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Stress is a hot topic these days. With all the planetary, societal, political, and personal challenges we face, life is pretty… well, stressful.

Ever notice how negatively we judge stress? We saying things like, “How can I control my stress?” or “How can I get rid of it?”  

Now imagine the difference if you think about relieving and releasing your stress rather than controlling or getting rid of it. Can you see how the second relationship is more caring and loving?

It’s time to shift our mindset about stress. If we can focus on the ways we can liberate ourselves from stress, we’ll see greater health and expression in our lives.

Begin with Questions

Ask yourself the following:

  • What is my relationship with stress?
  • When I experience it, how is my mindset?
  • Do I add to my stress by analyzing, resisting, judging, and rejecting it?
  • Do I spend a lot of time focusing on my stress, trying to do something about it?

We all have habitual ways of dealing with stress. Our favorites are generally fussing, fretting, and getting all tied up in knots. The word stress actually comes from the Latin stringere, which means to draw tight. It’s a vicious cycle that generally intensifies the stress and tension rather than reducing it.

Shift Your Relationship With Stress

Absorb the following:

  • We’re all in the same boat; many of us are experiencing stress. We’re not alone and we can support one another.
  • We attribute our stress to something going on right now and often try to dissect it. However, our subconscious, our cells, even our ancestral lineages may be coming up to be cleansed from deep within us.
  • Our stress may not be just because of us; it may be more intense because of the energy of those around us or because of the planet’s mass consciousness. We are all interrelated and thus feel the effects of both lower and higher vibrations that contract (lower vibration) or expand (higher vibration).
  • Stress is a sign that we should take a new action that frees, expands, and awakens us to what life is offering.
  • We are all constantly creating through the actions we choose. We have the power to reinvent ourselves at any momentand that includes being  stress-free.

Move from Contraction into Expansion

Here are some actions we can take to free ourselves from stress, expand our energy, and create greater health and well-being. You can read more details about these and other actions in my book Less Stress More Success.

Among the many possibilities for stress-reducing action, I have chosen practices that relate to the heart because of its power to move out of contraction and into expansion. For more on this, I recommend reading the scientific research and articles published by the HeartMath Institute.

  • Conscious Breathing in the Heart. Bring your awareness to each inhale and exhale as you breathe through the nose. After several breaths, focus your attention on the heart and place your hands there. Notice any differences that this focus brings to your state and energy. As thoughts come, return to this focus.
  • Gratitude and Appreciation. These emotions naturally bring you into your heart, expanding your energy. Be thankful for someone or something in your life, by saying to yourself “I am thank you for ______.” Truly appreciate that person or situation for whatever you value about them, staying present and aware of their qualities and what they bring to your life.
  • Authentic Communication. When we truly express what we are feeling and come at it from the heart rather than the brain, stress dissolves. We can listen with our heart and be completely present with other people as they speak.
  • Creative Expression. When we are doing activities we really love—creatively expressing ourselves, for example—we are filled with joy, and stress has no room to exist. Take time to pursue hobbies and interests, play and discover, and express your creativity.
  • Community Togetherness. We are all transforming, evolving, and awakening. When we come together to practice and express ourselves as powerful creators, we serve one another, free ourselves, and expand our energy.

Awaken Yourself

There is no better time than now to check your relationship with stress. Shift your perspective and use your stress as a sign to take action. Experiment and see which practices above have the greatest impact on freeing you of stress. When you do, you’ll find yourself awakening to all the possibilities of life.

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