Isn’t almost everyone feeling stressed, overwhelmed or worn out at times? It could be a business issue, or something in your personal life, but sometimes life just tosses or throws you one too many stress balls.
Last year when I learned my cholesterol had gone extremely high; I knew the road ahead would be stressful. My internist, Dr, K for our purposes, immediately wrote a prescription for one of the statins. If she had taken my blood pressure after the visit rather than before I bet it would have broken a high reading record.
Rather than get all stressed, worried or depressed, I took some steps to stop the stress.
Don’t delay. Rather than fill the prescription medication at the pharmacy, I took it to my naturopath, Dr. M, who is also a medical doctor. Because medications are my last resort, I rely on Dr. M who knows more about supplements and medications than any doctor I know. She took me in for an appointment right away and my level of anxiousness plummeted. Sure enough, there were just 2 supplements I wasn’t already taking that she felt sure would help.
Acceptance. Knowing that there was another way other than what I had already tried – 3 months of eating vegan style, gave me a little more peace with the situation. And if the supplements ended up not working, then the medication would likely be a sure cure. It also helped that we were ordering a complete cholesterol test, one that goes beyond cholesterol, HDL, LDL that let me know I could accept either direction.
Express gratitude. Now Dr. M knows I feel blessed to have her in my life because she is one of few doctors who let me ask what I believe to be those hard questions. Questions like, isn’t there any other alternative? Or, I read on the Mayo Clinic website …, and she just acknowledges with what she knows. Being grateful gives me space to breath.
Breathing. In my loves, rants and raves personal blog, https://lovesrantsandraves.blogspot.com, I referred to my current love of a new meditation for me. If you stop and take inventory, when you are stressed, your breathing can be barely there. Sometimes it might become so stressful, you might feel you cannot breathe. Years ago, in an online Tai Chi course I learned that – if you do nothing else in the moment of stress, breathe. Can you see me going from Dr. K to Dr. M’s office and taking those slow, deep inhales and exhales? It helps.
Assess your progress. In many cases when we are stressed, we vow to ourselves we’re going to do something about the stressor. What I tend to do is a little check in with myself if the cycle starts again. Am I doing the things I know I committed to? Am I seeing any better results? If I can see even just a glimmer of hope, then I remind myself – to breathe – and pat myself on the back to march on for even better things.
I think what also helps me maintain my sanity and energy regardless of the stressor, is that I exercise and meditate regularly, two of the healthiest things that I can do for myself.
As we close out National Stress Awareness Month, what key points about you closing the door more often on stress? What kind of actions or thoughts do you take to keep it in check?