April 07, 2014

Stress Awareness

April is Stress Awareness Month. I have been experiencing a great deal of stress lately, related to a family health crisis. I know that sustained stress can lead to heart disease, diabetes, depression and exhaustion.

I also know that there are things I can do to prevent and reduce stress. Some ideas from the US Department of Health and Human Services include reading a book, getting exercise, spending time with meaningful people and meditating.

It seems inevitable that when someone has a sick family member, people say “Do something nice for yourself.” I know I’ve said it to others, yet it makes me laugh when people say it to me now. How can I afford to spend time on myself when there’s so much else to do?

The reality is that you have to find a way to unplug from the stressful situation, even if it’s only for a short time each day. Otherwise, you will end up causing yourself harm.

While I would like to meditate, I find that I haven’t been very successful at it. Instead, I’m allowing myself to accept that I can’t accomplish everything I want to do right now and I’m allowing people to shower me with caring attentions.

What do you do to minimize stress for yourself?
Organized by Marcie TM: Save time and money by letting go of what you don't need and finding room for what you value
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  1. I lower the bar and learn to accept "ok" and "good enough." Tough for perfectionist to do, and having to lower my expectations is stressful, but there's only so much you can handle. Gotta prioritize.

  2. You're absolutely right, mommymegan. Letting go of the way I prefer things to be is tough.

    Another thing I realized is that I've been able to say "no" to people and that it's not a big deal. As you said, gotta prioritize. Thanks for your comments!

  3. The key to me is bringing meditation to my day to day life, if you look at it as something which you should put in your schedule between all the things you need to do, it will be an endless postponement...

    The point is that you don`t need to sit for half an hour or one hour silently, trying to meditate and even if you succeed, it wouldn`t help much, since in the other 23 hours you`ll be doing just the opposite...

    Instead, try to transform whatever you do in meditation- you CAN transform this very moment into meditation, just focus your attention effortlessly at whatever you`re doing right now. Slow down the movement - feel whatever you do with your hands, you`re walking- watch the legs moving, watch your breath or watch the thoughts passing one after another and especially the gaps between the thoughts and see what happens... At the beginning it will be difficult, but by and by stress will be just a memory...

  4. Ananta, I try doing that when I remember. The trick is remembering to do it at all!


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