Stress does not discriminate by sex, age, social standing or profession. Whether an overcommitted student, an employee fearful of losing his/her job, the employer concerned about payroll, or a family in need of rescue, €œstress kills. It paralyses the mind, stiffens the muscles, stirs-up the organs and increases pressure inside the body.
Everyone knows someone who suffers from one or more of these medical conditions: depression, panic, brain fog, aches and pains, indigestion, acid reflux, heart burn, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, high blood pressure, heart condition, insomnia, overeating, rage, weakened immunity, increased inflammation or accelerated aging. More children are experiencing muscle spasms, migraine headaches, exhaustion and upset stomach. All of these symptoms could be attributed to stress.
Reflecting on ways to conquer stress one realizes it is a positive and negative; when out of balance a negative effect ensues. Stress is also internal and external, something done to us as well as something we create ourselves. One secret is realizing that everything has stress. Getting fired or married could have equal stress. Because it is good or brings joy does not preclude the fact that one may experience overwhelming stress.
Another secret to balance is massage. People receive a massage to feel more at ease. By releasing physical tension one experiences increased anatomical balance interpreted as relaxation. When living in balance, one may navigate challenges with more clarity and compassion.
Life is like a teeter-totter. Children go up and down, others join in or drop out and with each change teams adjust. Change creates an imbalance at the center of the teeter-totter, playmates recalculate weight, adjust players, have friends take turns, etc. But when the teeter-totter itself it is out of balance and there is no center strength in its construction, disaster could befall the participants.
The fascination with making the teeter-totter perfectly balanced for a friend to ride both sides while straddling the middle is crushed when one side attempts to get the other side to fall off. Yes, teeter-totter is a game for children, yet in many ways it reflects life. With a strong core adjustment are made, one may ask for help, take a break, or search for alternatives. Someone is always willing to help and someone else is looking for ways to take you down.
Children spend countless hours going up and down, yet never look at the middle support, the very mechanism that makes it teeter and totter. This often is true in life, there is a centering core for stress relief but most have never been told what it is or how to begin.
There are seven points that have been identified as key components to developing a strong core which helps us keep stress in balance:
Belief – Most people have a firm foundation in a benevolent loving Creator.
Self – A healthy care and love of self, so that there is strength and stability to love and care for others.
Partner – Love and care for your spouse above your children. There will be a day that children move on; during their growth you and your lover should strengthening your bond.
Family – You make sacrifices to provide for children and family, but don’t confuse that with being sacrificial or self-sacrificing. You cannot help anyone if you are failing yourself.
Work – Work is a fulfillment of a promise, not the cliche a necessary evil.€ Deep joy and satisfaction comes from work.
Rest – Is not sleep. Rest is time of reflection, to seek peace. The mind creates memories and learns from the events of the day. John Wesley in €˜Primitive Physic’ states; €œabove all add rest, (for it is not labor lost).
Solitude – As the pace of life increases, the need for solitude grows. Solitude is when we seek answers by actively listening for higher awareness. Practicing solitude brings us full circle to belief.
Stress relief is as much an art as a science. These seven items in this order are an ideal, like the perfectly balanced teeter-totter in motion. When experiencing stress, check-in with yourself, the family, and those who have influence in your life using these as a guide. Rarely will each item have equal time and attention in perfect balance, because life itself is in constant motion attempting to find its center. Yet reflecting on these points could help strengthen the foundation on which one stands while experiencing highs and lows. Stress is never eliminated; it is conquered by finding order and balance.