What is the best way to deal with stress at the very moment when an adversity is happening?
We all know old saying “it will all be ok in the end, and if it’s not ok, it’s not the end”; which in fact hides the truth that we as humans adapt to everything (and that always thing turn to our best, even if we don’t like it :)). However, most often than not, when we are in the middle of some of our life’s troubles, we don’t see any way out. While living in Asia, I got acquainted with Buddhist views on life quite a bit, and one which proved to be especially useful to me in a pragmatic way holds that pain in life is inevitable, but that a resistance to what is creates suffering. To put it into every day an vocabulary – there is no such thing as a stress-free or adversity free life, but how we respond to it will determine the level of our hurts and a quality of our life.
In western culture we became specialists for trying to avoid the pain at all cost, seeking pleasurable experiences and numbing painful ones, but both are natural part of life. This consequently means that the only way out of the painful situation is right through it. How to do that, you might ask? 🙂 Well, a lot is in the stories we tell ourselves, as they will determine where our focus go and hence direct our actions.
Recipe that works for me during the storms and keeps me centered is: I let myself feel whatever there is to feel (including sadness, anger, some tears and all), I meditate daily and use breathing techniques, I am mindful of which thoughts I pursue when they come up and which I choose not to engage in, and where my focus is, and most importantly – I take an inspired action in a desired direction. This brings me a sort of a feeling of grounding; acceptance that things may be hard at this moment but that will pass too, and a reminder that that very moment might be an amazing opportunity to learn and grow (and next time something happens, it gets easier :)).
What about you? What works for you when things get stressful, what tools you use to make the most of them? Drop me a line, I would love to hear from you.