Posts Tagged ‘meditation’

How to Handle Stress: The Essential Elements

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

The following is a copy of an article written by my sister and posted on http://www.deeper meditation.net. I hope this will help you deal with the stress we incur everyday.

How often do you exclaim, “I’m so stressed out!”? Stress is a commonality that is all too familiar but often overlooked as a serious symptom of disease. The reality is that stress is the #1 risk factor for disease. With studies showing that stress leads to obesity, heart disease, depression, anxiety, hypothyroidism, immune deficiency, etc., why is it that we are still so stressed out?

I believe it is that we are not taught as children how to handle stress properly. We learn to mimic our parents’ behavior, which was not always a healthy choice! Instead of realizing that stress is something that happens inside a person, we see it as an attack against our homeostasis and defend it at all costs. Stress typically arises because of our beliefs about how things ‘should be’ and not necessarily the situation at hand, and often it is self-inflicted.

In my 16 years experience as a Massage Therapist, I have found that most of my clients come to me because they are internalizing their stress. Instead of letting it out, they hold it in and that energy transmutes into a physical pain or disease. Massage is a great way to release it from the body because the pressure receptors in the skin convey a message back to the brain to release the energy and send out endorphins to relieve the pain.

However, we should not always rely on someone else to relieve our stress. If we never learn how to adequately handle stress so that it doesn’t get trapped in our bodies, stress will never go away. It just gets transmuted into something more difficult to deal with that we find no way of escaping, such as a debilitating disease.

If stress is self-inflicted, how do we stop the cycle? First answer these questions:

1. Do you create deadlines for yourself, like having company over so the house must be clean by a certain time?

2. Do you worry about what people will think before you act or speak?

3. Do you volunteer for things even though you really don’t have the time?

4. Do you do things even though the little voice inside you is saying, “No, don’t do it!”

5. Do you allow others to control your time because you are too ‘nice’? For example, getting trapped in conversation you really don’t have time for.

6. Do you get enough rest, eat right and exercise as you should?

If you answered “Yes” to any of the first five questions, consider this: “Who puts you first?”

The primary way to adequately handle stress is to begin to make time for YOU. Realize that without your health there will be none of ‘you’ to go around. Stop taking on extra projects or putting pressure on yourself. You will be AMAZED how the universe will open up opportunities for you to take care of yourself when you make the decision to do so.

Helpful techniques for handling stress and getting the energy OUT of your body

1. Talk it out with someone or scream at the top of your lungs. That feels REALLY good! (Just don’t scream at your children!)

2. Crying is a great vehicle for relieving stress. It doesn’t mean you are weak!

3. Deep Breathing works by carrying oxygen to the cells so they can detoxify.

4. Exercise/Stretching is necessary to release the tension and pain in the muscles.

5. Meditation is a great way to clear and relax the mind. It just takes some practice.

6. Visualizations are a handy tool for handling stress. They can range from comedic skits about the situation to visions of paradise on a tropical island. Either way, they are great at tricking the mind into believing whatever you want.

7. Hot water baths are awesome for loosening muscles and granting “Me-Time”.

8. Realizing your limitations is a tough one, but a little humility goes a long way.

9. And, of course, plain old Laughter is and always will be the best medicine for handling stress!

Finally, I have found the use of pure essential oil aromatherapy to be a very effective means of handling stress. These oils work on the body and mind at the same time and can be used for numerous maladies related to stress. These include depression, anxiety, impatience, IBS, allergies, headaches, physical pain, nausea, fatigue, insomnia, low immune system and the list goes on.Essential oils work so well because the sense of smell connects with memory centers in the brain, wherein the memory evokes a physical response. Over the past decade I have developed a line of scents to balance the body based on ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic principles. My blends work to balance the mood by affecting the elements in the body. For example, if you have too much “Fire” you will need a water, earth or wood scent to calm you down. If you are a thinker, you are too “Metal” and will need a fire, water or wood scent to open your heart. Your scent needs will vary daily as your mood changes. I find it helpful to keep your favorite scents on hand so you will always be balanced.

The ulterior benefit to using these blends is that they will also boost your immune system! The scent you wear may also work on those close to you so they will also be balanced. Next time you’re stressed, mist some “Happy” in the air and watch what happens!

Whatever you choose to do, the thing to remember is to find balance. Too much of one thing really is too much. Balance is the key to a stress-less life!

Jakki Wienecke is a Stress & Pain Management Specialist, Author of the self-help book, Follow the Signs, owner of the Divine Creations Aromatherapy line of products to heal and balance the body and founder of PRISM Wellness. She has spent the last 16 years working to educate the public about the benefits of natural therapies such as massage therapy, acupuncture, nutrition, chiropractic, aromatherapy, yoga and natural skin care. From dance/Pilates instructor to her work as a Massage Therapist to her guidebook for a purposeful life, she has always worked to bring joy to others. Information about her workshops and products can be found at www.DC-Aroma.com. 410-399-9737