A hand inside the water along with a sun reflection

Allow in More Ease

Now is the time to breathe deeper and deeper, and to truly learn how to let go of your stress. It’s natural to experience concern, worry and fear during uncertain times. What we do with it or how we deal with it is another matter. It’s easy to imagine the worst or even manifest negative ideas about our future given all that is transpiring. A key is stopping yourself early on when stress arises is to bust up any dramatic thinking or obsessing you may experience. It’s natural to feel concerned, yet problematic to overthink, tighten up, take on an overcontrolling approach, or clamp down to demand more than is reasonable from yourself or others.

Our intelligent awareness supports reliability within, yet our great care can also cause us to tip out of balance with worry, overthinking, and eventually imagining the worst. This often causes us to lose trust and amplify our need to control or overcontrol. Unfortunately, it all recycles as overcontrol creates more stress and anxiety. When we continuously focus on the possibility that something harmful may happen this can distort or misrepresent what is taking place. Cause the pause and take five deep breaths, and then ask yourself: What am I feeling? How can I witness these feelings constructively in ways that will release them?

Sometimes we need to vent, yet I would recommend you agree to this upfront. In other words, be clear with yourself and the person who is listening that you need/want to vent. I also recommend that you make sure you tell the listener that only you are responsible for your emotions, and that you are not interested in assigning blame or persecuting anyone else, even though you may have some feelings about how others treated you. For you see, it’s natural to experience strong feelings about the attitude, actions, or words of another when difficulties arise, yet we must be responsible for our own emotional reactions and what we chose to do, not do, say, or not say, or how we show-up and interact the next time we connect. This is hard to do in a time when leaders are not role modeling this and too often regularly blame others for situations, actions, or even communication that is within their role and responsibility.

Breathe in and focus on ease. Breathe out and release the dis-ease.

What else can you do? Replace the fear with love and kindness, compassion, and patience. Decide you are going to be responsible and care for your vitality, just as you would care for a relationship, your children, your finances, or your physical well-being. Think of yourself as though you are in a relationship, a relationship with your emotional life. For some, this is a long-term relationship that may require some updating. Consider vitality and self-care a necessary aspect of this relationship. Decide that you want to get to know, understand and cultivate a healthy relationship with your emotions, not one that is unkind, adversarial, or in denial and avoidance.

A simple way to care for this relationship is to make a list of things that you can do to care for yourself when stress shows up and especially if you are experiencing doubt, fear, frustration, anger, exhaustion, worry, or anxiety. Perhaps a short walk helps you? If this is true, consider walking with the purpose of letting go of whatever feelings get generated by your stress. Another priceless ritual is to try writing down a few nourishing statements you will read to yourself when emotions intensify. Write these in ways that will help you shift and pivot away from the stress.

It’s enough to stay curious. It’s enough that you stay open to learning. It’s enough to want to grow in awareness. It’s enough to commit to kindness. It’s enough to allow in new ideas and be creative.

Feelings can be like youngsters who demand to be seen, heard, and understood. Depending on what’s going on many of us are not equipped to be this kind of emotional witness. Too often we may seek this out from those who are not practiced in the art of witnessing. When we expect it from those who are caught up in their own feelings this can lead to disagreements. In turn, this can also create further judgments or unkind opinions of one another. Therefore, it is crucial that we give one another room and patience. This includes being willing to practice the generosity of forgiveness. This may be a real challenge as we are revealing many forms of injustice and polarization within our communities.

If we are stressed, anxious, or worried for far too long, we can lose sight of trust or even forget how to trust. We can believe the drama is real. It may become too familiar to seek out or look for someone or something to blame. This is when it is essential to ask yourself: What is my authentic need? Rarely is the answer keeping the drama going. Instead, allow yourself to be where you are, and do the same for others.

Accept yourself for who you are and say kinder things to yourself. Imagine abundant health for yourself and all you know. Send your goodness into the world and envision them being given to you and each person you know.