Thank you for joining me to explore how to release stress and feel more ease-filled and happy!
Here are the Week 1 practices we learned to stop toxic stress in your body:
Release Stored Stress & Trauma:
Follow along with this video to help release stress, tension, and trauma in the body. Try it daily for 5 days and see how you feel.
Find Immediate Calm:
This practice helps you interrupt the body’s stress response, so that you can feel calmer and respond better to the needs of the moment instead of just reacting.
Follow the Exhale
Balance & Heal:
The fastest way to restore harmony in your mind and body is to re-set your most basic rhythm and movement – the breath. This practice helps you breathe more fully so that you can find lasting calm and ease.
For this week, look at all the ways you use stress in your life, learn your habits, then make new choices.
Step 1: Highlight the Benefits
List all of the benefits being stressed gives you. Get creative – things like an excuse not to exercise or to eat poorly, a way to bond with co-workers, something to talk about with friends, a sense of importance when you’re not sure your life really matters, etc.
Write down as many as you can imagine, even if you are not convinced they are playing out for you.
Step 2: Get Clear on the Costs
Now list all the ways stress hurts you: health issues, sleep challenges, arguments with loved ones, special moments missed because your mind is racing, etc. Actually write it out. It is important to see both the benefits and the costs written by your own hand on paper.
Get intimately clear on all the ways being stressed hurts you, controls you, and robs you of opportunities and experiences you want to have.
Step 3: Choose
It seems like it should be an easy decision to choose feeling good over feeling stressed, but there is also a price to changing. It takes effort to break habits and – as you listed – there are benefits to staying the same. The following practice will help you gauge your commitment and hone in on where to start feeling more calm and in control.
Review your two lists one at a time:
– For each cost listed, decide if you are still willing to pay that price. Next to each line, mark your desire to be done with it on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “I’m still available for this” and 10 being “I’m so done with this!”. For further exploration, journal about why you are still available to the ones you rated 5 or below.
– For each benefit, mark a “yes” or “no” if you need that benefit in your life. If the answer is “yes”, brainstorm other ways you might achieve it that don’t threaten your health.
Step 4: Take Action
Now that you are clear on what you want and what you are no longer willing to tolerate, it’s time to make some changes! Habits can be strong because they slide through the cracks of your awareness, i.e. you do them without thinking about them. The best offense is to notice how your old stress habits pop up throughout your day, take a deep breath in and out, then make a different choice.
You may not know what other response to choose in beginning, but have faith that even pausing to laugh at your own confusion is better than continuing to hurt yourself with the negative effects of stress. Learning anything for the first time – or re-learning it – inherently implies you won’t be perfect, so allow yourself to explore new options. You know you’re on the right track when you feel good, ease-filled, happy, lighter, or more calm.
Below you’ll find the 5 practices we learned in Week 3 to feel centered in who you are and want to be, so that you have clear boundaries and feel in control of your life.
These practices are based on two fundamental beliefs:
1. You have the right to your own feelings.
2. You get to create space for those feelings to thrive, feel welcome, and be honored.
When you learn to use these practices and embody the belief that your feelings are okay, then no one can shake you. You cannot be wobbled by those who deny or argue with your truth.
Click on the image below to download the Affirmations Handout.
The next time you are listening to someone talk, pay attention to your own breath as you listen. This practice helps you become aware of your own reactions, as well as the space between you, the speaker, and the subject. In this space, you have the power to make decisions about how you want to respond.
Creating Your Bubble