Reducing Stress Through Self-Expression

It’s human nature to react to stress in a fight or flight pattern, its natural to be fearful but not healthy to live in it. We need to learn to cope and overcome stress; we need to learn to manage our responses to our external environment. We need to understand ourselves and how to manage our stress levels.

self expression

Endorphins can be a natural pain and stress fighter, secretion of endorphins leads to a feeling of euphoria. Endorphins can be released from repetition, doing something novel and new or from doing something exciting and thrill-seeking. Really we can become accustom to anything, and the habit itself can release these chemicals.

The idea of understanding how endorphins work goes hand in hand with being able to monitor and control them. Rather than being in the passenger seat there are ways we can intentionally cause these chemicals to flow.

In the case of reaching a healthy euphoria it begins with the physical; exercise and self-expression.

Exercise releases endorphins, improves sleep and removes toxins through sweat. There any many variations of exercise one can incorporate into their daily life. It doesn’t have to be super stressful it can be fun and entertaining. It’s important to stay body smart especially as you grow older begin to lose muscle and use of some of your functions. It’s important while you’re still young and capable to engage your body, muscles and joints to ward off signs of possible disability in the future. In the case of your health its critical we are proactive rather than reactive. If we wait for the instance to react it may be to little to late.

Aside from exercise, self expression through various forms of art is a good way to release stress and can be considered therapy allowing us to release pent up thoughts and feelings without fear of judgement. Acts such as listening to music, writing, or drawing allows us an outlet to reflect on ourselves and our circumstances allowing us to see it from a different light. We can easily become prisoners of our own perspectives when we refuse to be open-minded. Self-expression allows us to be passionate for something outside of ourselves and helps to develop a positive mindset. Art therapy can help to develop one’s patience and understanding, it can help broaden their scope and to see from an objective lens. It’s a means for controlling emotions and negative feelings channeling them into something productive. It’s not about the end result it’s about appreciating the beauty of life.

A lot of the time our emotions work against us and we can become our own worst enemy. Participating in exercise and various forms of art we move outside the realm of thinking and allow ourselves to find our flow. Taking action in some form of hobby we allow ourselves to create rather than destroy potentially releasing the massive benefits of euphoria.

Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide in the madness” – Allen Ginsberg

Learn to take the time to pause. Learn to take the time to care for your body and mind. Little acts can go long ways in relieving stress even if you don’t fully understand the benefits.

“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth in uglier ways” – Sigmund Freud

This is the idea. We must remain true to ourselves and our feelings. We live in a world filled with destructive triggers its up to you to find the light. Adjust your physiology and your psyche will follow. Smile more and you’ll flutter feelings of happiness, laugh more and you’ll begin to feel joyous and more socialable. Focus on the creation process, don’t allow yourself to get bored and dwell on the past but instead to take initiative to relieve the suffering.

existing peacefully

 

 

 

 

Reinventing Yourself

reflection

No one said life was easy and it’s apparent its not. If there was one guide to living the best life then no other guide would ever need to be made. If there was a magic pill or some easy way I would have found it by now but trust me there isn’t.

We all search for answers to please us. We question ourselves, we question our purpose. Some of us over time lose ourselves and begin to question our values. Through this self examination we become fixated on things we cannot change rather than things we can. We begin paralyzing ourselves while reflecting on the past or living in hope of the future.

We become our own worst enemies battling with our minds for what we want.

Why do people experience crisis in their lives?

People experience crisis in their lives because they can’t accept the truth of reality. Reality is hard. Reality is tough. More often then not these people have been disillusioned for a greater portion of their lives and are in tough hole to get out of. Inevitably these people come to experience “reality checks” and realize that their life is nothing that they had planned.

Why Plan?

If you don’t give yourself direction the wind will decide for you. Happiness and success isn’t something you just stumble upon its something you strive towards. Living without a plan is like shooting at a dart board with a blindfold on. You may hit your mark but most likely you’re shooting blindly and odds are you’ll never come close to your target.

Guidelines to Managing Action

    • Set daily, monthly, annual and long-term goals.
    • Evaluate your current self. How do you currently spend your time? What could you be doing differently? Can resources be leveraged differently? More efficiently? What are your biggest distractions? Can you practice moderation?
    • Rely on lists. Forget about the traditional to-do lists, instead make day or time specific lists. Any task that is “iffy” in terms of being completed can be organized in a “Someday/Maybe” list.
    • Have a system for your lists. Have a filing system and specific categories. Some categories could possibly be a “projects” list, a “next actions” list and a “waiting for” list.
    • Evaluate based on a weekly review. Ensure your brain is clear and all loose strands of the past few days have been collected, processed, and organized.

Its ALL ABOUT YOU!

Remember that your quality life will look different from my quality life. We are all unique and have different needs and wants from one another. Don’t steal someone else’s vision, create your own. Establish what’s important to you and what’s worth working towards.

