Category Archives: Yoga

Compound Stress and What Helps Me Cope With It

Compound Stress and What Helps Me Cope With It

I wrote this little diddy while waiting for my car’s oil service to finish up earlier today:

“I’ve realized that, indeed, there are things that I am stressed about, but in comparison to how many things that I used to be stressed about a few years ago (School, work, goals, money, meeting my ex’s requests, drinking, etc.), I’m practically stress free. Being unable to find a proper job leaves me plenty of time all day to hang out with my friends and family and get things done and organized around the house combine that with not having to manage a relationship (which always took up so much of my ME time before my Australia adventure) and I am allowed to do the things I like and as a result my natural tendency to overload myself and put myself aside is inhibited by this circumstance.

I now focus all that energy from those past stressful happenings to tasks that greatly increase my own contentment and the happiness of others around me (at least as best I can) and so when a stressor (like loosing my Lula Bula so suddenly) pops up, it is not compounded with many other stresses of life so coping with stress is not only clear, but bearable – almost to the point that I feel guilty for not exhibiting the same level of emotionally intense responses that I typically had in the past (when I had a multitude of stressors on my plate). In fact, I shouldn’t feel guilty at all, I should enjoy that I now know what it feels like to face storm rolling through life from a healthy prospective.”

Further to that, I have noticed that many people don’t get to this level of relaxation I feel right now (Yoga 3 times a week could be part of it….). I’ve noticed that a few people I’ve met are in a cycle of reacting to stress instead of managing it. That type of situation causes them to do all sorts of things except fully enjoy themselves. For example, if one seems to have little control over many aspects of life, this can cause long term stress to remain constant to the extent that this stress level is thought to be normal. Knowing no different (I used to be this way) one may try to control the few small aspects of life that one feels are malleable and shape them to personal whims and ideas of how it should be in a perfect world. This is an illusion because you can’t control people and thus the compounding stress gets even worse.

In reality, in some way, that same energy can be used to build oneself into the person one wants to be. That would mean letting a lot of familiar emotions and reliabilities go. Taking such a leap of faith not to mention using a lot of will power can be done in a way that actually nothing is lost except the stress, that is, only if (based on my logic) such a task is approached properly and before one is pushed over one’s burn-out limit.

So I have gone through my nutritional healing book (I’ve been diving into it a lot lately…) to list some stress coping suggestions that work for me and may be able to help anyone who actually reads these notes of mine:

*****Monitor your internal conversations. The way we talk to ourselves has a lot to do with how we feel about ourselves and our environment.

*****Avoid processed foods and all foods that create stress on the system, such as artificial sweeteners, carbonated soft drinks, chocolate, eggs, fried foods, junk foods, pork, red meat, sugar, chips and similar snack foods.

*****Do not repress or deny your emotions. This only compounds stress. Admit your feelings and accept them. Keeping strong feelings bottled up only causes them to resurfaces later as illness (I suggest thinking about this statement very, very carefully so see what an impact this may have had on you in the past).

*****Don’t be afraid to cry. Learning to cry can help you manage stress. Crying can relieve anxiety and lets loose bottled-up emotions.

*****Try not to take life too seriously. Learn to laugh.

Restructuring Thought Programs

Restructuring Thought Programs

Being somewhat of an immensely yoga influenced person I find that it does help once in a while to step back from life and view it from a detached position so as better to see what is going on, especially in my mind. On a necessary occasion I like to try and think about nothing and not let any thought grab my attention no matter how badly I want to take hold of the reins and ride the thought into the sunset. By doing this I can see from the sidelines how the content of my life affects me.

I’ve known forever that I am a daydreamer, I love daydreaming. Daydreams are different to other thoughts in life because they are purely for entertainment purposes and ways to fill time while in meetings, brushing my teeth, walking around campus, trying to fall asleep at night, etc. Those are great but I have (in the somewhat recent past) developed a shift in my thinking. I’ve gotten in the habit of daydreaming on my life, my real life. I don’t make up pure fictional stories like I used to, I simply use the outside world as fuel for my everyday inner world, which I probably have always done, but I used to use more imaginary figures and places… (I spent 10 years with my nose in scifi/fantasy books… what do you expect?) Anyways, so I feel like I am drowning in my over active imagination, which consists of a multitude of events in my life that have never happened to me or probably won’t.

So taking a few-minute break from my thoughts was a great idea because it allowed thoughts to pop up on my mind screen and after instantly acknowledging them out of habit, I saved them for later, all before I grabbed hold of them which prevented them from fully being played out and reacted to. So you see… these thoughts that have often taken over my time, have only done so because I have allowed them to.

It isn’t easy fighting a mental program once the program has established itself and is propagating how it fulfills my needs, but sometimes enough is just enough. I have to stamp out useless thought programs fully to keep my mind strong.