Stress. Stress can be overwhelming and even debilitating. It can cause headaches, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and negatively affect our immune system. Obviously, we all know that stress isn’t good for us physically or mentally. However, how do we keep stress from manifesting itself into our daily lives?
Life Is About Choices
The great American philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, wrote a letter to his daughter who was worried over a mistake she’d made. This is what it said:
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders, losses, and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.
Emerson’s quote serves as a reminder to us that we must give ourselves permission to make a few mistakes, be imperfect, and “fall off of the wagon” from time to time. Accept what you were able to accomplish and leave yesterday in the past. Do not let stress and mishaps prevent you from moving forward.
In an article that appeared in Medical News Today, discusses how “Stress, in everyday terms, is a feeling that people have when they are overloaded and struggling to cope with demands. These demands can be related to finances, work, relationships, and other situations, but anything that poses a real or perceived challenge or threat to a person’s well-being can cause stress.”
You may not always be able to control what happens in your daily life, but you can practice healthy habits to manage stress.
17 Ways You To Mindfully Reduce Stress in Your Life
- Go to bed on time. What does that look like? I can imagine watching T.V. until nearly midnight is not what we had in mind.
- Get up a few minute earlier than planned and take some time to be silent, meditate and visualize how your day is going to be great.
- Learn to say “no”. Say no to projects that won’t fit into your time schedule, your vision, or may compromise your mental and emotional health.
- Allow others to help you. If they did’t want to help, they shouldn’t have asked. And that my friend is not your concern.
- Allow extra time. Cutting it close or under budgeting time because you think that will make others happy will eventually backfire. Consider allowing more time and getting there or done early. Now that is a bonus!
- Have a back up. Have a back up plan, a back up car key, a back up babysitter, a back up ride home. Anything. We think that takes too much time to prepare. But imagine how long it takes to find something that was never planned for?
- K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble, concern and pain. Ask yourself: “is what I am about to say helping or hurting”? And go from there.
- Eat right. Start with one right choice. An apple. A glass of water. No need to bulldoze your life today. Just add in one new food or simply drink more water and see where it takes you.
- Listen to relaxing music, or guided meditations. Choose uplifting or motivating broadcasts or shows. Stay away from music, broadcasts and entertainment that only causes more pain, confusion, agitation, and anger. You can choose what you listen to.
- Laugh. Every single day. Laugh. Laugh so hard you cry. And better yet, laugh with a friend. Laughter releases endorphins that you desperately need to stay happy.
- Keep a gratitude journal. When is the last time you really stopped and reflected on all you have to be grateful for. The news and social media do a good job of showing us where we are imperfect and lacking. Remind yourself you have so much to be grateful for.
- Surround yourself with people who lift you up rather than tear you down.
- Take ONE DEEP BREATH before you say or do anything more.
- Be kind to unkind people. Kindness matters. Being kind doesn’t mean you agree with them, or even want to be their best friend. But if you won’t be kind, then who will be?
- Slow down. Most of us are all in overdrive in multiple areas of our lives. What’s the hurry? What if you will get there at the exact right time, every time?
- Live within your budget. It’s not something we all want to hear. And there are times in life you need to take a leap. But when is the last time you wrote down all your expenses and asked yourself “is this necessary? what value does this bring to my life”? Hard truth, most of it is unconscious spending and as a result we are unable to afford the essentials.
- Meditate, pray, practice yoga. You don’t have to do them all. But when is the last time you unplugged with something that will plug you back in?
Finding the best mindful stress relief strategies may take some time. Don’t give up if one doesn’t work; Simply move on and try another. However, it’s important to keep looking for the tools that will help you manage life’s ups and downs in a healthy way. Keeping stress at a manageable level is important for your overall well-being.
Surround yourself with people that support you in your journe and leave those that don’t, behind. You won’t regret it.
Stepping off the struggle bus: 3 steps to getting off.
Struggle has become a household word. And for some…a badge of honor.
It seems in today’s world we are all striving to “get somewhere”. And there is nothing wrong with that!
Having goals, hopes and dreams keeps one motivated, focused and driven.
But what happens when you find yourself stuck on the struggle bus?
What do you do when you just don’t know what to do next?
Everything is blurry, overwhelming, and just too big to handle?
I use to spin my wheels and struggle (and still do on several occasions), hide in the comforts of what was familiar, easy, and “going good”.
