Reduce Stress, Find Peace

Posted by in Lessons Learned

reduce stress meditationWhen you find yourself in trying times, the ability to reduce stress becomes invaluable.The insidious thing about stress is how subtly it creeps into your life. Sometimes, it’s only when you get rid of its major sources do you realize how pervasive stress was in your life. That’s what I learned.

Traumatic Events Leave a Mark

You may decide to take a stoic approach to reduce stress. You swear that you won’t let it take over. Yet, small traumatic events add up if you don’t deal with them. They leave emotional scars that can translate into a form of post-traumatic stress syndrome or PTSD. They cause anxiety when reminders of the situation appear in your life.

In recognizing its impact, you can take measures to reduce stress in your life. A mix of self-care, rational thought, and mindfulness provide excellent tools to lead you onto the path of peace.

Reduce Stress Approach

A technique that I’ve found useful is taking time for rational thought. When my mind races to the worst case scenario, I step back and dissect the feelings. Is this rational or irrational thought? What is my basis for coming to this conclusion? Do I really know what I think I do?

Oftentimes, I’ll uncover a train of thoughts based on false or unsubstantiated beliefs. By recognizing the probable and the improbable, I can allay my fears that the world is going to crumble down before me.

Another technique involves conditioning. Last year, we discovered a crack in our foundation. At the time, I was convinced the house was going to collapse. [Irrational thought] Whenever the house creaked, I was sure that was the warning sign.

To combat these thoughts, I used classic conditioning. Instead of panicking, I took the moment to reflect on something/someone I was grateful for. My fears soon dissipated. An unpleasant moment become one of peace.

Embrace Mindfulness

Another thing I did to reduce stress was to embrace mindfulness. I began meditating. I prefer guided meditations to silence my distracting thoughts. I can’t recommend the app, Calm, more.

I followed its seven-day happiness program. It gave me the courage to face the challenges that I had to deal with, things like accepting uncertainty.  I am know doing its gratitude program. It’s been a godsend.

I’m sure I don’t need to write too much about the health implications of stress. It puts you in a chronic state of fight-or-flight that can seriously impact your immune system, your cardiovascular health, and mental well-being. Its effects are too severe to ignore.

Your life doesn’t have to be dominated by stress. By acknowledging its existence, you’ve take the first step toward reducing stress. Don’t let it get the better of you. Seek peace. You deserve it.

By Chris DR/

photo credit: August 31, 2014 via photopin (license)