My number one auxiliary strategy when it comes to stress reduction and burnout prevention is meditation (surprise, surprise 😊). Why auxiliary you may ask? Because it doesn’t resolve the underlying issues – you’ll still need to do your work and deal with the causes.
I placed it so high on the list not only because it calms us (which it does), but because it improves our inner mental and emotional environment. It teaches us how to become less concerned with the events in our lives (not attaching), and how to live with adversities when they arise (not resisting). That is what we are practicing during meditation with our thoughts that come up. They come, we see them and let them go. And they are coming, all the time, as they usually do, we just become more aware of them. I bet the first thing when you start to meditate will be to notice the amount of thoughts.
I often hear people saying they cannot meditate (and some are concerned that it has cultural or religious connotations too. Almost all cultures and religions know some form of meditation, just call them differently). While there may be some obstacles related to certain health or physical conditions, for most people it’s a matter of willingness and a habit, and usually people will argue that they cannot stop their mind.
Well, guess what – we are not supposed to stop it. We are supposed to observe them without entertaining them. That’s one of the biggest gifts regular meditation gives us: a certain level of emotional freedom as we learn to navigate between different thoughts or life events, if we apply the same principle to life.
Practically speaking, meditation is nothing more than sitting in silence, focusing attention inwards. If we can’t do it, this most often means that we are not willing to let go of focus on the external for 15 min a day.
It’s not always fun, I admit it (sometimes I’d rather have my morning coffee chatting with my best friend back home); but it’s mental hygiene. Doing something we dislike as a matter of discipline is often an act of self-love. Think about professional sportsmen getting up at 5 am to train, or your teenager when they need to be reminded to brush their teeth. Do they like it? Not at all. Is it good for them though?
The same is with meditation, pardon, sitting in silence 😊. A necessary practice for anyone who wishes to improve their well-being. It’s a long game, and it will teach you how to be happier, less stressed, and more efficient human.