Six Ways to Relieve Stress and Get Back to Center

I’ve been traveling and speaking a lot recently about stress management. As I move through airports, workshops, community centers, companies, and conferences, I’ve noticed a buzzy, low-grade anxiety and palpable stress in the air.  No doubt you’ve been feeling it, too.

We may be tapping into what the Swiss-born founder of analytical psychology, Carl Jung, calls “the collective unconscious.”  We are all swimming in the same ocean and are more interconnected than we know. There is—understandably so—a collective anxiety right now and, if you’re not careful, it can hijack your state of being.

We deeply affect one another, whether we like it or not. But when we begin to feel fearful or jumpy, it’s important to realize—energetically– what is ours and what is not ours. And it’s critical to know how to find our way home.

From my vault of favorite self-care practices, here are six ways to help you stay in your own boat:

  • Be aware and alert. If you’re feeling off, know that it may not be you. Just acknowledging that you’re being affected by others can often help you shift and gain perspective.
  • Be mindful of your media diet. Who are you letting into your consciousness each morning, during drive time, and throughout your work day? Negative news from radio, TV, newspapers, and digital devices can deeply affect the nervous system, leaving us in a constant state of “fight or flight.” Be judicious about how, when, and where you take in information.
  • Slow down and breathe. The pace of the outside world is always faster than our internal pace. You’re a human being—not a robot. Don’t let others dictate the speed at which you move.
  • Start your day intentionally. Perhaps consider meditation: your external world is a reflection of your internal  world. It’s important to take time to weed and water the garden.
  • Get out in nature. New research shows the powerful effect that immersing ourselves in the outdoors can have on your nervous system. Walk barefoot (even for five minutes), grab a blanket and lie on your belly, stargaze, sit by a creek, take a hike—all good ways to quickly recalibrate.
  • Move your body. Ever heard the saying “the issues are in the tissues”? Walk, dance, do yoga or qigong, swim, run—moving helps us to reconnect with our bodies, get out of our heads, and shake off the funk.

There are a lot of frenzied folks out there speeding down the autobahn of life—move over into the slow lane and let them pass. And be compassionate with yourself as you do.

This article was originally published on Renée's blog at reneetrudeau.com.

Renée Peterson Trudeau is an internationally recognized transformational coach, catalyst, speaker and author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal.

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