What’s the best treatment for healing stress? Asked this in my twenties, I probably would have answered, “Get rid of the whatever is causing the stress.” It makes sense. If something is making you unhappy, change it, get rid of it. I did that a fair bit when I was younger.
It became more complicated when I was a single mum with a little girl. I couldn’t just quit my job or go AWOL whenever I felt like it. I had another little Being to think about. I had a mortgage. I had responsibilities. My past decisions had created a lot of stress. I stuck to my old MO when I could. That is, if a job was stressful, I’d change it. If people were stressful, I’d cut them off. The problem with this method was that any relief that came from making the change tended to be short lived. I seemed to be a magnet for problems and stress.
Stress takes a real toll on your body so if you’re constantly stressed then we need to get that sorted out. What is the solution?
If your life is stressful, what is the best treatment for healing it?
At risk of being really annoying, I’ll give my answer and it’s totes different to how I would have answered in my twenties. What is the best treatment for healing your stressful life? Go straight to the source. Your mind. Your inner dialogue. Because your job situation, the friend, the lover, the money (usually lack of); it is all an effect of whats going on up stairs. You can change your outside world til the cows come home but until you work on your inner landscape, any relief from changing what you perceive to be the cause of your stress probably won’t last.
Quick Story: When I look back at some of my darkest days I often wonder, how the hell did I get through it? My life was so stressful back then. I remember this one time, when my life resembled a dropped pie, mum saying to me, ‘Oh Love, you just need to think positive!’ FFS Mum, like its that bloody easy! It was hands down the most irritating, annoying, face pinching, teeth clenching thing to hear! I did not stay for dessert that night lol.
Ahhh but mum did end up having a point. Whilst there is so much more to it than just repeating shiny, happy words in your mind, learning how to think skilfully really can change everything.
So the best treatment for healing stress, in my humble opinion, is to work on your mind. You can still take action and make outer changes, but be sure to give your inner world just as much, if not more, attention. (Further reading: How To Change Your Life For The Better, Positive Self Talk For Changing Your Life From Negative to Positive and Dealing With Problems: How To Handle Challenges in Life)
Treatment For Healing Your Stressful Life In Action
While it sounds good in theory, what exactly does working on your mind look like and how do you move away from a stressful life to one that you enjoy waking up to? Does it mean never taking action? No. It means having the right knowledge.
It is not my intention to turn you away from taking action (changing jobs, ending a relationship etc). I can only say, looking back, I’d constantly try to change my outer world ‘by getting rid of the stress’ but whilst I was taking all this action, I had no awareness of the influence my thoughts played in creating the stress.
If you want to reduce the stress in your life, consider (at first) taking no action other than noticing the way your thought patterns affect your mood, your speech and behaviour. This practice alone will yield an awareness of just how much influence your mind has on your mood and reactions. It’s not necessarily your employment, or ‘that person’ who is the causing you stress, it’s your thoughts about them. Resistant, negative thought patterns creates stress. Understanding and releasing resistant thoughts will instantly see a reduction in stress.
Law-of-attraction teachers claim that you attract equivalent to your vibration so if you want your circumstances to change you need to change your vibration. I personally let go of LOA teachings a while back but I do acknowledge that your mind is an incredibly powerful tool that does affect how you feel. So again, in my humble opinion, the best treatment for healing a stressful life is to go straight to the source and work on your mind.
A pivotal aspect of using your mind as treatment for healing a stressful life, is this:
~ Accept where you are and what is here.
It doesn’t mean that you convince yourself to be content with sub-optimal conditions or put up with things you do not want or like. It simply means that you stop resisting and pushing against where you are. Be willing to give up the stressful ‘its not fair… I hate this… why is this happening to me’ thoughts and replace them with more empowering thoughts like ‘this is here… I can handle this… I rise to the challenge… this will change’. It will.
Doing this will train your mind to be positively-focused and solution orientated. With practice, you really do learn to genuinely think and feel positive in the face of challenge because you know by experience that you can handle it and you can create something better. It also cultivates a feeling of appreciation for life.
It can be sooooo irritating to read stuff like this when life is challenging and you feel exhausted and fed up and at the end of your tether. I will never forget that night at mums, I was so cranky! I hated my life and I was so stressed out with no idea how to fix it. Then I realised, I am where I am. What if I could change my life by changing my thoughts? I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I gained big time! I went from working three jobs, numerous failed attempts at entrepreneurship, anxiety, depression, low self esteem, awful relationships and a life loaded with hideous stress and exhaustion to creating a life I honestly love waking up to every day. I know there is nothing more annoying than reading ‘another success story’. I mean they’re everywhere on Facebook! But I’m not trying to sell you anything. Only the fact that you really can heal your stressful life by working on your mind.
If you have your own experiences to share about what treatment for healing stress you have found to helpful, please share below.
In zen serenity:)
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