I am a monster when I am stressed. I hate it. I feel like I am getting a handle on it and then BAM something shitty happens (like two houses flooding at the exact same time) that’s hard and I feel like I turn into a two year old having a tantrum. And then I get embarrassed by my behaviour and feel like a dip shit. Stress literally takes over me. I swear it’s a hormonal thing that I have yet to get to the bottom of but I will figure this thing out one of these days. (Think adrenals, pms, lack of sleep.)
It is hard as a yoga teacher to admit that I get beyond stressed to the point where I literally scream at the chair that I just stubbed my toe on because it was in the way because I didn’t have the energy nor desire to empty my laundry basket and put my lovely yoga clothes in the closet where they belong. I’m messy, and more often than not I cannot find matching socks. It annoys the snot out of me, but truth be told I don’t like folding laundry. I’m not good at that either.
The point being here that when I feel stressed and overwhelmed a dark fog of stress droplets cloud my vision and disable my ability to see joy in the little things and to be appreciative of all of the amazing things and people in my life that deep down I really am overwhelmingly grateful for. In fact stress clouds my vision so much so that sometimes I even lose sight of the humanity of the person sitting next to me. This is big. This is a big no no. I’m working extra super hard on this one. (ex. NOT snapping when supper isn’t made because he didn’t read my mind and know that he was supposed to make it. UGH. How dare he, lowly human.)
Why stress? Why must you enter this way? Just when everything was getting better, feeling better, looking better….BAM you hit like a snow storm in April. Why why why?!!!
I am still trying to figure out the best way to actively manage stress in my life. I am happy to report that I am continuously and more often than not consciously getting better. I thought I would share a few tips and strategies for what I do when I am in the right frame of mind to proactively reduce stress and also what I sometimes do when I have a moment of clarity in the middle of a stress storm.
1. Exercise. I mean aerobically kick the snot out of myself to the point where I am dripping and drenched and feeling AMAZING. Endorphins baby, they work.
2. Meditate. This one is hard on my own; I find it much easier to lead a meditation or to be in a group of people meditating. In fact a collective group of like-minded meditators (meditatetees?) can really jazz me up and be quite a profound experience. (Side note: last week I was at the Yoga Conference studying with Richard Miller learning about iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation and a group of us yogis, maybe 100 people starting sounding with some ahhs and ehhs and it was AMAZING. Just saying.... it’s worth getting some peeps together to OM....get over it Ego just try it...no really...try it...OMMMM.)
3. Breathe. Do any kind of breathing exercise that works for you. Three part breath, alternate nostril (not my fave), Ujjayi Breath (TOTALLY my fave) and just get to it. I like this one because you have to breathe anyways so you may as well make the most of it! The neato thing about the breathing thing is that it takes you right out of your head and right into your body. Brain changer. Literally.
4. Call a friend. I mean it. Learn to ask for help and lean on people that are strong enough to take it. Pick the people who don’t judge you and who know the difference between an “I need help” and “I need to vent”. That’s important. Or, learn to premise your call for help with “ I need help with (insert specific action or task)” and “ I just need you to listen, be a sounding board – I don’t need anything but an ear”. This can really help the person on the other side of the phone too because let’s face it, it’s so hard not to jump into fixing mode, but it becomes easier to “fix” when we know all we need to do is listen.
5. Write about it. Paint about it. Whatever. Just get it out somehow! Maybe dance around the room to Madonna, I don’t know what you need to do to get it out but you do, so do it!
Okay, I was feeling super stressed before I sat down to write this and now I am already feeling a million times better. Maybe that’s because I also did number 1, 2,4 and 5 today! Ooooh I have to go and work on number 3! Perfect, just in time for bed and wind down time!
What helps you when you’re stressed? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks! Comment below or share on my facebook post!
Hi...me again....if you feel like you would like some further help managing stress....I'm available for hire. But really though. Thai Yoga Bodywork, Reiki, Yoga, Yoga Nidra Meditation and Wellness Coaching. Shoot me an email at email@example.com and we can chat!
Also I just can't leave my blog without saying that when I referred to the "lowly human" above it was pure satire and sarcasm I do in fact have the most amazingly supportive partner EVER. Just had to say it....cause the stress monster wouldn't.