Stress is Optional: A Global Epidemic
This is the first in a four-part series.
Why am I an advocate for convincing others that stress is optional? Simple—because it is simply not okay that there is a global stress epidemic. Moreover, it doesn’t need to be this way.
Moving Beyond “Stress is Normal”
I want to provoke each of you to question society’s current mindset that stress is normal; this is my mission. As more individuals question the global addiction to stress, the collective mindset will shift to stress is optional in conversations, commitments and choices.
The next best version of you is revealed as you understand how culturally ingrained, fear-fueled and stress-inducing “what if’s” block your ease, vibrancy and prosperity in life.
I believe society is addicted to the associated adrenaline which stress provides in various forms to chase after wants for the sake of wanting them. Just consider how our compulsion to be connected to technical devices 24/7 is compromising our nervous systems and certainly our relationships. For that matter, try and have a one-on-one conversation with a teenager or adult without their smart phone and see how long that lasts.
A Balance of Basic Engagement
It is time to balance the energy expended on technology and countless opportunities to connect dangled in front of us all day with more traditional means of engagement. Consider taking the time to:
- read a book for an entire afternoon;
- play a game of chess instead of mindlessly putting on Netflix;
- have dinner at the dining room table in conversation versus watching the boob tube;
- sit in silence and contemplate how you see your day unfolding before leaping out of bed;
- cultivate your intuition muscle instead of your googling muscle;
- truly listen and hear that individual who appears to be a contrarian in your life;
- suspend judgement to become informed and, perhaps enlightened to a new way of seeing the world;
- do something for a friend or neighbour to demonstrate what community truly means;
- make a choice to slow down and just “be with you” instead of filling in every minute of your day;
- before you mindlessly fill the pharmaceutical prescription suggested in a 15-minute doctor’s visit, research all options for your next best choice;
- consider allowing tuning into your body to inform you on the best way to heal;
- consult another doctor or doctor of naturopathy; and
- BE ok slowing down and getting to know who you really are and how you really want to spend your precious time.
A Necessary Shift in Thinking
Many of clients initially connect with me to figure out how to get from where they are to where they want to be in terms of goal-setting and goal-achieving. What is fascinating is most are focusing on what is not working which to a degree is human nature. However, once they begin to shift their energy towards what they do want and take inspired action, the results show up.
Freeing oneself of worn-out, stress-producing habits is the simplest way to close the gap on goal-achieving. So, the opportunity for each one of us is to make the commitment to adopt the perspective of stress is optional. When we do this and be this, individual and collective conversations and choices will shift and literally re-program the global way of leading on a cellular level.
This change requires our willingness to question news feed in all forms and platforms which are triggering stress addiction with dire fear-laden consequences. It requires us to pause and course-correct our habits to focus on human-being versus human-doing. It requires that we mindfully vote with our purchasing dollars from a place of plenty and abundance versus not enough, “what if” scarcity. So, let’s be well! Stress IS optional. Are you in?
Stress Solutions Tip: Course-Correct
This is one of my clients’ favourite tools. In the moment of awareness of being in a state of stress, course-correct for just ten minutes, an hour, half a day. Let’s say your day is feeling stressed and anxiety filled. Shift your attention and do something else for 10 minutes or whatever amount of time is needed to get back into a place of calm. This might look like: making a cup of tea; leaving the office for a ten minute walk with a bottle of water; going into the garden to ponder what’s next to grow; reading a few pages from an inspiring book you carry with you; tune into Spotify on your smart phone to some soothing music; call a pal and have a uplifting conversation. After ten minutes, take one inspired-action step forward in support of your Game-Changer Goal. There have been times, where I will re-schedule meetings and go workout, make a healthy lunch, etc. to get my mindset back into a place of ease and possibilities.
Stress Solutions Tip: The 16-Second Pause
This technique can be utilized anywhere with no one else but you knowing you’re doing it. Simply breathe in through your nose with a focus of down your lungs to your belly for 4 seconds. Now, hold your breath for four seconds and then, slowly exhale from your belly up through your lungs and out your nose for four seconds. This instantly calms your nervous system to it natural state. Whenever I do this, I usually yawn which demonstrates my nervous system slowing down. This is a game-changer
Christine Monaghan is a human-potential champion, co-creating solutions with leaders and teams to get from goal-setting to goal-achieving with a stress solutions approach. Her commitment—to influence clients to goal-achieve utilizing proven success principles; provoke a cultural shift from “stress is normal” to “stress is optional”; increase productive potential; decreased stress –based immense costs; become the leader others want to follow. Christine is a consultant; 1:1 coach, eLearning platform founder, author and international podcast host (Mental Health News Radio network).