Stress Reduction

Last night I was talking to my husband about feeling emotions as they come up and not carrying them with you day to day. It got me to thinking about what the Apostle Paul said about not letting the sun set on your anger. A lot of times that verse is interpreted as not going to bed angry. It’s nice to not go to bed angry with your spouse or your family, but I think that there’s more to it. If we can make space to process the events of the day, then we become more efficient in tomorrow.

Imagine you’re on an out of town project, away from your family and your routine. On Day 1, Bad Things #1-5 happen. Like a fielder in baseball, you field the stress balls of Bad Things. But you hold onto the stress balls. As you start Day 2, you’re holding onto five stress balls as Bad Things #6-10 happen. The stress balls are getting more numerous, and your ability to field them is getting more difficult. The trip continues this way, and by the end of it, you’re overflowing with stress balls, and you only want to get home. The travel is hell (you’re starting to swim in stress balls, like a kid in a ball pit) and when you get back, your family has a whole new set of stress balls just waiting for you. Will it ever end?

What if you gave yourself 15- 30 minutes each morning (or evening) to process these Bad Things #1-5 ON THE DAY that they happened. Let’s face it, and the proverbial s$t is going to hit the fan. What if instead of trying to ignore it, or pushing it down until later, you recognized it, felt the feeling associated, asked Something Greater Than You for some relief?

When I come to my journal and scribble out all the frustration and fear, irritants, and complications, I drop some of the stress balls. By putting the thoughts on a page and out of my head, I start to experience peace.

When I go to my mat and breathe in “let” and breathe out “go.” I move through the asanas with intention and attention, and the physical stress is released.

When I go to my Higher Power and ask Her to relieve me of my selfishness, to direct my thoughts and my actions for the day, trusting that She will take care of me while I do what She leads, I am relieved.

I let go of yesterdays stress and free myself of today’s expectations, and then I’m able to approach the things I need to do as a completely free being. When my person is open and unencumbered by the noise from yesterday or the expectation of today, I can move more effortlessly.

Listen, we all have the same amount of time. It’s all in how we allocate it. When we hold onto the stress from the past days, weeks, and whole seasons, we are handicapped. Like trying to catch a ball with our hands full. We are less efficient, and we tire more quickly, and we are apt to get more emotionally frazzled over things that aren’t all that serious. You want to be more effective, happier, and efficient? Make some time to process and deal with stress as it happens.

Just for Today
I’m going to give myself the time to process yesterday’s crap. I will be open to trying new techniques to relieve the stress in my mind, body, and soul. I will set aside techniques that I know aren’t serving me and embrace something new.

Prayer
God, help direct my thoughts and actions. Take away my frustrations from yesterday and my expectations for today. Grant me a clean slate. Give me the knowledge and strength to do what you want me to do and help me trust that you’ll take care of all of my needs

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