Stress happens

We can't eliminate all the stress in our lives - it just isn't possible - and actually, having a little stress in our lives is good for us.  Research on "hormesis" shows that the body responds well to mild stressful situations.  However what we need to do, instead of trying to banish stress, is accept that there will be stress in our lives and develop better coping skills to deal with it.  Skills you can call on everyday.

Most of these skills involve some mind-body connection, cultivating mindfulness and learning to pay attention to the present moment and not dwelling on the past.

Below you will see "The tree of comtemplative practices" which offers suggestions on different types of things you can do to reduce stress.  We are all different.  For some of us, using stillness and meditation will work.  For others, that is never relaxing, so maybe dance or aikido, getting moving, would help.

Maybe music and singing is your way of relaxing, or doing volunteer work and taking your mind off your own problems.

But don't wait until you are crumbling under stress before you consider what you need to do - find something now that can help you cope with stress.  Choose whatever resonants and feels right for you, and then practice it every day.   If necessary, you may need to find someone to guide you and teach you how to do it effectively.  Before you are in crisis is the time to do that.  But the practice is key too.  Even if you only do your chosen method for a couple of minutes a day, the repetition will really help.

Your body will love you for it - it will change from being under the activation of the sympathetic nervous system - the fight and flight mode - to the autonomic nervous system (ANS).  When we are under the control of the ANS, that's when the body can work at healing itself and restoring.

Start practicing (practising) a contemplative practice!

Everything is tickety-boo

It's that time again for my weekly post where I share with you the things that have happened this week that make me feel that "everything is tickety-boo". 

Tickety-boo is more than just a feeling, it is a state of mind.  It doesn't mean that everything has be wonderful, just that you look for the good in your life and focus on that.   It's all about valuing the good things around you.  A way of looking beyond difficult things and appreciating the often simple, little things that make a difference.

As I write my "everything is tickety-boo" post each week, I hope you'll get the idea and take time to think about what has happened to you this past week and how it can help you feel tickety-boo.

Photo by davidhofmann08

Here is this week's list:

  • seeing all the different wild flowers growing when we went hiking today - including the fritillaria in the photo above
  • seeing pretty yellow and periwinkle colored moths and a snake on our hike
  • singing, singing, singing.  As it's Easter week, I've been doing a lot of singing this week.  
  • finishing my exams. Yippee!
  • looking forward to the upcoming Sonoma International Film Festival this week, and choosing the movies I want to watch
  • reading a new book which has a really different perspective on things and has made me think 
  • laughing at Harold my pet parrot who scared away a hawk that flew into the porch.  You'd think Harold was so brave with the noise he made, but he's a really scaredy bird!  Obviously a window as protection helps!
  • eating the best carrot dish ever - a "freshly dug"  carrot salad.  It was so yummy.  Had it for lunch at Bardessono in Yountville.  Confit carrot, carrot chips, fronds......lots of textures and every mouthful made me want to stop and savor it fully.
  • hearing a little boy singing to himself as he waited for his mum at the post office.  He kept singing the same line  of a little song again and again  and jigging around as he sang it.  Soooo sweet!
Hope you've had a great week too.  Did something make you sing for joy this week?