-known author and leader in the field of integrative medicine) says “If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn to breathe correctly.”  I call breathing the “Master Power Tool”.   Not only is it free, but it also gives you the most bang for your buck; the biggest payoff for the time and energy you put into it.  Hands down.  

So ... here´s what you do.  You take 3-4 deep, slow, full breaths often throughout your day.  Start with one round of deep breathes as soon as you wake up.  You wake up and remember “I´m starting each day by breathing calmly”.  Make it a habit.  

If you want more help on how to breath for relaxation (and the amazing benefits), see my news post "Breathe for a Quick Shift to Relaxation".  

Tool #2

Make Friends with Pain.  Really!   One of the skills I learned to use much later in life is how to make friends with painful feelings and not run like the wind!  Most of us were taught to hide feelings like anger or sadness.  One of the many problems with that strategy is that it creates MORE stress for us, not less.  It takes a lot of energy to keep tears or anger shoved down inside.

And even though most of us weren´t taught how to release those feelings in healthy ways, it´s never too late to learn (and the payoffs are big).  There are a lot of effective ways to practice shifting from "running" from feelings, to giving them a little space.

Here´s one option you might experiment with:  Take a little time-out to get still and breathe deeply for 3-4 rounds.  Then put your hand on your heart and tune your attention inward.  Keep breathing and notice what you´re feeling or sensing in your body.  Can you simply let whatever you notice be, give it some space, and notice it without judgement?  Practice this and you will notice that feelings come and go like ocean waves.   Practice letting them come and go.  You breathe, you notice.  The amazing thing is that even in a couple of short minutes of doing this, you will likely notice a sense of relief.  The simple act of noticing feelings, releases them.  And that releases you!

Tool #3

Tweak your Focus.  Marianne Williamson says that “Fear will be glad to take over whenever you do not fill the house with love”.   In other words, stress and anxiety will be glad to take over whenever we do not fill our mind with things that uplift and relax us. This makes so much sense.  Most of us could really benefit from an occasional tweak in where we focus our attention.  It doesn´t have to be big.  Usually a simple tweak is all it takes to get instant stress relief.  

For example, maybe you check your smart phone for news updates throughout your work day, and then watch the evening news at home.  Consider a tweak.  You could, for example, go “news free” after dinner each night.  Instead, maybe put on some relaxing or uplifting music.  Or, if you feel you must get regular news, you could substitute the regular news stations with good news networks.  Thankfully, there are more and more good news networks/stories easily available with a quick Google search.  And watching good news will almost always leave you feeling a renewed sense of balance, perspective and optimism!  

So, there you have it.  Three pretty effective Power Tools for breaking free from stress whenever you need to.  Like I said, they are three of my favorites and I hope you find one or more of them really useful!  

Here´s to you and living well!
Lee




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Power of Wellness

Lee Chamberland

Stress Relief & Happiness Expert
Vancouver, BC, Canada
(604) 738-7685
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