3 steps to release yourself from anxiety and stress
Updated: Aug 15, 2022
In the midst of my most stressful years, I had no idea there was a way to train the mind and body to respond to stress in a different way. I unknowingly allowed my negative mind to take over the controls of my thought process and steer me down a path of mental and physical pain. I suffered from feeling inadequate, not trusting my inner and outer voice and this manifested physically as jaw pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and the teeth unconsciously grinding at night, eventually crescendoing into anxiety attacks when I felt life’s circumstances were too much to handle. The pressure of life was winning over my health and I was allowing this to happen, unaware of the price to pay down the road. Unaware that I could change my habitual thought patterns.
Our health is precious and especially in modern times where nobody is looking out for our own health besides (perhaps) our closest loved ones, we have to be our own best advocates. Even as well meaning as close friends and family can be, we are the only ones inside our bodies and minds. We are the only ones truly responsible for our own health and understand what makes us feel a certain way and why. Ultimately, we can’t eliminate stress from our lives, it will always be there. We can’t force someone in our lives who irritates us to act a certain way that fits our expectations, and we can’t always stop our negative spirals if we aren’t even aware of what we are thinking or understand that there are alternatives.
Three important things to understand on the path to transforming stress are:
1) Be aware of your thoughts.
Do you know how often you are repeating the same negative thoughts in your mind each day? Meditation casts a spotlight on these repetitive thoughts so that we can become aware of the atmosphere our subconscious mind that will eventually manifest into our physical and mental reality.
2) Know that there is a choice how to respond to your thought patterns.
Once you identify your thought patterns, know that there indeed is a method to change them to benefit your health and well-being. You are not doomed to being a victim of your negative thoughts for the rest of your life. Meditation casts the light of awareness to the subconscious and a Yoga or Qigong practice moves energy through the body with the intention of unblocking stress and negativity to make way for healthy, flowing energy. Taking responsibility for our own actions and thoughts is an important realization on the path to freedom from stress.
3) Train your body and mind with daily practice to learn to respond to stress in a way that benefits your health.
A sporadic or weekly practice doesn’t do much to strengthen your automatic responses to stressful situations. You need to work at changing the subconscious and it is through repetition of positivity that you can eventually win over the negative mind and ultimately land in a more neutral mindset. Just as an athlete trains the physical muscles, coordination and mindset daily, we all can benefit from a similar daily training. Nothing comes just by reading a book or wishing it to be so, it takes effort.
Every single day we make the effort to unravel our automatic reactions to the environment and eventually, we can begin to understand that there is a choice to be made in many situations that we used to react unhealthily towards.
I can ask myself now after years of daily practice:
Do I give into my anxiety in this situation? I feel fear, I don’t feel as good as I would like to be. No, today I am strong enough through my efforts and I don’t need my negative mind in this particular situation. I understand that the negative mind is there to help me in certain situations, but today I choose to trust in myself and I will move forward, put negative mind to the side for now and choose to serve my best self.
An important question to always ask yourself in any stressful situation is: are my actions/thoughts serving my best self?
Make jumping into a daily practice easy by joining The 7 Energies series of 40 Day Challenges starting on Sept. 10. Registration is open until Sept 4, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to train your brain to be free from the chains of stress!