How to give up stress as a way of life
Good morning and happy Monday! Can you believe we are in week 6 of our journey to fall in love with Mondays? If you missed any of the episodes or need a refresher, you can find the videos on my YouTube Channel, Christie Hawkes. While you are there, please subscribe and be sure to hit the bell, so you’ll receive notification whenever a new video is released.
Today we’re going to broaden our focus and look at the big picture. For too many people, stress has become a way of life every day of the week. And while we can’t eliminate all stress from our lives–and we shouldn’t try–we can move the needle towards making calm the norm and anxiety the exception. We can give up stress as a way of life.
I love this quote by Timber Hawkeye. He said:
You can’t calm the storm. So stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.
Isn’t that a lovely sentiment? And so poetically said. What it doesn’t tell us is “how;” how do we calm ourselves when the storm is raging?
When it comes to matters of this much importance, I like to turn to the professionals. I freely admit I am not one, so the advice I give you today I have borrowed from a true professional, someone you probably are familiar with, Brené Brown. If you’re not familiar with Dr. Brown, you’re missing out. She is a research professor and a world-renowned author and speaker. She knows her stuff. So if you are serious about giving up stress as a way of life and cultivating calm, pay attention to what I am about to say and know that it comes from a person of authority.
When cultivating calm, the first thing we have to do is to lay the groundwork. Create a space in all the busyness and emotional clutter of life to become aware of how you feel and what you think. This stillness can be cultivated through a relatively simple daily mindfulness practice. When you hear mindfulness, you may automatically think meditation. Meditation is a great mindfulness tool; one that I do daily. But meditation isn’t the only way. You may use journaling, prayer, or quiet walks by yourself–anything that allows you to be fully present in the moment and completely aware of your physical sensations, your emotions, and your thoughts.
Now here’s the catch. In order to be effective, stillness practice needs to be a part of your regular routine, not something you do sporadically each time the proverbial shit hits the fan.
We’ll talk next week about what to do when that does happen…how to maintain grace under pressure when you’re splattered with crap. But this week, I’d love for you to focus on cultivating stillness. As soon as we are done here, get out your calendars and schedule your mindfulness practice, even if it’s just five minutes a day to begin. When you’re ready to start, find a quiet place, turn off your electronics, and simply be with yourself. Let go of any expectations about how it should be or how you should feel. Learn to witness your experience as it is, with openness and curiosity…without judgement.
Now before you unplug and get started, I have one request. You know what’s coming. If you like this video, please leave a comment letting me know, and then share it with all of your friends. I sincerely appreciate everyone who is helping me spread the word that Mondays can be happy too.
I wish for you a happy, calm week. I look forward to hearing about your stillness practice. Happy Monday!
Christie is an author and professional communicator who blogs about life transitions, wellness, mindfulness, and anything else that answers the question “So what? Now what?”