I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to slow down during stress. I think this stress management skills is a most crucial one.
Imagine trying to climb a steep mountain at full speed while carrying one bag over your shoulder, one on your back and a full suitcase in each hand. Although you are strong and can handle the initial weight, you find that the speed at which you started becomes harder and harder to maintain. Your breathing becomes heavy and you find it hard to catch your breath. You begin to overheat and feel the beginning stages of extreme exhaustion. Those bags seem much heavier than they were in the beginning. Before long, you fall to your knees and have no energy to carry on.
It is very much like this in the real world when it comes to stress and what we do to ourselves.
The more stressful events that come our way, the more we need to slow down. We all need to learn to slow down during stress.
Many of us don't think it's okay to slow down. We believe deep down that by slowing down we are somehow being unproductive. This idea creates much anxiety in itself. So we continue to push ourselves harder and harder thinking that if we just keep moving and sacrifice everything else, we are somehow doing the right thing. However, many end up sacrificing their physical health and even their mental health by working this way.
Learning to slow down during stress means
taking time to make a few
changes in your life.
1. You first need to give yourself permission to slow down. The attitude we have inside and what we tell ourselves matters a great deal. A hurried attitude inside can create more stress and anxiety than it's worth. Allow your attitude to reflect acceptance and give yourself permission to slow down whenever possible.
2. Say NO to things that are not high on your priority list. It really is okay to say NO to people and you don't need to explain yourself to them. Each time you say YES to something when you already have a full list to do, you are only increasing the weight of more responsibility on yourself. Be sure that if you say YES, it's because you want to and that you have set time aside to do it.
3. Don't forget to take time to breathe! Make time each day to "stop and smell the roses". Keep your mind in the right place by filling yourself with gratitude for those around you and the beautiful things in the Earth. Without deliberately taking time to do this each day, you will miss out on all the positive things that are waiting to be noticed each day. These positive things can be great encouragements as we move through life.
4. Get enough rest! We don't rest enough. Getting enough rest will help replenish your energy, sustain your natural brain chemicals, and put you in a better mood.
Now Imagine This:
Imagine trying to climb that mountain, only this time you have gone through your bags and removed all the unnecessary pieces.
Instead of climbing that mountain full speed ahead without stopping, you climb the mountain with a firm plan that you are going to make time to stop, rest, and perhaps take some photos of some beautiful things along the way. You plan on rewarding yourself with a short nap. Then it is up the mountain again. Before long, you have reached the top where the scenery is breathtaking and well worth all your hard work. You reached this goal because you learned to balance the stress in your life!
I am sure you have heard, slow and steady wins the race. I can't tell you how true that is. We get there by pacing ourselves and doing what is necessary to maintain our physical and mental health along the way. There is no greater reward than to reach your goals happy and healthy enough to enjoy the fruits of your labor. So many hard working people, push so hard that they either never finish due to exhaustion or they get there feeling so sick and tired they cannot even enjoy the reward of their success.
When life's demands are heavy, you must remember to take time for yourself. Slow down during stress and make yourself a priority in this life journey. Remember, you will get there in due time.
Always make time to slow down during stress. By doing so, you are choosing what is best for you!