Our lives are so busy these days. We are always rushing about and being bombarded with news, information and energy from all over the place!
Your phone is probably never out of your hand for long – are you a slave to the notification ping too?
Anxiety and stress is becoming a major problem for many people in our society. I have suffered from it myself and know how debilitating it can be. As we approach the festive period stress levels can rise further and often the holidays become a time of illness and worry for many.
I thought I would put together my 5 steps which helped me and which help my clients reduce their stress and anxiety levels in order to reach a state of inner peace.
Step 1 – Set a positive intention at the start of your day
It is important that you start your day with a positive mindset. I will often talk to my clients about the importance of meditation and intention setting. I know that time is of the essence in the morning and that you are probably saying “I don’t have time for that!”
Trust me – you can find a couple of minutes in the morning to set your intention. This is my routine: – The alarm goes off and I usually hit the snooze button to be completely honest! During the 5 minute “snooze” I begin to formulate my plan for the day. I think about the things I have to do and I see them running smoothly in my mind. When the alarm goes again I make a conscious effort to get up and smile – I am alive, I am able to get out of bed and I have a warm home. I make the bed and head for the shower.
I use the time in the shower to be mindful. I notice the smell and feeling of the shower gel and shampoo. I intend that any negative energy is being washed off. In fact what I recommend is that you jump into the shower while it is still freezing before it warms up – it not only wakes you up but it shocks any negative energy out of your aura and kick-starts your day!
So you see – I haven’t done anything that different but what I have done is set a positive intention for my day and it allows me to start as I mean to go on. It really makes a difference as you attract the energy vibrations you give out – so why not try this and see how you get on?
Step 2 – Get some fresh air
Getting outside is really good for the soul. It doesn’t matter if you don’t live in the countryside – you can still benefit from being outdoors. Look up to the sky – feel the expansive view of the sky soak into you. If you are lucky enough to live near the sea or a forest park then make a conscious effort to get out for a walk at some point in your day. Early morning walks are great for the soul and it is so quiet you can really tune into your body and be mindful as you walk. Evening walks are also lovely as you wind down from your day.
If you really can’t get out for a walk then make an effort to go outside on your lunch-break or at some point in the day and simply take 5-10 deep breaths in the fresh air. I promise you will feel better for it!
Focusing on the breath really helps in general to lower stress levels but when you add in fresh air and natural surroundings you increase the benefit ten-fold!
Step 3 – Nourish your body & soul
Your body is a wonderful machine which keeps you alive every day. Nourish it – put good healthy food and drink into it. Look after your body – listen to it. When you eat or drink something that doesn’t agree with you, your body will let you know. You may feel tired, sluggish or have cramps or bloating. Listen to this and swap out the foods that irritate you. This is not a lecture about healthy eating but you should be mindful of what you put into your body. Love and respect yourself enough to put good, nourishing food in rather than junk and your body will repay you with good health and vitality. This helps your body move away from a constant stress response and in turn helps you to relax and feel good.
It is important to nourish your soul too. Do things that you enjoy doing and make time to allow yourself to do so! Too often we are all work and no play – you need to adjust the work/life balance to allow yourself time to nourish the soul. Read books, be creative (cook, paint, garden .. whatever works for you!), sing, dance, find your inner light and let it shine!
Tend your mind garden – stop watching the news and listening to the doom and gloom on social media. There is so much good in the world but all we ever hear about on the news and in the papers is the negative stuff. Start reading positive news stories and turn off the toxic mainstream feed!
Step 4 – Be grateful
Gratitude is a real vibration raiser. By becoming mindful of all the blessings in your life you naturally reduce your stress levels. Every night I spend time writing in my diary about my day and I also keep a gratitude journal. In my gratitude book I write 5 or 6 things that happened that day that I am thankful for. It may be a word of thanks for the driver who let me out into traffic, a thank you for the smile from a stranger which brightened my day or it may be a word of gratitude that my difficult day ended and I was able to lie on the sofa in my PJs later!
There are so many things to be grateful for – clean running water, modern appliances which save you time, your kids, your family, your partner, your amazing human body, the blue sky, the rain, the sun …. you get the idea!
Try it for 2 weeks and see how you get on!
Step 5 – Listen to your gut and learn to say no when you need to
This one is the most important – how often have you had a gut feeling and then ignored it and wished you hadn’t? Finding your inner peace is all about getting into the flow of life. Learning to say no without guilt when needs be. Learning to trust your intuition and going with your gut reactions and feelings.
This one takes a bit of time and practice. In order to hear the intuition you need to become mindful and quiet. By following the 4 steps above you will be well on your way to doing that.
Make a conscious effort to notice your gut reaction to things. If someone suggests something or asks you to do something and you feel really off about it then say no. We all find it hard to say no to people but it is vital that you protect your energy levels, health and happiness by saying no to things that you really don’t want to do. Stop people pleasing and learn to assert yourself by respecting your own values and opinions.
I hope these 5 steps have helped you to at least start thinking about how to lower your stress levels in order to find some inner peace. I am running a stress management workshop on Saturday 26th November in Bangor, County Down where you can learn more. If you are in the local area and would like to come along then just get in touch! You can book your space via the website.
I would love to hear from you – how do you currently manage your stress levels? Do you need any help with it? I work remotely with people as well as in person. Reiki healing energy can be sent over distance and I regularly coach clients via Skype so distance is no barrier- get in touch, I’d love to connect with you!