One thing after another…

For the last two months, it’s been one thing after another.  Not all of these things have been bad, necessarily, but it has all been a lot to handle.  I’ll put it that way.  Things don’t always have to be bad to cause stress in someone’s life.  I can attest to this!  Worrying about things that you cannot change, though, is time wasted, even though we all do it to some extent.  Worrying about things that you can’t change gives the stress the upper hand in your life because stress feeds on that.  Stress is not altogether bad in and of itself.  When it spawns negative feelings and your behaviors deteriorate because of it, then it becomes a problem, though.

There are a lot of different ways to deal with stress.  One is to exercise.  This one is particularly good as a solution because it helps your body to clean up the bad chemicals or the excess chemicals, and helps your body to release calm-inducing and energizing chemicals so that you feel better.  On top of that, you just got a workout!  Exercise doesn’t have to be in a gym, either.  It can be a walk outside.  It can be taking the stairs instead of the elevator in your office building.  It can be taking a five-minute walk around the office or down the hallway every half hour (which is good for all of us).  It can be doing a recreational activity or a physical activity that requires a lot of focus, therefore pushing the stressful thoughts out of the way.  Be creative.  Exercise is a great way to handle stress, good and bad.

Another way to deal with stress, if you have spiritual beliefs and practices, is to engage in those.  Meditation also works for some.  Meditation doesn’t work for me because I have PTSD and meditation is therefore a recipe for disaster, but try it out so that you at least know if it works for you or not.  Some folks are into yoga.  Yoga isn’t my thing, either, but many people swear by it, so I’m not going to knock it.  You have to experiment and try things out to know if they will reduce your own stress levels or not.  That’s the only way to know for sure.

I bought something called a Spire stone since I can’t climb right now to relieve stress.  It has an app that goes with it.  It’s a device that clips onto either your waistband or your bra, depending on which hugs your body more closely and what your situation is.  This device, once charged and paired to your iPhone, monitors your steps, focus, tension, calmness, breaths per minute, activity, and sedentary time throughout the day.  It has different vibration patterns to alert you to different states of mind.  For example, it will vibrate a certain way to alert you that you are tense and ask you if you need to take a break on your phone when it alerts you through the app.  If you’ve been sitting too long, an alert will come that asks if you’d like to stretch your legs because you’ve been sitting for a long time without moving.  Another vibration pattern accompanies the focus alert, etc.  I’ve been using the Spire stone for four days now and it has improved my awareness of what I’m doing and the daily reports show me what areas I need to work on in a visual way so that I get an actual picture of what state most of my time is spent in.  Through awareness, the app has a function to help you control your breathing as well, which really helps during times of tension.  If you need a device such as this, or a heartrate monitor, or other devices that help you to monitor your state throughout the day, I would encourage you to invest in one and see what works to calm your stress.

Stress is a universal problem.  Learning to deal with it effectively is a process and doesn’t happen overnight.  I’ve tried countless ways of dealing with stress and climbing is the only thing that truly does the job for me.  I can’t climb with a broken wrist in a cast, though, so I have to find other ways to try to deal with the problem of stress in my life.  It’s good to at least know where you stand, and that’s what the Spire stone is allowing me to do.  Even though I spend most of my time in a tense state, at least that’s confirmed by data collected by the device, therefore I know where I stand.  It keeps a record so I can look back and see trends, which is useful.  Whatever your stress relief looks like, make sure you engage in that activity or practice a little bit extra due to the holiday season.  It can be more stressful than you think!  Here’s to less stress!  Have a great day!

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