April Miller, B.A., B. Ed.
Hello again Wellness Guide Readers. I view the writing of this article as a benchmark to reflect and self-examine the year that has passed. A few of the personal highlights were studying for five days with Eckhart Tolle (author of The Power of Now and The New Earth) at Omega Institute, New York, and spending a four day couples retreat with Harville and Helen Hendrix (authors of Getting The Love You Want) also at Omega. Another, was visiting with my young adult daughter who was doing a six month work stint in Abu Dhabi. Oh my what fun and such an adventure – riding camels in the desert and exploring a rich and diverse culture. My final highlight to share was The Writers Festival in Woody Point where I was inspired by the beauty of our incredible province and entertained by Alan Doyle with his new book launch Where I Belong and he had us laughing our heads off!
Speaking of laughter – most of us know that laughter is as good as medicine… when is the last time you created an experience for yourself when you could laugh out loud until your belly hurt? What is getting in the way?
If you are like me and so many of us we can easily get swept away in our “trauma-drama”. With intention and consciousness this pattern can be changed. We can shift our “stressful” thinking minds.
Stress… what is that? It is our emotional and physiological response to any perceived threat whether real or imagined. The good news is the brain is plastic and it can change both of those responses with conscious attention. Stress comes in four forms: anticipatory, situational, chronic and residual. We have three responses: fight, flight or freeze. Determining where your personal stressors are and understanding your stress response style, are the first two awareness steps to dealing effectively with your stress. When you go “digging” to examine and understand your stressors ask yourself: What is causing me stress? A few categories to go “poking around in” are the mind, the body, work, finances, relationships and your social/leisure world. Sometimes in life we just hit a wall and we become a big old ball of stress – overwhelmed, burned out, we want to flee and run away. That makes sense. The most natural human response to pain and suffering is avoiding it. So we do through denial, anger, blame, addictions etc. etc. (you fill in your blanks) we stay powerless and in our victim stories. It seems so dismal at times.
There is a healthier and more productive way to self-care and self-love. What research tells us and what we all need to be reminded about – deep breathing, exercise, rest and humor are the anecdotes to stress. We are not meant to do this journey alone. If you need supports hire a counselor, a coach, a personal trainer, a massage therapist a naturopath. Build your own support team. Tell the excuses of time, money and whatever other “stories “ that are cropping up right now to STOP. Examine and explore YOU. You are worth it, your life is worth it! It is a gift you give to you and those you love. My invitation to you for your life in 2015 is to STOP the cycle of stress and live an empowered conscious life!
There are 525958 minutes available in 2015! Let’s go!