But within those gates I would complain, cry and do I dare say pout about how I felt like I constantly had one foot on the struggle bus, and that I “couldn’t” get it off.
I’ve been an entrepreneur all my adult life!
I was taught to grind (in a sense that struggle was the way and method), to put your head down and keep going.
And for most of my life that has served me well in the notion that I don’t give up easy.
But now almost 35, I have realized that it’s perfectly OK to hop off the struggle bus and see what else is out there. Who else is out there, and what other buses are driving around to… HELP? And even if I fall stepping off, I’m at least off.
See it’s funny, I was never really taught collaboration and that there are truly others out there who WANT to help you.
See, I was taught survival.
And clawing my way out of an eating disorder, survival was essential.
But there comes a time when you evolve past that and need, and you begin to step out of survival mode.
Or at least you begin to see you that you want to do that.
That process for me. Stepping out and off the struggle bus was HARD!
I’d get one foot off and freak out and grip the struggle bus tighter. Even though I hated it, it was comfortable and familiar, and I did not want to have to go out there and “figure it all out” all over again… Talk about overwhelm.
So when I started taking my teaching to a larger audience both off and online I wanted to remove all the barriers of entry.
I want to collaborate with you, help you off the struggle bus, and I’ve been, there so let me remove all the “I can’t do this” objections.
Do you want to know what I found…
What I discovered when I started to reach out to help others?
The same thing I did to countless people when they tried to reach out to me. People didn’t do it. They still didn’t come to class, invest in themselves, in what I had essentially created just for them.
I had paved the way (just like others did for me).
Did they not want it?
Was their grip too tight, just like mine to the struggle bus?
Did they too have one foot off just enough to feel free, but comfortable at the same time?
In the last 20 years of my life I have discovered one vital thing…You can’t make someone grow, step off the bus, or even look up at the horizon if they are not ready.
I remember a time when I was that very person. Nothing my parents, my school teachers, my counselor could say was going to change my mind and my ways. I liked the struggle bus. I did. It was comfortable, predictable, familiar, and as horrible as it was for my well-being, it made me just happy enough to limp by in life.
I don’t want that for you.
When I see someone struggling, I see myself flash before my own eyes, reminding me of my own struggle and how essential it SITLL is to keep pressing forward and surrounding myself with others, ideas and tools that help me to press on and stay off the struggle bus.
Here are my 3 best tips for stepping off the struggle bus:
1. Invest in yourself. Misery loves company and when you are caught in that cycle of struggle, your inner state will often refuse help, ideas, and making any kind of positive investment in yourself. You’ll find reasons also known as excuses to not do things like take a yoga class, invest in a workshop or online course, or even something as simple as take a nap or vent to a close friend. Step one to stepping off the struggle bus is to believe you are worth the time and investment. And if you don’t, do it anyway.
2. Pick your friends wisely. They (not sure who “they” is) say you are the accumulation of the 5 people you most frequently surround yourself with. So, make a list and see with your own eyes who those people are. Stepping off the struggle bus is all about coming to reality with where your life is right now. And then beginning to make those decisions as to how to move forward.
3. Call yourself out on your excuses. I started to notice that whenever someone would suggest something to me, offer me an opportunity or the most perfect program or offering came my way I would always tell myself some excuse I would disguise as a “reason” as to why I couldn’t do that or have that.
I challenge you to call yourself out on those moments then trace it back. So, I began to ask myself on those occasions “Why Hope, why can’t you”. And what I discovered is all those moments (yes, I said all) traced back to unworthiness and fear. Nothing real and legitimate. If it was about money, it was really about a fear I had around money not thinking I deserved it. Or I would hype my life up that I am “so busy” that I just don’t have the time to do such a thing, which in all reality I wasn’t willing to make the time and put myself out there that I was of value and worthy. I challenge you to try this and free yourself by stepping off the struggle bus right now.
This message may have hit a chord with you, and if it has, I want to welcome you to the first steps of stepping off the struggle bus and beginning to open your eyes to the idea that you are a rock star!
And as you begin to step off, if by chance you are ready to look up, I’ll be waiting here.
Having removed all the barriers as to why you can’t step off with my personally crafted programs made just for you (well, in all honesty, just for me, because most people create great things based on their own struggles, breakthroughs, and divine moments).
Want to take a look? Just hop on over HERE and take a look. Whose ready to step off the struggle bus and make a change?