By: Dr. Gwen Smith
Do you find yourself tied to a certain result in an area of your life that's causing your stress?
Perhaps it may be in the way your family is responding to you; or maybe it's in forcing a certain result that you'd like to see in your work. It could also be the way your finances are currently stacking up against your current and future goals.
It's not a happy place to be when you feel that things are not going the way you'd like them to. And, being tied to a certain result and forcing the outcome will not only complicate the matter, it also can produce untold stress in your life.
According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress, or a continuous stress for extended periods of time, can contribute to many long-term problems, not limited to heart conditions, stroke, muscle tension, increased cholesterol, heart attack and even death.
These are very serious outcomes. And fortunately there are some key things which can be done to reduce these types of stress in your life.
How can stress be reduced?
#1 Meditation is a great way to not only sharpen awareness and connection with your inner self but also it helps to significantly reduce stress in your life.
After I started meditating I realized how significant a difference it made in my well-being (lower blood pressure) and how I felt about my day. Everything seemed so much brighter.
But how does one meditate?
There is really no right way to meditate. And I for one do not have a special type of meditation from any religious body. I use my own intuition to come up with something that works beautifully for me. Here is what I do:
I meditate first thing in the morning before exercising...
I lay flat on my back, relaxing all muscles and releasing all tension (some days easier to do than others) and facilitated by relaxing meditation music through my earphones.
After three deep breaths and with eyes closed, I focus my thoughts on my breathing. I work on being present. Then I imagine a bright light shining front and center on my forehead (I read this somewhere years ago). I focus this light in several areas of my body from head to toe, imagining the light shooting from head to toe in a purifying manner.
I imagine myself being grounded to Mother Earth as I send an imaginary connection from my tailbone to the center of the earth. This is my representation of being grounded.
In complete relaxation I often, but not always get to a state in which my body begins to feel electrifying impulses circulating from head to toes, creating a chill and a close oneness and connection with the Divine. It is from this place that I begin to pray for my loved ones and whatever else I feel is important to pray for.
Meditating this way for the last four years has produced untold peace, comfort and relaxation in my life, and I feel there is a safe solace internally that I can go to connect with as often as I need to when I meditate. It significantly reduces my stress levels.
You can find whatever works best for you. There are different types of meditation and you will certainly find one that resonates with you.
#2 The Ultradian Rhythm
Sleep scientists discovered that several times per day our bodies undergo a certain rhythm in 90-120 minute blocks. At the end of these rhythms we become less productive.
Our bodies require a 15-20 minute break at this time, from whatever the activity on hand that we're engaged in. This is called the ultradian rhythm, developed by Lavie and Scheron in 1981.
You may be wondering what does ultradian rhythm have to do with the events in your life that you would like to control the results for? The truth is that it doesn't directly. However, what it does impact is your overall stress level which will more than certainly affect all the other areas of your life, including what's happening with you personally.
Being certain to take a 15-20 minute break every 90 minutes constitutes good practice that will reduce your stress levels (and the consequent muscle tension) you feel in your life. There is however, one additional thing that you will need to do to mentally to deal with your stress levels. We'll talk about this next.
#3 Letting go
One of the biggest things that you can learn to do is to relinquish your need to force an outcome. Being open to what shows up in all areas of your life, no matter how you're feeling about the outcome will be the biggest thing to help you overcome your stress.
When you have done everything you know to do and laid the best plans, if things still continue to go the 'wrong' way, that is the way you want it to, you'll need to understand that The Divine knows best and forcing against what shows up will not only produce increased stress but also more of what you're trying to avoid. So in short, let go!
Giving in to what shows up often produces results beyond your expectations, even if in the moment you are uncomfortable, sad or unhappy. For your general well-being for all areas of your life, let go. It will return sanity and peace of mind to you even in the midst of things appearing to go against what you actually are expecting.
It may mean that you are letting go and just accepting that you won't be able to make a payment on a bill this month or that you won't be able to keep a commitment you agreed to, or simply that you don't have to control all circumstances in your life.
If you have a commitment you simply cannot fulfill on, making contact with the party you owe and explaining the situation will be worth everything. You also have to let go of the worry of not being able to meet the commitment. In the end, your life will be happier and you'll have way less stress and increased peace in your life.
So coupling your ability to let go with your practice of meditation and rest will give you a better outlook on your current circumstance while simultaneously maintaining your well-being. Will you let go?