Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Some Ideas on Dealing with Stress

The Australian SBS TV news a week or so ago had a short item about some recent research that had been done into reducing stress. We each tend to have habitual responses to certain stress triggers (almost like mini program along the lines of "IF blah THEN respond this way"). Such stress leads to changes in our mental and physical well being (ironically its usually we that suffers the adrenal overload and subsequent mind-body response, not the target of our anger or frustration). IF we can catch ourselves as soon as we start reacting to something we can ask ourselves three questions:
  • is it important
  • is my response level appropriate
  • can I change anything.
If the answer is "no" to any of these questions then its time to reflect and consider if its really worth getting stressed about.

I should have remembered all this when my credit card wouldn't work at the supermarket at the weekend and I ended up waiting in the ten deep queue at the service desk to get another go at paying.  Was it important? - well a nuisance but not big in the scheme of things - credit cards do these things.  Was my response level appropriate - no, because I got frustrated waiting in the queue and that only got me feeling off for the rest of the day.  Could I change anything? - no because there were only so many staff and thats not their fault, its the corporations and it was probably a bank or scanning error - none of which I could stop from happening again.

So when the subconscious program takes over and you don't catch yourself in time with those three questions what do you do to regain equilibrium? I watched a relaxation/self-hypnosis video on Youtube which contained an interesting thought - trance is a rhythm that you can learn.  That got me thinking that health and happiness must have its own rhythm too.  So then I visualized/mentally remembered how I felt when I felt right with the world and focused on that.  It took a few goes to keep bringing myself to focus on that rather than what had annoyed me but after a few goes it started to take root.  So for me it does seem that wellness/happiness does have its own rhythm and if you can remember how that feels and visualize it your body-mind will respond in reasonably short-time.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Miguel Ruiz's "Mastery of Love"

I'm still working my way through Miguel Ruiz's books.  I've just finished "The Mastery of Love" which has me thinking the following:

We are told lies about love

  • Lie One: that you have to receive love from others
  • Lie Two: that you have to deserve love
  • Lie Three: that you have to earn love
  • Lie Four: that love needs a reason (actually this one is probably the main lie)
  • Lie Five: love is something thats difficult to do

The truth, for me anyway, is more like this:

  • Love is a simple conscious choice I make to do now, to feel it now through my whole being (I feel a lot of muscles relax in my body when I make this choice). Practice can make it a habit that's possible to do even under stress.
  • I don't need a reason to love I just choose to do it for no other reason than it feels good and I know its good for me and those around me.
  • There's an infinite quantity of love waiting inside me anytime I choose to tap into it I don't need to earn it and I don't need to save it - we're not talking about "supply and demand" or the "economics of scarcity" here.

The same above applies to happiness and forgiveness.  Applying this leaves one free to interact with others without giving off a vibe of "neediness" that might otherwise attract people looking for a co-dependent interaction or ongoing destructive co-dependent relationship.

This may sound narcisstic, egoistic or selfish but in fact acts opposite to that as it places you in a position where you can interact more freely with others, without needing or wanting anything back.

Taking things one stage further you can get yourself in a relaxed state and visualize yourself all the way back to when you were in the womb and say to yourself  something like "I am loved, wanted and safe" and know that it is true because you undertake to love yourself (without conditions), to want what you are and to protect yourself.  Bring that awareness and knowledge forward all the way into the now.

Once you create that firm base you can then move to extending it to unconditional love and enjoyment of those around you.

Consider the average household cat - you don't expect them to be responsive to your needs, its nice if they want to play or be involved in what you are doing but mostly they are just there and you enjoy their company and them just being what they are. If you give your cat lots of affection as a kitten and don't hurt or scare it, feed it good food and give it a few toys you know that you will both end up having a better relationship in the long run. Try to control the same average cat and it will most likely make the cat equivalent of a rude gesture at you.  Treat it badly and it will leave.