Flip the Relax Switch Inside You

“A boat is safe in the harbor. But that’s not what boats are built for.”

Be proud that you’re showing up out there in the choppy sea. Remember you’re a boat. You’re made to weather storms. You’ve got this.

De-Stress at a Moment’s Notice

Life is loaded with stress, and some of it’s great: planning vacations, seeing a child off on a new adventure, creating an exciting new project. Of course, some stress is WAY less than great. The point is, stress is part of living, and there’s no point trying to get rid of it.

What you want instead is to become resilient to it. Able to cope without losing yourself. In a storm, be the steady roots of the tree rather than the whipping branches.

I’ve recently taken a deep dive into this side of my work. Why, when you know what to do, want to do it and maybe even have… what then stops you. Why can’t new routines withstand the pull that returns you back to where you were before. What, exactly, is that pull that keeps you stuck? And how can you unstick it already?

We all live with a running narrative in our heads - stories, feelings, beliefs, thoughts - and there’s constant friction there. You hear versions of the too-familiar “I want that” vs. “No I don’t” all day. That tension or battle or whatever you want to call it… that’s also pointing to the solution.

Each person has their own answer(s), and their own road out. Know that there is a road out. It’s really amazing work and I’d love to share what I’ve learned recently, and how it can support your healing. Give me a shout and we can talk more specifically.

Here’s the Destress I promised you today. Maybe you’ll try it right now? Pretty please?:

Don’t let how easy it is convince you that it’s wimpy. It’s as close to a “stress off” switch as you’ll find.

Sit down, and let gravity release your shoulders down your back.
Place your hand on your belly, below your rib cage.
Relax all the muscles there. Slowly take a really big deep breath in to completely fill your lungs. Feel your hand move out as your belly expands.
Exhale slowly and fully, and feel your belly move back toward your spine.
Repeat three times, letting your hand move out and then back in.

Now take a moment to notice how you feel. There might be a shift in your body, you might just feel calmer in general. If not, try a few more breaths.

When you take those nice deep breaths, it forces your diaphragm (an umbrella shaped muscle that’s just below your lungs and above your stomach) to flatten, which triggers something called your vagus nerve that slows down your heart rate and relaxes you. Stress hormone faucets are also turned off (cortisol, adrenaline).

Start to think of feeling stressed as a breath deficiency, and use this as the solution.