When the stress level rises: pay attention to your body

Stop pulling your hair out!

Stop pulling your hair out!

Here’s a quick and vital tip:  when you are feeling stressed pay attention to your body.

Much of what we think of as stress is exactly that, thinking.  We start worrying about something that hasn’t yet happened (like an upcoming test) or fretting over something that has already passed (like the answers we put on the test this morning– Did I circle a or b?!).  As soon as this kind of thinking kicks in we start amping up.  We begin feeling anxious.

So here’s the tip:  the feeling is just that, a feeling, something that’s going on in our bodies. Yes, it might be

tripped off by a thought, but because we’re such a dynamic system (body/mind/spirit) one quickly triggers the next.

Pay attention to your body means just that. When you are feeling stressed ask yourself where is this going on in my body? Is your gut tight? Are your shoulders hiked up? Is your fist clenched? When you ask the question and pay attention you’ll quickly get to the place where you are making yourself feel stressed.

The thought is just a thought. Thoughts comes and go.  Come and go.  It’s what we do with them– particularly how we physicalize them without even realizing– that make us feel stressed.

And once you’ve located the place your tensing up:  use the 3 tools for calming down:  breathing, grounding  and sensing. It’s all in Chapter 4: Calm Down.  You can do it.  You just have to do it.

Send me your challenges… and stories.

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