Friday, June 19, 2015

Reducing stress

We're so aware these days of our increasing stress levels. We're also aware of multiple ways to decrease and handle our stress. Exercise, we're told, is a good way to handle stress—and it has the additional benefits of keeping us flexible and even helping with weight loss or maintenance. Deep breathing is another method.

Then there's meditation. I often have clients tell me, "But I can't sit still for any length of time without having thoughts run through my mind." I can't either. I've tried several times—and generally I experience what's called "monkey mind" where the mind races from one thought to the next like monkeys leaping from tree to tree. However, I have to say that just sitting quietly and noticing the thoughts float by still has good effect. My mind doesn't have to go blank for me to slow my breathing and relax more fully.

For those of us that aren't as inclined to sit quietly and still our minds, there are many other options that include walking meditation, tai-chi type movements and more. In fact, just Google "mindfulness meditation" and see all the possibilities.

A friend of mine takes training sessions from an organization called Capacitar, that promotes energy-based healing practices particularly for people who have experienced trauma. The practices are appropriate and good for anyone, however. And the Capacitar website has a section where you can download what they call an emergency kit of practices. You may want to check this out and try some of these to see whether you find the calming effect for which you're looking.

If you're seeking to reduce stress, just know there are many ways to do that. Keep looking until you find what works for you. If you'd like a conversation about this, I invite you to contact me.

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