Create a system to reach your desired goals. Be specific with the action steps you need to take to get there. Again, consider making lists to identify the new changes you’ll need to make.

Action Steps to Reinventing & Modifying Behaviour

    • Wake Up Early.
    • Make lists everyday.
    • Prioritize your tasks.
    • Complete your lists.
    • Do the hardest tasks first.
    • Tidy & remove all clutter.
    • Think rich. (upbeat, positive and focused)
    • Save 10-20% of your income.
    • Control your thoughts and emotions.
    • Schedule uninterrupted blocks of time.
    • Read & improve your knowledge.
    • Work in 20 minute spurts.
    • Spend less time sitting.

Reinventing yourself takes time don’t move away from the process. Start today not tomorrow. If you can’t take action at this very moment plan proactively. Learn to be reliable and to count on yourself. Get your energy levels up and be healthy. Unplug from all electronics and find quiet time to recharge. There’s no success without failure, take everything you’ve learnt and let it change you. Focus on changing your inner self and the outer world will follow.

existing peacefully

Stretching Comfort Zones

mountain climbing

Where does fear come from? Are we born with it? How do we control it? What effect does fear have on us?

One phrase from John Maxwell’s book “Laws of Growth” he mentions making a habit out of stretching comfort zones. Our comfort zones are made to keep us safe. These zones aren’t so much a matter of space but instead a kneejerk reaction that prevents us from acting in new challenging ways. We conform to what’s already been established rather than rationalizing the most efficient manner. Whether it be lack of awareness, lack of confidence or lack of autonomy we tend to just accept the common way of doing things regardless if it’s the best way.

Some people live ignorant to information. These are the same people who believe everything they hear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection and fear of being inadequate hold us back from expressing our true thoughts, beliefs and actions. We tend to conform because it’s the easiest thing to do. This is an example of comfort zones that need to be stretched. We all need to take responsibility for our own well being thus gain all the information we can to make informative decisions. We need to become fully independent and completely responsible for ourselves mentally and physically.

Hold yourself accountable. Don’t let other people’s beliefs become your truth. Write your own story and discover your own limits.

Don’t be afraid to take risks that’s all life is. With great risk comes great rewards so bite the bullet. Refuse to live in fear. Choose to rise up and take action against whatever it is that’s bothering you. Try not to think but just to take action. Find your flow.

Over thinking is a problem a lot of us have. We tend to assess the problem from a variety different angles and never actually taking action to correct the problem. This is a situation many people experience with their weight loss. They believe they know what has to be done, they know everything that needs to be avoided yet they are completely in their head – never taking any action. Sometimes we need to look at our circumstances with a different perspective, an objective lens. Fear will control you if you let it. We need to realize our emotions and thoughts won’t always be on our side but regardless we must action strive to act logically. We must act according to our values and vision.

Don’t let over thinking become your problem. Write absolutely everything down. Free your mind from repeating thoughts. Assemble lists till your heart’s satisfied.

There’s a time for planning and a time for action; planning is important but is nothing without action. Planning helps to prioritize making your days more efficient. Writing down your plans allows you to free your mind from overbearing thoughts. The planning process allows us to clarify the specific action steps to be taken. Although you can write these steps down a million times but without commitment to action nothing gets accomplished.

Remember attitude is everything. Life is a challenge and should be viewed as such. Choose to stretch your comfort zones, be humble and to seek wisdom through new experiences. You are the facilitator of your own life so it’s up to you to begin the movement. Action starts today.

existing peacefully

Managing Stress & Living in the Present

How we manage stress will have the biggest impact on our quality of life.

Do you constantly dwell on the past?

Are you always rationalizing outcomes for the future?

Do you feel stuck? Do you feel lost?

Do you feel like you have no control over your current circumstances?

being present

The truth is most people feel this way. We must learn how to cope with stress or it can quickly take over your life.

The first step in managing stress levels is choosing how we to react to difficult circumstances. Choose not to complain and instead grab the bull by the horns.  Focus on the now. Forget the past, the future, stop overthinking and start taking action.

Second step, be deliberate with the company you keep. Not everyone knows how to manage stress and those who refuse grow will never learn. Avoid toxic relationships, avoid people who just want to use you, avoid building relationships with people who are self-destructive.

Make old friends acquintances if they no longer support your new way of living. Lead by example and if they are meant to follow along for the journey they will. Dont wait up.

You are responsible for your own personal development and noone else. Our parents did their jobs to raise us as children now its our turn to grow as young adults.

“Stress is caused from being here but wanting to be there” – Eckhart Tolle

Start living in the now. Take small steps towards a greater future. Face your fears and don’t get down on yourself. Do you, people appreciate novelty and cherish anyone who’s not afraid to be themselves. Stop being afraid of being different we’re all unique and thats what makes us who we are. Differences should be celebrated.

Stop stressing about life and start having fun and enjoying it.

“Wherever you are be all there.” – Jim Elliot

existing peacefully