“No man is an island.”
We’ve all heard that quote.
And although it might stir up feelings of community, connection, and being a part of something much bigger than ourselves, it also brings to mind something quite unavoidable: the amount of influence that other people and circumstances inevitably have over us.
Things Beyond our Control
Loved ones might use negative words.
A boss might make loud, unreasonable demands.
A stranger might bump into you and shuffle on, without uttering an apology.
A friend might involve you in some tangled drama, of which you want no part.
Our cars might break down, rain might spoil our beach plans, an accident might leave us scrambling to pick up the pieces and rebuild again.
We are pulled in all these directions, allowing fragments of ourselves to go this way and that. And then there is no center.
There is nothing to support, to nurture, and to fortify our daily pursuits. There’s no fuel for the engine. In fact, there’s no one even behind the wheel.
Then life becomes a kind of disjointed dance, where we either lock ourselves away and become completely unavailable to those around us, or we lash out, fear and anger lighting the fire of our every move.
In both cases, we are setting ourselves up to attract the same negative interactions that we are fighting against. The armor that we put on to combat all that is breaking us is actually limiting us. Yes, armor has a nice shine to it, and it seems to represent strength and valiance, but it is not the thing that will transform our lives.
It is not the thing that will grab hold and pull us out of the cave of stress we have wandered into.
What We can Control
Instead of perpetuating more oppression and anxiety, we have to stand up and take the control back. Studies have shown that stress is related to the majority of diseases out there. The majority.
That means that by licking stress completely, we can live healthier lives. We can take the pressure off our cells, our nerves, our hearts, our digestive organs. By obliterating all things stress-related, we can get out of bed each morning, refreshed and eager to meet the possibilities of the day.
So how do we do that? The answer is: through meditation.
When we meditate, we are strengthening our immune system. We’re slowing our heart rate, balancing our hormones, changing our brain chemistry, clearing out the toxins, enabling our organs to function at a greater level.
Meditation is a mighty weapon to wield against stress. It is a weapon that can be used at any time and any place.
It is a tool of empowerment, for it allows you freedom from your emotions, from all those rules and opinions and judgments that you have taken in from society as your own. It shows you that inside of you, there is a place of utter stillness and calm that no one can touch.
And the best part? It’s so incredibly simple.
Below, I’ve included a meditation for stress relief. Please use this meditation to find yourself again. To find yourself in the midst of the traffic, the phone calls, the blaring television, the hours spent at the computer, the arguments, and the ticking clock.
There is nothing more satisfying than the click that occurs when you reconnect with your potential and allow all the stress to melt away.
Meditation to Combat Stress
Close your eyes and start to breathe deeply, inhaling and exhaling all the way down into your belly.
Let all thoughts drift out of your mind until there is nothing left. Allow your focus to be on your breath as it comes in and out of your body. Do this for one minute.
Then, with your eyes still closed and your breath still deep, start to do a scan of your body, from the bottom to the top.
Begin with your feet. Imagine that you are breathing down into your feet. Put all your attention into your feet, and take three long breaths into this space.
Now, slowly move up your body and continue breathing three deep breaths into each area.
For example, from your feet, you can go up to your calves, then to your knees, then to your thighs, then to your pelvis, then to your lower back, then to your heart/chest area…all the way up, until you get to the top of your head!
Remember to go through each area slowly. Also, it’s important not to have any thoughts in your mind, as your concentration should be on breathing into the different parts of your body.
Once you’ve gone all the way to the top of your head, you’ve completed the meditation.
Now, open your eyes, and approach the rest of your day completely stress-free!
Try this meditation right now. And before you do, in the comment section below, let us know what stresses might be clogging up your life today, and then make a commitment to kiss them goodbye!