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Stress is par for the course so long as you are breathing, but it does not have to be all-consuming. It is something we can control. High stress levels are nothing to be proud of or to brag about—there is nothing boast-worthy about habits that damage our well-being. As someone who has taken an active role in caring for my mental and physical well-being, I would like to share some tips that have helped me manage my stress more effectively.
Meditation is certainly rooted in spiritual practice, but at its root, it is a practical, secular tool that anyone can utilize regardless of religious beliefs. Yes, it can strengthen a spiritual connection but it also highly effective for gaining control of our out-of-control minds; our stress in life does not really come from what is happening to us, but how are perceiving the situation, how we are responding. Meditation helps us change that perspective; it helps us respond to situations, rather than blindly react without a moment’s thought. It helps us check in with ourselves, instead of moving blindly through our waking hours on complete autopilot. It helps us observe our thoughts and feelings without reacting and judging. While I am reluctant to state that there is one ‘’best’’ way to deal with stress, this comes pretty close in my book.
When I was going through a particularly stressful time in my life, I came across a suggestion to journal. At the time, I did not really see how it could make me feel better, but I gave it a go, and I found it very helpful in dealing with stress. Writing out our feelings is a way to bring them out of our heads, where they have a lot of power over us; acknowledging them on paper dissipates this quite a bit. You have the opportunity to reflect on your thoughts and feelings, and this lays the ground for insight. It gives you a chance to analyze your thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions. It helps you see what triggers your stress, what you could do differently to deal with it, and changes you can make to reduce it. And, the best part is, since this is for your eyes only, you can write completely uncensored; there is no worry of someone else judging you.
Sure, unpleasant things arise in life, but for the most part, those of us in living in wealthy, modernized countries have it pretty good. We do not mean to be, but we are pretty ungrateful about all the great things we have in this life. Remember, stress is of the mind, it is about how we are thinking, feeling and perceiving. All of those things are plastic and moldable. If you really look at all the good things in your life, the simple things that you take for granted, you will see your problems in a whole different light.
About the Author:Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things health and wellness; if you are in need of a physician in the Anaheim area, she highly recommends Dr Ron Glousman.
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