“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain
Typically when we get stressed the wheels start spinning and life can feel like it’s whirling at top speed. We tend to feel like a Jack Russell ripping around a room, rushing at the problem. What if we took a deep breath and approached the situation carefully like a St. Bernard? Or perhaps you do already…
“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” – Abraham Lincoln
Hans Selye, a famous Hungarian endocrinologist, coined the term “stress” about 50 years ago. He discovered the connection between stress and illness and that it doesn’t matter if the stress is positive or negative; if the nervous system is too stressed to cope with the demands it faces, it starts to disrupt the homeostatic system, which can lead to both mental and physical diseases.
We are all affected by life and react to situations in different ways:
We may be the Jack Russell and respond to our stress by binge eating, drinking, gambling, shopping – anything to alleviate the stress in the moment but actually compounding the problem…whoops! We haven’t eliminated the stress, we have reacted to it.
We may be the St. Bernard and realize that stress has an important role in our life – it is there to protect us from dangerous situations but we need to take a breath, sit back and manage the stress. We look at how we are harnessing the energy that comes from the stressful moment and what we can do about it.
No one is resistant to stress. We are all bombarded with an onslaught of stimulation. I know that I definitely fell into the Jack Russell category for many years – food was a great way to take the focus off the stress and berate myself with the food I had just consumed instead; drinking was a way to unwind at the end of a day; a hard workout felt amazing (I had no idea this was further stressing my body & I didn’t understand the importance of Pilates or mindfulness); I was absolutely not connected with how to manage my stress and as a result suffered years of panic attacks and anxiety.
Now, I’m feeling more like the St. Bernard…I’ve taught myself to slow down and breath; to balance my workouts between high intensity and mindfulness; to be in the “present moment”; to be the observer of the chatter in my head instead of being controlled by it (umm, sometimes); to upgrade my diet (added way more greens, lemon & water each morning etc) which reduced the stress load on my body (sugar and alcohol); and I’ve become more aware of what triggers me to be stressed and I’ve done my best to come up with strategies.
An old Chinese saying says that a calm heart is the best medicine. This may be why years ago I started to add meditation to a few of my classes…and I must say my class participants love it and it has helped them with the stress in their lives. Since the body heals itself most effectively when in a state of deep relaxation, it is essential to find strategies for unwinding and relaxing.
If you are looking to add some mindfulness into your day, check out Core Commotion on Monday & Wednesday nights at 7:15, Core Conditioning on Tuesday’s at 9am and Saturday mornings at 8:45am. Check out www.moveyourbody.ca for further class information.
In the meantime, take a moment to sit comfortably and notice your breath. Then soften your eyes, tongue and jaw and any other tension you may be holding in your body. Turn your attention to your mind and imagine your thoughts whirling around like the blades of a fan. Notice the speed of the blades and begin to slow the blades down until they have stopped. This will calm your mind. Simply adding this into your day for 5-10 minutes will do wonders for you.
Tanya Morrison has been in the Health/Wellness and Fitness Field for over two decades and has coached and trained many clients during this time. She is a certified Personal Trainer, Precision Nutrition Coach, Pilates/Aerobics/Yoga Instructor and more. She is the creator of the Busy Mama Reboot 28 day program, 10 Day Body Reset Detox, 30 Days to a New You, Holistic Weight Management System and many more on-line programs. To find out more about these life changing programs check out the testimonials and information at www.moveyourbody.ca
Tanya has created FREE Healthy Living Challenges that you can sign up for HERE, because even though we know all this “healthy stuff” it’s good to be reminded to keep it in our awareness. Tanya created the Busy Mama Healthy Mama Facebook page so that like-minded mama’s could get great healthy information and recipes in a fun and light-hearted way.
Tanya also teaches many different classes at Move Your Body Studio in Bobcaygeon, www.moveyourbody.ca and has written Healthy Snacks for Kids, Get the Skinny on Skinny Jeans & Living Vibrantly with Raw Goodness – Your Guide to Juicing & Blending, the 21 Laws of Irrefutable Fat Loss, How to Get Rid of Cellulite and more. Her blog, www.tanyamorrison.ca has lots of great articles to help you navigate your way to the healthy life you want, tons of recipes and great tips!
Tanya presents High Performance Nutrition for Kids and Teens, How to Become an Efficient Fat Burner, hosts Raw Smoothie Parties and many more presentations. Please contact her to set up your presentation.
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Other grounding meditations
Increase Your Energy, Vitality, and Productivity by harnessing Stress Effectively by Kate Kent. Vitality Magazine October 2014 pg 82