Friday, August 6, 2010

Finding Peace in Stressful Times

Although healthy stress motivates us to accomplish our goals, care for our families, and become all that we can be, too much of it can be deadly. Unless we learn how to effectively deal with challenging, nerve-racking situations, they can shorten our lives or even end them. So here are a few more tips that can turn a tense time into a peaceful one.

Create a positive affirmation or statement for your life and think about it during trying times. Here are a few sentences that could be included in an affirmation: “I am loveable and am loved.” “I am a beloved child of God who loves me just as I am.” “My life is peaceful and happy.” “I have all the time that I need to fulfill my destiny.”

Tense then relax. If you are feeling stressed, tense a muscle group, such as your shoulder, arm or leg for a few seconds while breathing deeply and then relax those muscles. You can do this while waiting at a red light, while sitting in a business meeting, or whenever you find yourself in a stressful situation. This process has been proven to decrease stress and increase your peace of mind.

Visualize peace. Imagine how you can react peacefully to a difficult situation. Picture how you can successfully navigate a difficult conversation, circumstance, or crisis. Think of ways you can inject love and understanding into your relationships and life experience. Envision yourself speaking words of kindness, wisdom, and insight. We can transform our lives as we see ourselves becoming a peaceful, happy person.

Elminiate self-defeating thoughts and behaviors. Let go of self-critical thinking patterns by replacing them with thoughts of gratitude and compassion. If you find you are frustrated with things that you can’t do, focus on the think you can do. If you are upset because you are weak in some areas, focus on the ways in which you are strong and ask God to help you may your weak things strong. He will as you trust in Him.

Create a peaceful environment. Listen to music that enhances peace, and turn off music or television programs that do not. Place a beautiful flower in a vase and focus on it during the day. Eliminate clutter and create a home that fosters harmony and peace.

Choose friends that find happiness amid the challenges of life. Friends who love life will boost your sense of serenity and joy. Seek out friendships with people who love and respect you.

Find ways to increase your peace of mind, such as reading inspirational and sacred literature, praying, or focusing on the beauties of nature. Massage, acupuncture, acupressure, tai chi, and aromatherapy can be helpful in reducing stress. Sprinkling a few drops of essential lavender oil on your pillow before you go to bed or rubbing a few drops on your temples before you go to work can be helpful. Finding an expert massage therapist who specializes in stress reduction can be invaluable. Sometimes we pay more attention to caring for our homes or cars than we do in caring for ourselves. Although stress reduction doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, a few dollars invested in taking a tai chi class or getting a massage can provide priceless results.

© Carol Brown

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