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Posts tagged ‘Worry’

Imagination and Stress

It is difficult for people to engage their “playful” imaginations when they are stressed and/or worried, although one might argue that an overactive imagination could lead to more stress. But, the focus is usually not on anything fun. People tend to focus their imaginations and energies on all the things that need to be done and/or those things they have no control. By shifting the focus from the worry and stress to fun and joy can be as simple as closing your eyes and focusing on breathing slowly and deeply, playing upbeat music in the background and visualizing a puppy/kitten playing or a baby/child laughing.

If possible smile and laugh. According to HelpGuide, “Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.” Furthermore, “laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.”

Now, as easily as your imagination can get the best of us when we imagine the worst case scenarios, we can also imagine the best case scenarios, just as easily. Dr Silvia Hartmann stated, “ANY good imagination or memory, daydream or fantasy will help stop stress, and actively RELIEVE stress, because the body can’t tell the difference between an imagined car crash or a real one…Taking your imagination onto a nice holiday, for example, even for just a few moments, is IMMENSELY stress relieving. Thinking of beautiful things, of pleasant things, of BEST CASE SCENARIOS, is also an outstanding anti-stress device.”

You have the power to imagine the negative aspects of stress away. Imagine being a carefree, happy, fluffy-white cloud squelching the overbearing sun trying to stress you with its pointy sharp rays. You can muffle your worries by imagining the best outcomes of any situation you may be experiencing and you can engage your imagination in happy thoughts like butterfly dancing or children running around and playing.

You have control of your thoughts, imagination and your reactions to most outside forces that happen upon you. Give yourself permission to use your playful (and powerful) imagination to deflate the stress in your life. When it comes to all the things you need to do, consider the following: What is the worst thing that could happen if I put off a few things for an hour or a day? What if I took an hour for myself to relax and recharge before I do anything else? Ask yourself, what are the best possible outcomes and then start believing in them. 

Inner Peace (for Feb. 16)

What is inner peace? You are invited to take a deep breath through your nose (if you are not congested) and release it in a deep sigh through your mouth. Do this at least three times and as you exhale, let go of all negative thoughts, concerns and worries. If you are really tense, gently roll your head by dropping your chin down and move your head toward your right ear, continue to roll it slowly as if you are looking upwards, then roll it towards your left ear back to your dropped chin position. Then go in the opposite direction, slowly toward your left ear and around to the right ear and back to the dropped chin position. Now, try the breathing activity again. These exercises should help you to relax and give you a sense of inner peace.

People experience inner peace when they are in balance. Inner peace is a person’s mental and spiritual well-being that is rooted in one’s essence and being. It is a sense of tranquility and satisfaction one feels especially when he or she is in balance. How does one achieve balance?

That is a question that you need to ask yourself. How about doing this backwards, what makes you feel imbalanced and puts you in a state of frenzy, agitation, angst or chaos? A surprise visit from your mother-in-law? Probably anything that is not part of your regularly scheduled program, right? What would set it right again for you?

Can you re-frame your situation so that you are at peace again? Mentally shifting your perspective can give you inner peace. You can work through most challenges inside out by shifting your beliefs around the problem. If that traffic jam causes you to be late to an important meeting, will worry and angst change the situation? What is the positive in this given situation? Does the traffic jam give you time to reflect before your important meeting? Can you actually enjoy that hot beverage you brought with you? How can you make the most of your present moment?

Most of the time the best thing to do is to look at your present situation from a different perspective when things are off-schedule, because hardly anything ever goes as planned. Everything is usually in entropy (going from order to disorder in a closed system). Can you use the present, unplanned moment as a way to make the situation better? Is there a creative, a-ha moment in it? Inner peace is about shifting your perspective and being flexible, which will allow your mental and spiritual being relax in the present moment. All we  have at any given  period of time is now. How you use your present moment will affect your inner peace. You have the power on how you wish to use your present moment. Do you wish to feel inner peace or invite unproductive worry? The choice is up to you. Isn’t that empowering to know?


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