It’s an intrinsic part of life, but is it as bad it seems?
In the western culture, it usually has negative connotations with the crippling impact of stress it has on our mind, body and spirit.
In the eastern culture, it does not necessarily mean it’s negative, as long it is in balance – the yin and the yang of life (the balance of opposites; masculinity and femininity, dark and light, etc). It gives room for creativity and expansion when stress is balanced with relaxation.
So, yin = relaxation and yang = stress.
These are complementary. If we are always relaxed, then we may not have the drive to create – a necessary component to life happiness. Stress can drive creation and work. They work together in harmony and balance.
So how do we learn from this ancient Chinese philosophy and apply this balance… this stress management, into our lives?
If you want to see the summary 5 minute video version, click here: https://www.facebook.com/janettseco/videos/452147169230137
1. Understand Your Bodily Stress Sensations
2. Get Back Into Alignment
3. Lighten The Load: Surroundings
4. Lighten The Load: Self-Image
5. Lighten The Load: Soul
5 Top Tips to Stress Management:
Here are the 5 top tips I use with my clients and myself that I’ve found increasingly helpful:
ONE: Understand Bodily Stress Sensations
First, we have to develop the acute awareness when we are stressed (yang) in order to respond appropriately to get to (yin) a relaxed state to maintain balance. Some key bodily sensations when we are stressed include, but not limited to:
- Stomach cramps
- Back pain
- Tense shoulders
- Shortness of breaths (only upper breathing)
- Heart palpitations
Why Is It Important:
1. In the west, there is increasing research into the mind-body connection that supports what the east, specifically Traditional Chinese Medicine (with the underpinnings of yin yang philosophy), have practiced for over two millennia.
2. Hungarian-Canadian physician Dr Gabor Maté, a pioneer in the research of mind-body connection, in his international bestseller, ‘When the Body Says No: Understanding the Stress-disease Connection’ (2008), explains the mind-body connection and how stress can create physical illnesses.
So, being aware of our bodily stress sensations can be one of many factors to effective stress management.
TWO: Get Back Into Alignment
Second, we have to become familiar with being in a relaxed state (yin). Some practices to get you back into alignment with yourself include:
- Long walks
- Being in nature (mine is the park)
- Appreciating art and music
- Time alone in silence without technology
- Meditation and prayer
- Socialising with an uplifting group
Why Is It Important:
I’ve studied and taught in the field of personal and professional development for nearly 20 years, and being true to your soul – whatever and however your belief system defines it, is imperative to stress management and overall life happiness.
1. Psychologically, if a person is not in alignment with their soul’s calling, it creates cognitive dissonance. We will become disconnected to ourselves and in the process, begin to ‘lose’ ourselves in overwork, extremely packed social lives, trying to ‘keep up with the Jones’, unhealthy codependent relationships etc. It takes a long time to rediscover who you really are and have to undo many of your life’s intricate façades before we ‘find’ the long-neglected you again. It’s a heartbreaking journey that’s doable – and I guide clients through this with The LIFE H System™ everyday, but it is not for the faint hearted and well worth the journey to your soul.
2. Spiritually, if a person is not in alignment, God will keep using events to create disaccord in your soul until you finally do. These will come at first as soft whispers, before it gradually becomes as large as a divorce or death of a loved one before we realise the preciousness of our short lives. Maybe, it may come as late as being on the deathbed to realise that you were living somebody else’s life all along.
Lighten The Load to The 3-Spheres of Life™
Using the first and foundational step in The LIFE H System™ in three aspects of life. Through this process, clients uncover what their Life Essentials are and over the whole process, discover their soul’s calling in The 3-Spheres of Life (Surroundings, Self-Image, Soul).
THREE: Lighten The Load: Surroundings
1. Our environment has a physical and psychological impact on us. It has a psychological impact on us, because each item that does not have a permanent place to go back to, means that it has become a delayed decision and physical to-do.
2. A cluttered environment can make us feel closed and stressed.
3. It can be cathartic to declutter and lighten the load to our surrounding space that makes us relaxed rather than add to our stress load.
Why Is This Important:
This links to our self-image and soul as a cluttered space restricts our full expression of our full potential.
FOUR: Lighten The Load: Self-Image
1. Our self-image can have an impact on what we do and don’t do based on the fear of what others might think of us. This can create unnecessary stress on our schedule and psyche that may not be contributing to our soul’s calling.
2. When we say, ‘yes’ to somebody when we really want to say, ‘no’, it means we are saying, ‘no’ to ourselves.
Why Is This Important:
Naturally, this self-image that is not in alignment with our soul creates a disconnect that may manifest itself in harmful excessive addictive behaviour.
FIVE: Lighten The Load: Soul
1. Our soul when it is burdened with harmful behaviour that has become an addiction becomes heavy with stress. When I speak of addictions, these include the modern day ones including phone addictions, shopaholic behaviour, excessive gossip and workaholism.
2. The sole ‘need’ for an external boost becomes the addiction instead of the living from your internal soul’s calling.
Why Is This Important:
This can create a waterfall effect on our self-image, surroundings and manifest in heartbreaking circumstances as outlined above with divorce or death and physical illnesses.
If there is one thing to take away from this article, it is this.
Stress is not necessarily bad when it is in balance. We are conditioned to think that stress is bad, but what western society really means is persistent stress over long periods of time without any relaxation.
Excessive stress leads to illnesses and painful circumstances because we are not living in alignment with our soul’s calling.
I am passionate about helping individuals lighten their load to uncover their soul’s calling, so if this spoke to you, I encourage you to book a time to speak with me on a private 1:1 Life-Balance Assessment Session to get clear on your life direction and concrete steps you can take to achieve your life-balance.
I open up only a handful of slots each month to celebrate action-takers. This month, there will be three slots and it’s a first come, first serve basis. There’s no catch, only that you qualify for this free session valued at US$1,200.
You can find out more here: https://lifehabitsconsulting.as.me/lifebalance
See you next week!