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3 ways to embrace and reduce stress


peace photo


3 ways to embrace and reduce stress

I find life very stressful these days. There seems to be less time to enjoy life and most of my time is spent rushing about trying to complete chores and ticking off items on my to-do list. I know I am not alone as many people that I speak to seem to be sharing a similar experience. When did we let it get to this? Stress seems to be an integral part of modern day living. I have found a way that helps me to feel less stressed in the moment and here it is:

1) Acceptance

I have often found myself resisting what is happening in my life. I get angry at the injustice as I see around me, I feel sorry for myself at times and feel frustrated when life doesn’t turn out as I hoped it would. In the past I have spent countless hours resisting ‘what is’. I am getting better at accepting what is going on in my life rather than wishing I had a different life. This does not mean that I have become passive but it does mean that I have stopped resisting the reality that I am experiencing. Acceptance has a lot to do with acknowledging what is going on. Once we accept the true nature of our experience we can begin to create a realistic plan.

2) Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a tricky skill to to master. It requires that we calm our busy brains and focus our attention on the present moment. I find this incredibly hard to do because my mind is always wandering off. Mainly I worry about the future and can get myself into a right tizz over possibilities that may never come to be. Mindfulness ensures that we enjoy the present moment and the present moment is all that we really have. Touch, taste, see, hear and smell everything around you. Engage your senses in the present moment.

3) Detach from negative thinking

Our thoughts create our emotions. If our thoughts are negative and full of worry, our behaviour will be in line with this thinking and our focus will be on our fears and insecurities. Learning to detach from our thoughts is a skill that can be learned. When you find yourself thinking a negative thoughts such as, “I will never find someone to love me”, immediately challenge it. Ask yourself where the evidence is for this thought and check whether there is an alternative way to view the particular problem or issue.

There is a saying: “when you are in your own mind, you are in enemy territory”. This saying is so true. Our thoughts can lead us to heaven or hell. Learn to separate your thoughts from the reality. Thoughts are often based upon our own insecurities and false assumptions.

I have found the above three strategies very useful. When I am in the middle of an anxious phase I stop myself and I mentally go through the above three strategies. I have found them to be very effective in lessening my anxiety and I hope you receive the same benefits.

Mandy X




Ascend (Photo credit: Billy Wilson Photography)


For some reason I have always been able to see life from a distance. I liken it to watching a large anthill. Seeing the ants rushing about, carrying food along and carrying out their daily routines oblivious to the larger world that exists around them. The many fields with more anthills all around them. All that exists for these ants is their anthill and along with that awareness comes a limited perspective on what it is really all about.

I’m not saying that I believe in aliens but I often look at our planet and see all the conflict among us, on a micro level between friends and family and on a larger scale where countries, religions and political parties are involved. I wonder if we would all manage to put aside our differences if we were attacked by some unknown outside force.

This overarching perspective has helped me to transcend the petty small issues of daily living. The more we keep our eye on the really important stuff the less significant the small troubles seem.

Tips for maintaining perspective:

1) When going through a tough time, remind yourself that whatever you experiencing will not last forever. See it as an opportunity to show yourself how strong and resilient you can be.

2) Think about how you will feel tomorrow, one week from now or a few months from now. Whatever seems insurmountable in the present often isn’t such a big deal when we look back on it.

3) Keep a sense of humour and always remember that there are others worse off that you. Be aware of all the good in your life to counteract negative thinking.

4) Take time out, remove yourself from the situation if possible. Sometimes a change in scenery is all we need to encourage fresh perspectives.

5) Think about why whatever you are going through is NOT a problem. This encourages logical rational thinking and takes the emotion out of the equation. Emotions lead us to distort reality.

Perspective helps to maintain equilibrium and encourages a healthy detachment from current woes. Meditation helps to maintain perspective and calm a busy brain. Try not to get caught up in the moment when you are feeling emotionally vulnerable or overwhelmed.

Mandy X

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