Amidst the welcome thunderstorms, it’s beautifully sunny day here in Panama City, Florida.
So what if the humidity is hovering around the mid 90’s?
Welcome to Florida, it’s gonna be a damp ride…
My post about PTSD and anxiety, panic attacks, left me thinking of ways I’ve learned to deal with stress.
For myself, even after I got help with the chemical, body side of those related ailments, I’ve still had varying forms of stress poking holes into my happiness bag.
And, none of us likes lugging around a dripping bag of happy…
No. Wait up, That Would Actually Be A Good Thing, wouldn’t it?
I should probably change that particular metaphor…
Or, I could just jump onto the subject of today’s post:
Natural Techniques I’ve Used For Stress & Anxiety Management:
One of the first techniques I learned, and successfully used, was:
Because of my heighten awareness of my anxiety problems, I was a willing sucker for self-help books, and back in the day, cassette tapes.
Somewhere among the heaps of drivel I paid good money for, I’d learned about the calming effects of structured breathing.
And, wonders of wonders, the technique helped settle me down enough to make it through many stressful situations.
If you’ve ever sat light-headed, shaking, with a vibrating heart, outside a supervisor’s office, you can appreciate the soothing feeling the simple act of ‘breathing’ gave me.
Mostly depending upon the situation, there’re plenty of different breathing methods.
Because of the variety and because they’re easily found, we’ll skip examples…
Note: The following blue link will take to a Time Magazine web page with 6 Breathing Exercises.
Stress Management Through Exercise…
Staying active because of my good luck of being a natural athlete, I never gave formal exercise programs a thought.
Because it ‘felt’ good, in my 20’s I started doing daily cross-country runs.
These were also the years when my undiagnosed PTSD symptoms were getting increasingly harder to ignore.
I’ve no proof, but I suspect those daily runs helped me stay sane enough to cope with daily life without surrendering to the dark hole that sometimes offered suicide as an attractive solution. ( National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255)
I’ve since learned that just about any type of regular exercise helps control and manage stress and anxiety.
Note: The following blue link will take to a Mayo Clinic web page with an in depth expose of Exercises For Stress Management.
Having lived 70 years, I’ve had the
opportunity time to experiment…
In pursuit of stress and anxiety solutions, I’ve tinkered around with things like, acupuncture, affirmations, meditation, hypnotism, self-hypnotism, visualizations, different religions, drugs and alcohol…
Some helped. Most didn’t.
But, nothing helped like the following:
The concept of ‘letting go’ has been mainstreamed by self-appointed spiritual guide, Guy Finley, who published the popular book The Secret Of Letting Go.
I’ve read it and it’s not bad.
It’s strength, though, lies in centralizing and organizing unconditional love, acceptance & forgiveness related information in one convenient source.
Theoretically, most religions are based on the love, acceptance and forgiveness ideal.
Jesus, for example, did a lot with this kinda thinking. Which is were I first started getting the sense of power contained in living without worry, resentment, envy, anger, along with the practice of acceptance.
Relax, I’m a certified heathen, no proselytizing forthcoming…
The art, yes ‘art’, of letting go, is an inside job, and legitimately qualifies as being a life-long work in progress.
Because it’s counter intuitive, it’s difficult for most of us.
Yet, the basic concept is simple… As many ‘truths’ are.
Stop driving ourselves crazy thinking we have any affect on others.
Being slightly less than an obsessive compulsive control freak, I’ve naturally added a few tenets:
- Forgive yourself, so you can…
- Love yourself
- Forgive everyone else, so you can…
- Love everyone
- Stop judging yourself, so you can…
- Stop judging others
- Accept that you’re doing the best you’re capable of at any moment, so you can…
- Accept the same about others
- Accept that which you can’t directly change, and…
- Change that which you can’t accept, but can change…
- Develop the wisdom to recognize the difference
- Give everyone the freedom to make their own mistakes
- Worry is self-indulgent madness to occupy small minds
- Happiness is a self-directed, moment-to-moment choice
You get the idea…
Out of habit, and lifestyle, I do other things to control stress and anxiety. I feel that the three listed here are the most helpful.
Hope I’ve provided you with ‘food for thought’…
As usual, I’ll remind you… “I don’t know anything for certain and I’ve no advice about anything. My role is reporting upon my research and sharing personal stories with you.
Still, I hope to inspire you to accept what you can’t change and change that what you can’t take.
Ideas for me, your aging related story, or comments are always very welcome.