Story: Dr. Bradley Nelson
April is Stress Awareness Month and here are six ways to be less stressed.
Longer, warmer days and holidays such as Easter, Passover, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day should make spring a happy time, but vacations, family gatherings, and new beginnings come with their own demands. Here are some tips to help you be stress-free during April, which is Stress Awareness Month, or any time of year.
1. Plan ahead but be flexible about your expectations. Consider your vacation plans and other gatherings carefully and be open to the ideas of others. Ask for ideas and discuss things ahead of time to gauge interest, set reservations, or make agreements. Everyone involved has expectations, and sometimes they won’t match. It’s fine to plan ahead and set your ideal scenario, but the best plan you can create is a plan to be flexible and leave room for spontaneity.
2. Be aware of what your body needs. To feel your best and respond optimally to a wide variety of situations life has in store, fortify your body with healthy food, plenty of water, rest, and exercise. Don’t throw routines out the window when you’re on vacation. Stick with what you know helps you feel great, so you can make the most of your free time. You’ll feel better about yourself and enjoy yourself more if you’re really taking care of your body.
3. Commit to your emotional well-being. You know what you need to help your innermost self feel at peace. Maybe you need the emotional support of a spouse, or a lunch date with a friend, or just some time alone. Make a list of the things that help you feel renewed, relaxed, and cared for, and then weave these into your days and weeks—whether you’re at home or on vacation. Decide how busy you want to be or not be. Say “no” to doing too much if it interferes with your health or family time, or if it feels like it will cause too much stress for you.
4. Communicate with love. If you’re feeling stressed by interactions with others, take a breather. Step outside for a few minutes for some fresh air. Maybe take a short walk around the block. Focus on speaking and acting with kindness toward others, and don’t forget to be kind to yourself! We can be our own worst critics, but next time you hear that internal mental chatter begin to take its all-too-familiar jabs, pause and replace it with loving statements. When communicating with others feels stressful, take a moment to listen before reacting. Are you hearing what the other person is saying, or are you adding your assumptions to create a larger meaning? Ask questions. Listen deeply rather than waiting to speak. React appropriately, with kindness, love, and forgiveness. Some people don’t have a handle on their behavior, but it shouldn’t affect how you feel or become your problem.
5. Choose your emotions. Most people have this mistaken belief that emotions choose us, and we are at the mercy of whatever emotions we feel. Reality is that no matter what the circumstance, we can choose how we respond. It’s important to remember that. You don’t always have control over what happens to you, but you choose to respond proactively rather than reacting based on past upsets.
6. Identify and release “trapped emotions. ” Many of us carry unresolved feelings from past negative and traumatic events. This emotional baggage causes us to make wrong assumptions and overreact. Trapped emotional energy also contributes to anxiety, depression, and most forms of illness.
Fortunately, there are ways to identify and free yourself of these emotional burdens and live more joyfully. One method is the “emotion code.” (Download a free copy of an eBook and audiobook by visiting emotioncodegift.com.)
Learning and practicing methods to free trapped emotions doesn’t mean the end of stress. It does mean that we have an opportunity to create a different outcome when stressors arise. Apply these tools to the most stressful situations in your life and see how much easier it is to defuse emotions. Be the calm you crave in your life, then watch your world begin to bloom and brighten.
About the author
Dr. Bradley Nelson, a holistic chiropractic physician and medical intuitive, is one of the world’s foremost experts in the emerging fields of bioenergetic medicine and energy psychology. His bestselling book, “The Emotion Code,” provides step-by-step instructions for working with the body’s healing power.