Simple Means to Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress, in all the flavors it arises in our lives, causes us to respond to events habitually and to overeat. We cannot always remove the stressors but here are some simple means to reduce the stress in our lives.Simple breath meditation: Take 5 to 10 minutes to sit upright in a straight back chair. Have your feet on the ground and uncrossed with your hands comfortably resting on your lap. Take three deep breaths, imagining letting go of stress and worries as you exhale. Then close your eyes, remind yourself for right now, there is nothing to do, figure out or achieve. Just sit and breath. Then begin to rest your attention on your breath as you naturally breath in and out. Feel the body sitting in the chair as you breath. Just let the breath come and go as you bring your attention to it. Then after 5 to 10 minutes, take another nice deep breath, rub your hands together and open your eyes.Simple morning journal writing: At the start of the day write a flow chart, a list of all that you want to get done today. As you write imagine the day going perfectly for you and how easy it will be to accomplish all these tasks. Imagine getting the help you may want. When you are done with your list, circle three that you are going to give over to your Higher Power to take care of. Then put the list away and go about your day.Simple evening journal writing (or contemplation): Write about what you appreciated about the day – the encounters, the weather, or the letter from a friend. Include as much as possible (this too can be a list). Or, if you like, you can focus on one particular event and write about how it uplifted you. What are you grateful for that occurred today?Simply getting what you want: When we are stressed obviously we have some things to complain about. Research has shown that complaints actually add to our stress. This is because the brain is going over the difficulty again. You can write this out or simply practice this when you are complaining (to yourself or others): Ask yourself what it is you want? Behind every complaint is a request – something you want. Instead of complaining, reframe it in a request. This also helps decrease stress because you are more likely to get what you want when you ask for it. If you seem unsure of what it is you want, when you find yourself complaining, take a breath (take a breather!) and ask yourself, “What do I want?” Then, if it is too big to get it right away (you would like the water out of your basement), what is the next step (want) that would get you closer to this? Having awareness of what we want and reframing our complaints into wants gives us a lot more energy to actually then get what we want.Simple time in nature: Give yourself some quiet time in nature where you can listen to the songs of the birds or sit under a favorite tree. Give yourself time in nature where you are not “getting anything done,” but simply enjoying a some free time, Again, remind yourself that for these 10 minutes or so, there is nothing to figure out, do or achieve, just enjoy the natural world.When we can relax the mind, let go of trying to achieve something more solutions come to us. This is how the brain works! It can better help us when we are relaxed and at ease.September Women’s Retreat at Thundering Cloud’s Center for Creative Expression, LLCFriday September 12th from 10 am to 8 pm.Experience Personal Initiation with an intention through spiritual journaling Bindu Breathwork, personal ritual and a shared purification ceremony (sweat lodge).Initiate your intention, and create needed movement in your life. Retreat begins at 10:00 am and ends after the sweat lodge ceremony. Sweat lodge will be around 6pm. A deposit of $50.00 to hold your space is requested. The cost of the full retreat is $50.00 to $125.00. Includes lunch, snacks, beverages, and guaranteed movement.. Limited to 14 women. One partial scholarship is available.Thundering Clouds Center is 8 miles Northwest of Spring Green.“Spiritual power is really a distinctive kind of knowledge that is like the key that opens the door or the switch that starts the energy moving. It is that special insight that we need to break up a log jam of knowledge.” –Fools Crow, taken from Fools Crow; Wisdom and Power, by Thomas E. MailsJulie Tallard Johnson, MSW, LCSWThundering Clouds ConsultingHealing Services Overlooking the Riverhttp://www.julietallardjohnson.com608-963-0724

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