Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Elements #21

Start being attentive to your stress level and take short breaks. Slow down. Breathe. Give yourself permission to pause, regroup, and move forward with clarity and purpose. When you're at your busiest, a brief recess can rejuvenate your mind and increase your productivity. These short breaks will help you regain your sanity and reflect on your recent actions so you can be sure they're in line with your goals.
Stress. What a powerful thing in our lives. Between the bills and the jobs and the medical expenses and the school fees and everything else in our lives, stress adds up each day. For many people, stress will lead to some major physical issues that are hard to get past.

It seems cliché to just tell someone to let go of the stress in their lives, but that is exactly what is needed. So how do we do it? Meditation doesn't add enough money in your bank account to cover the bills. It won't help your child pass the classes they are struggling with. It won't fix the broken radiator in your car. Going for a walk won't change the way your boss undermines your efforts. It won't change the disgruntled teller at the bank. It won't stop your cell phone's battery from dying before you can get home to charge it. Neither will yoga or New Age music or all the self-help books in the store.

But, and this is an important "but", these things can lower your blood pressure, help you sleep at night, and help you to stay focused on what is really important to you. When you're in the middle of work and it's time for that 15 minute break, try to find a quiet spot and close your eyes, doing your best to tune other things out. When you get home from work, take a moment to look around the house with a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the things you do have (yes, even that pile of laundry in the bathroom). When you wake in the morning try stretching your limbs as you get out of bed to help your muscles wake more fully. Or, simply, choose a song that you really like to listen to and play it when you're feeling cranky.

There are hundreds of books and websites about meditation, relieving stress, and focusing on gratitude. It's up to you to choose the method that helps you.


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