Inspiration or Perspiration: Banish Your Stress

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Pixmac000036294369It’s crunch time.  I’ve over-committed myself again.  Does anyone else have a problem saying no?

So here I am, freaking out in my head, certain I won’t be able to accomplish it all.  Who says?  My ego?  She’s my biggest critic, you know, constantly telling me how impossible everything is.  I told her to put a sock in it today.

And it actually worked!  If it’s something I want to do, then consider it as good as done.  She quieted down right away.  Every once in a while she will nag at me saying things like, “you can check your facebook for just a second”.  But, I’ve got her number now and am beginning to detect her presence before she even says a word.

I tell you, it’s empowering to be able to overcome the negative stereotypes I have placed upon myself.  However, it isn’t an easy feat to accomplish.  The most important thing I need to remember is to cut myself some slack.  There is no need for me to judge myself.  Doing so will only cause me to feel guilty and then punish myself in one way or another.  So what if I’m averaging a week to return an email and two weeks to return a call.  The world is still turning.  I will catch up with it eventually.

These are a couple exercises I have incorporated into my daily routine to help keep me flexible and positive when pressures arise, unexpected or otherwise.  I like these a lot because they don’t take a lot of time and they can be done anywhere. So the next time you’re feeling uptight just let it out and…

sigh.  It is nearly impossible to feel stressed while you let out a giant sigh.  Try lifting your head slightly toward the sky, smile (this step is important, just do it!), take a deep breath, then let it all out in a natural flow.  It releases anxiety and will make you feel a sense of happiness, even if it’s only for a moment.  Try to feel grumpy when you sigh, I dare you.

I carry a TON of stress in my shoulders.  When I’m paying attention to how I am carrying myself I sometimes will catch my shoulders risen up toward my ears, stuck in a tense, uncomfortable posture.  This is when I know it’s time to take a break and loosen up.  First I will slowly roll my shoulders forward a few times, then back and down, squeezing my shoulder blades together.  Feeling more relaxed in my shoulders and neck is very refreshing and keeps me open to whatever may come my way throughout the day.

If worry can’t bog me down it is easier for me to remain focused and get more accomplished.  Being overwhelmed will happen to all of us.  We can choose how to respond.

What are some techniques you use to get through stressful times in your life?

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