We’ve become a society accepting the high level of stress in our lives. We struggle to pay bills, keep up with our children and their activities, and work in jobs with diminished rewards. A general feeling of malaise adds even more to our loads. How long can we carry our burdens without some repercussions? How heavy does life get before knees begin to buckle.

I’m reminded of a woman who was speaking to an audience on stress management. She held up a glass of water and asked if it was “half empty, or half full?” The instructor spoke again, “ That’s not the important question. How much does this glass of water weigh? That’s important.” She got answers that ranged from 6 oz. to 16 oz.

“The absolute weight does matter. But the core question is how long can you hold it? If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

Stress is exactly the same as her example. We have to find ways to put down “that glass of water”, if only for a while, or we will suffer greatly from the burden of carrying stress 24 hours a day. Think how great it would feel if we chose to say to ourselves “ok” one hour a day, or one day a week I’m not going to carry these over-weight loads. We know they will still be there later; we’re deciding to put them down for a while. We are now leaving room to feel refreshed, invigorated, and even inspired.

We can eventually consume enough stress that we physically become ill. Which in and of itself is one of the worst forms of stress. It will kill you. In Europe they call stress the “Black Death.”

There are no magic pills that can make all the stresses go away. You can take control of your personal stress by implementing some positive new habits as part of your routine.

Read something positive before you go to bed each night. There are lots of books about the benefits of positive thinking.

Meditate 10 to 20 minutes a day in your “quite place”. Meditating is not something you need to take a class on; you can buy a CD and try a guided meditation. That’s a very relaxing way to take your mind off all the stresses.

Acupuncture is a great stress reliever. Not only does it relieve stress, it will build up your immune system to help keep you healthy.

Writing in a journal can be a means to put down on paper all the burdens that are pulling you down.

Whatever method you use the bottom line is to put down those stresses for a while…you can always pick them up tomorrow when you’re rested.

Author's Bio: 

Harley Duff-Bogley, A.P., Dipl. Ac.
Joyful Heart Acupuncture Inc.
904 625-1912

I received my BA in Classical Five Element Acupuncture at the Worsley Institute of Classical Acupuncture in Miami, FL., and an Advanced Licensure at the College of Traditional Acupuncture in Lemington Spa, England. Additionally, I am nationally certified by the NCCAOM. I have held licenses in Maryland and Georgia before moving to Jacksonville, FL in 2011. One of my greatest joys is sharing my experience of nearly twenty years of practice to guide and empower my patients to abundant health and a “joyful” heart through Five Element Acupuncture.