Are you used to being stressed out?
Seriously. Are you?
I used to be highly addicted to crazy stress. It made me feel alive. Until it made me very sick.
I have a friend I rarely see these days that reminds me of me a decade ago. This friend pushes to the limits, but not out of necessity. This friend is quite brilliant, things come very easily to him, and, as a consequence he pushes himself into a state of extreme stress to feel as though he is accomplishing something massive.
This, he tells me, makes him feel like he’s getting things done.
Frequently sick, tired, tempermental, tense… none of these side effects of this kind of self-abusing stress are necessary. But, they are a kind of addiction.
We all have certain ways we have become addicted to a bit of stress. Some of it- motivation, challenge- is actually uplifting.
Where to draw the line is the grey area of interest. After all, it is not positive stress when you can barely wake up in the morning, you are loaded with caffiene, having anxiety attacks, feel like you are on a roller coaster and find less joy in your days. If your health is suffering, your relationships are in limbo and your world is a haze, this type of stress is tearing your life to shreds.
Some people say I am too “soft’ and irrational and wrong to think that anyone can actually accomplish anything great without massive stress involved. Well, that’s their addiction. And it is not serving them.
If you have accepted a certain type of extreme stress as normal or virtuous, here are a few ideas to help you to let it go!
Here are some feng shui’d ideas to kick your stress addiction!
Irrational worries. You know, the worry that an asteroid may hit the Earth soon (it might!) or, simply, pretty hysterical worries. I’m no therapist, but these seem to go hand-in-hand in my life with physical anxiety and disorganization.
While a therapist is your best bet to unwind the mental cycle, you can get rid of a lot of free-floating anxiety by geting rid of clutter and truly organizing your life. It may take some time to get organized, but you will root out a lot of hte stuff that makes you feel unsettled by creating clear space!
The Perfectionist Stress. I am definitely still a Perfectionist in recovery. Maybe we can never fully shake our nature to want things as best as they can be, but true perfectionsm doesn’t allow you to move forward with freedom to create things in a fluid way. It strangles art. It stifles life. It puts things in a waiting game until they are more perfect.
Ugh, its such a seemingly noble form of intense stress!
- Making more art as a practice- without judgement- is a big way to dissipate perfectionist stress. Art is all about accidents! Embrace making more mistakes and unique lines and splashes of color that are the finest of imperfection.
- Try a fountain! The flow of water will help you to stay more open to flow and emotional well-being, devoid of heavy pushing and tension.
Physical tension. Physical tension can also lead to emotional stress! If you are used to pushing your body to the limit for any reason- work or play- make sure you have a way to get your equilibrium back.
- Earth tones at home can help you to dissipate physical tension. Yellows are associated with the health area of the bagua and bring sunshine to a space.
- EAT. Not eating well or enough causes enormous physical stress and emotional duress. Drinking more water is also extremely helpful.
- And give some bodywork a try. You can venture into the wilds of bodywork like Polarity Therapy, try some acupuncture or even just get a basic massage to get the energy flowing. An epsom salt bath is something most amyone can try.
And, for extra enrichment today, here are two of my favorites suggestions from Dr. Judith Orloff’s blog post, Surrender Your Addiction To Stress:
Relationship Stress—Show Compassion, Relinquish Control
Yelling at your spouse, partner, or children won’t relieve your stress. The key is to stay calm, no matter what buttons your loved one has pushed. Don’t react or get defensive, and allow the other person to finish talking. Let what they say sink in before you respond. Substitute compassion for control. Accept where they’re coming from.
Time-Related Stress—Let Nature Calm You
The American culture rushes people through life, work, and relationships. We don’t allow ourselves enough time to let things happen at their own pace, and surrender to the flow. Take time stressors to go outside and focus on a cloud, watch it drift, and notice its changing shape. Let the air rush through and around you and clear out your mind. Drink a glass of water and take a relaxing shower to cleanse the negativity and work deadlines from your system. These calming exercises can help your rushing mind slow down and gain perspective. (you can read the whole excellent article HERE!)
While every single one of these is a vast subject in and of itself, when you do take action to make things better, they do get better! Allow yourself to let things go that are in the way of harmony. Trust in your life and in yourself a bit more.
The weirdest thing that happens when you unload stress that has become a habit: you may find yourself with unsettling peace and uncomfortable amounts of freedom. Seriously. In addictive stress, these ideas of parasise grow rare and unfamiliar. Let yourself warm up to the fact that this is the new normal.
A fun exercise: take a picture of yourself in your usually daily routine. Every day for a few weeks take steps to de-stress your stress habits. Every day, around the same time, snap a photo of yourself. I would love to see how the photos change over a few weeks of unwinding. They always do!
We present our energy to the world. Let’s make it great! xoxo Dana
The Joy Immersion : 30 Day Negativity Detox is a commitment to happy-making, mirror-polishing, life-lifting and simple space shifting for 30 days. It’s loaded with lots of actions (some you may know even if you’ve never fully-practiced them, some you’ve likely never seen or heard of…!) that can help you detox from your own negative beliefs, baggage and the haze of heaviness, uncovering more of your greatness and light.
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