Thank you for coming to this page. I have 2 things to share:
1. A simple meditation how-to video and 2. If you keep scrolling I share 5 more tips on ways to actively destress and reduce overwhelm.
One of these is meditation. As you scroll down below you'll also see I'm sharing direct access to the mini e-book called Learn to Meditate. I hope these tools and resources are helpful for you :)
If you're reading this you might be looking for ways to shed some stress from your life and find some tools to help release stress once it hits.
After all, stress is something we all experience to varying degrees, often on a daily basis. It could be a simple stressful moment when we can't find our keys and we're already 5 minutes late to leave. It could be the stress of an unexpected flat tire, an insurmountable number of projects at work with an inbox that keeps overflowing. It could be the stress that inevitably comes with relationships or other's expectations of us.
Whatever is causing stress in our environment, the moment that we can become aware of it is the moment we can begin to shift our state. This is important so that our stress doesn't get so out of balance that it leads to a panic attack or a full on shut down.
Learning to respond to stress is important if we want to live happier, more productive and sane lives!
We cannot turn off the chaos around us. We can make some choices about how to create an environment that supports our wellness. Even then, external circumstances will test us, and specifically our nervous system.
Stress is a broad term that has a wide range of meanings for different people. What is stressful for me can be a breeze for somebody else, and what's a walk in the park for me can wreck havoc for somebody else. This is why it is important to take some time for self-reflection to determine for ourselves—what are the indicators that let you know you're stressed?
For too many people, the first signs of stress can get bypassed as we keep plunging forward at a go-go pace.
Often we won't recognize stress until our nervous system has already peaked past it's healthy threshold and we may find ourselves acting out of character, experiencing physical symptoms such as a stomachache or headache or neck pain or where we find ourselves in a state of total collapse, also known as shut down.
In a way this is our nervous system protecting us. However it can really take a toll on our mental wellness and wellbeing.
Here are 5 simple tools to help you destress:
1. Start to become aware of the first signs of stress. For the next 3 days start a journal, or, if it's simpler use a note-function in your phone where you note down the signals and situations that cause you stress. Begin to pay attention to the signals that you're feeling stress. Hint: stress will usually show up in the body as a physiological response. Therefore, start paying attention to your body. It might be noticing when your shoulders are hunches, your forehead scrunched or your breathing being held. It might be a headache, or even a sense of wanting to hide or feeling like you'll collapse. The moment you start to notice the signs that stress has emerged write it down. In time you will notice the signs even faster.
2. Begin to take 5-10 deep breaths. You might begin a new habit by adding breathing into your morning routine. It might be a note you place on your computer to remind you to breathe (Especially in a moment where your head is beginning to spin and you're feeling overwhelmed). Although a simple tool it can be difficult to practice. I recommend that you do something that will help you remember to breathe. Whether it's placing a note on your wall, or setting an alarm on your phone. Whenever we begin a new habit, we often need supports around us to keep on track until the new habit becomes automated. (Duhigg 2012)
3. Get a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left, write out your priorities. On the right, write out how you're spending your time. You might want to keep this as an active-list where you chart it for a few days. You might notice that other people's urgencies are taking over your time, causing your priorities to take a backseat. You might find yourself procrastinating and doing other things. Since everything in life has a payoff, and if you find you are procrastinating or allowing urgencies to overtake your priorities, take some time to self-reflect and ask yourself why. See if there is a payoff in where your time goes (often unconscious until we self-reflect and become conscious). If we can become aware of what is taking our time and energy, and we recognize that some of these things are creating overwhelm, we can make choices to do less of the things that are not actually helping us move our priorities forward and shift our focus towards completing our priorities. Often unconscious self-sabotage can be riding shotgun and stopping our best intentions. In the process we can become overwhelmed and stressed out.
4. Get outside and get moving. Getting outside and in nature, or as close to nature as possible has healing benefits. Exercise is a simple way to release stress hormones and increase feel-good neurochemicals. Therefore, if you can exercise outside - whether a walk, run, hike, paddle, bike ride or anything else - it's healthy and supportive of your whole system and once of the best ways to shake off the stress.
5. Begin or continue to meditate. Meditation has so many proven benefits. However, all science aside - it's only through your direct experience that you can determine for yourself the benefits of integrating a meditation practice into your life. Whether you begin with 5 minutes, or have a longer practice of 15-20 minutes, setting an intention to make this a daily habit will have immense benefits which include focus, an ability to calm, increased awareness that spills into daily life, enhanced productivity (a byproduct of focus and calm) increased creativity and more. I've written more about this and share 4 step-by-step meditations in this e-book which I am sharing with you free. Click here to download it.
Bonus Tip: A Dose of Humour and Laughter. Whether you watch a standup comedy video (or in real life!), some other comedy, or simply find humour in the simple things in everyday life - laughter truly is strong medicine for the spirit and a great way to relive stress :)
Once again, here's the link to the meditation video: youtu.be/EZczwzlF8Jo
Remember there are many ways to meditate. Whether in silence, or listening to a guided meditation - by taking the time out of your day to be present with yourself and to stop doing, and start being - our life begins to shift. Our awareness increases, helping us be more conscious, alive, and awake so that we are better equipped to notice stress when it first starts, and quickly ground ourselves and do something to actively shake off the stress and release the cortisol (stress hormones) before our whole system goes out of balance.
I hope this was helpful and will love to hear your insights in the comments.
Duhigg, Charles, author. (2014). The power of habit : why we do what we do in life and business. New York :Random House Trade Paperbacks,