Deadlines. Meetings. Bills. Traffic. There are countless stressors we experience every day. They make us sweaty, irritable, anxious, and high-strung. From the large challenges to the mundane aggravations, stress can feel insurmountable at times. It can make us feel helpless.
We often hear about the dangerous effects stress can have on our bodies and minds - high blood pressure, heart problems, and depression, to name a few. But there are also healthy ways to use stress. The way that we look at our obstacles actually dictates how our bodies respond to stress. The goal is not to completely eliminate it from our lives but to rethink its purpose and how we can use it for our benefit.
Here are 3 tips to help redirect your stress:
- Stress is a signal that it’s time to change. Stress can actually be a useful tool for our spiritual growth. It’s an indicator that something about our lives is out of alignment. When we feel stressed, it’s an opportunity to reevaluate our priorities.
Any time you experience stress, it is not a coincidence – it’s the universe trying to tell you there are changes you need to make. Maybe you are trying to hold on to something that you need to let go of or trying to control someone instead of accepting them as they are. Ask yourself what you are spending your time on. Are your intentions in the right place?
Stress is not the enemy. It’s feedback from the universe. Instead of worrying about the external, use stress as a chance to reflect inward and find the opportunity for growth.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously! Very few things that we worry about are truly important in the grand scheme of things. We tend to give them a lot more energy than they deserve when they are mostly distractions. Running late for a big meeting can cause you to sweat, but it’s not the end of the world if you aren’t on time. It may be a signal to reevaluate how you are managing your time, but it does not deserve to ruin your day, your self-esteem, and your health.
When faced with stress, think about 50 years from now. Is this something you would still worry about? When looked at through this lens, a lot of our problems become ridiculous. You can take what you are doing seriously but don’t take your role in it too serious. Laugh about it, and don’t sweat the small stuff!
- Trust that the Creator has you on the right path. Stress is really a disguise for fear. We get stressed because we think we need to be in control of everything. We keep our minds busy with the what-ifs, trying to plan out every detail of our lives and getting upset when they don’t go according to our plan. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the Creator is the one in control and knows exactly what our souls need, much better than we do.
Without certainty in the Creator’s process, we stay in a place of worry and stress, focused on how things will turn out. Remember that life is about the process, not the destination. Your work in this world is in partnership with the Creator - it is not all on your shoulders. Do your part by giving 100%. Whether you succeed or fail, whether things work out the way you plan or not, is ultimately not up to you.
No matter how dire things appear, remember that it is coming from the Creator, and so it is good. You may not see how or why right now, but your soul needs to go through this to become the best version of yourself.
We can’t always remove the causes of our stress, but it’s how we respond to them that matters. We have a choice to react with worry, anxiety, and anger or to embrace stress as an opportunity for growth and a beautiful gift.
Changing your frame of mind requires consistent study and practice (and a little bit of laughter). It’s a muscle we have to build and a choice we need to make every day. But the more we do so, the more we open ourselves up to beauty and the blessings that are waiting to enter our lives.