“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu

The biggest part about dealing with stress is about dealing with our emotions. Most of us are so afraid of what we feel even though that shouldn’t be the case. There’s no such thing as a “bad” emotion. All emotions are simply signals telling us something needs to change. And we need to listen to these signals before the problems we have get worse. It all comes down to three things:
1. Breathe

“Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centred by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.” – Chuang Tzu

There are so many benefits of meditation. In addition to reduced anxiety and insomnia, it helps you keep cool in the midst of madness and is also great for resting before you get tired. Ultimately, it’s about slowing down to connect with yourself and your feelings.

Meditating for half an hour everyday really has brought a sense of grounding to my life. If you can’t find the time (which simply means you need meditation even more), all it takes is a few minutes in silence or a nice hot bath. Just close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Be aware of the feelings you’re having and pay attention to where in your body the feelings occur.
2. Express

“The unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates

Once you’ve gotten used to feeling what you’re feeling, the next step is to express. It’s about getting the issues off your chest so they don’t linger around and add to your woes. Other than having a solid support group, one of the best ways to do that is through a journal. I’ve been keeping one since I was fourteen and writing in it almost everyday has been truly incredible.

This is about slowing down and connecting with your thoughts. It’s about listening to what that wise inner voice is telling you. Again, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Take a few minutes everyday to jot down your thoughts, your dreams, or one thing you’re grateful for. Write about what’s happened lately and how it made you feel. Write about how you reacted to a problem and why you think you did what you did.

Information like that is priceless when it comes to figuring out what makes you tick. Looking back at the events of your life from an objective standpoint really puts them in perspective. Sometimes you can’t help but laugh at all the molehills you turned into mountains. And going over some entries you wrote years ago reminds you how far you’ve come and how much you’re grown. I like to spend the last week of December reading over everything I wrote during the year. It’s the best way to clear my mind and prepare for another fresh start!

3. Relax

This involves two things. It’s about doing one thing at a time and making sure you do it slowly. Relaxing is about focusing on the present. I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to be completely engaged in whatever it is you’re doing, from eating to reading to working out at the gym. There’s no greater feeling in life than being in that blissful state of flow.

Focusing on the present also relates to connecting with your feelings and thoughts. It’s about accepting all the curve balls life throws your way as an inevitable part of the experience. It’s about understanding that you can’t control everything. In fact, the only thing you can control is yourself and doing so requires letting your thoughts and feelings flow freely.

This doesn’t give us permission to react whenever we feel the urge. Instead, we need to maintain a degree of detachment without being aloof. Detachment allows us to feel our feelings without getting completely swept up. Don’t resist your frustration or your anger because repression will only make it stronger. Instead, think of yourself as a conduit. Embrace it completely! Listen to what your body is trying to tell you. Don’t waste your time trying to rearrange the outside world when your inner world is where the real problem lies. It’s the first step in the healing process.

“You must become aware of everything you are feeling all the time. Continuously scanning your energy system and the accompanying thoughts, moment by moment, is emotional awareness... Emotional awareness means relaxing into the present moment even when it contains painful emotions. Intimacy means trusting that the universe will provide what you need, when you need it, and in a manner most appropriate for you.” – Heart of the Soul

Author's Bio: 

About Me

I have been an active writer for over a decade and published my first book in August 2007. This marked the start of Varsity Blah, a personal development blog that has now received almost 250,000 hits from over 120 countries worldwide. This article is one of almost 100 posts that were compiled into my upcoming book, which was reviewed on Authonomy.com: “This is some very insightful stuff… The way the book is structured, paired with your capabilities of drawing great narrative, leads this on the right path. This cleanses the mind.”

For more free chapters and special reports, please email editor@varsityblah.com.

About My Services

Graduating from college with distinctions in financial accounting and classical piano has given me a uniquely creative approach to all I do. As a personal development copywriter, I specialise in creating content on improving health, relationships, finances, and career. This includes writing and editing articles, papers, blog posts, web copy, and much more. My professional background in marketing (as well as my extensive experience as one of the first external bloggers for the World Advertising Research Centre) means I can also provide case studies, company profiles, and whitepapers focused on branding, communications, digital media, and market research.

For more information on the services I provide and to discuss your project needs, please email editor@varsityblah.com.