How to Transform Stress

Have you ever felt stressed, low energy or just plain off? I’m sure that’s a yes for everyone. It’s normal to feel that way every so often, but feeling that way consistently will take a toll on your body, your emotional well-being, and your overall energy. It will affect how you relate to people at work and in your personal life. Even though we all know this, we still continue to push ourselves day after day. Life can be stressful, yet you can make a change in how you live your life. I’ll give you an example. Say you’ve decided to take a yoga class to help manage your stress. That’s perfect, unless while you’re taking your class you are thinking about all of the things you have to do after class, or what you need to be doing tomorrow. You may even be thinking about something from the past. Essentially your body is going through the motions of taking a yoga class, but your mind is distracted and not present. If your mind isn’t in the present moment your body will be stressed.


We are ruled by our minds. If your mind is thinking about something from the past or the future, or thinking stressful thoughts, your body will mirror those thoughts. You’ll be stressed, even while you're taking a yoga class. This is why it’s not about what you do (the yoga class), it’s how you do it. Like taking a yoga class and being completely in the moment (mind and body) enjoying the experience of the yoga class.  


You will never experience stress when you are in the moment. Stress resides in the past and in the future. Think about it. You can be present (mind and body) in this moment, enjoying what you are doing. Then a minute later your mood can shift, because your mind wandered to the past or to the future. When your mind wanders back to the past or into the future there is no real depth, just fleeting recycled thoughts. And yes I understand your mind may be telling you that you have to think about the future to make sure you take care of things, or prevent negative things from happening. Yet, when you change how you think and feel in the present moment it will 100% affect the outcome of any situation in the future.


Learning to transform your stress can be a simple and easy process. Begin by making the decision to live more in the moment. Making this decision means your mind is on board. We are ruled by our minds so this step is necessary. When you feel stressed, have low energy, or feel just plain off, stop. Stop what you’re doing right then and there, and take note of your thoughts. What were you just thinking about? Most likely you were thinking about something from the past, or about what you were going to be doing in the future. Do your best to bring your thoughts into the present moment. When you are completely present with what you are doing, you’ll be changing how you do that physical activity.


If you’re still having a challenge being in the moment, you may need to step away from what you are doing. It’s like taking a positive time out. You’re having a challenge because your mind is resisting change. A positive time out will help your mind to refocus.


If taking a positive time out isn't working for you, you can try another approach. Visualize yourself being completely present and enjoying what you’re doing in that moment. What does that look like to you as a color? It can be any color, or multiple colors. It can be translucent, sparkly, wavy, anything. What’s the first color that popped into your mind, the very first color? What you see is the color of the energy of you being in the present moment. Now focus completely on that color. Got it? 


As you focus on your color you are giving your mind something else to think about and focus on. You gave your mind something tangible to think about (a color). The mind likes things that are tangible. Tangible is relatable and believable to the mind, which means the mind is on board with the changes you’re making. When the mind is on board you can accomplish anything you want. When you feel ready, you can go back to what you were doing, except see if you can change how you are doing it. See if you can bring your mind and your thoughts to the present moment.


Do your best this month to transform how you live your everyday life. Remember, we are ruled by our minds. If your mind is busy thinking of something from the past or in the future, you will feel it. You will be stressed. You now have tools to transform your stress. You can bring your mind and body present with whatever you are doing. And if your mind still gets distracted, you have a tangible tool (a color) to get your mind back on track. Stress is a part of life, but now you can get control over stress instead of stress controlling you. You are on your way to living a more enjoyable conscious life.

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