Moonday Musings on Stress

Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.
Hans Selye

Stress, like change, is a fact of life.  Although ordinarily we are not placed in a life or death situation, being stressed causes feelings of anxiety, pressure, or worry.  When these feelings build up over time they can cause physical, mental and emotional problems.  Even positive events cause stress, such as a job promotion, marriage or having a baby.  Our modern life causes daily stress if we allow it or, worse yet, we increase it by our negative attitudes.
Writing The Transformation Journey, both during the holidays and while my husband was home recovering from surgery, caused me stress.  It was self-imposed.  I set a deadline for launching my product and, by damn, it was going to get launched.  I’m my own boss and I have assumptions about what I need to accomplish in order to maintain a sense of self-worth, especially since I’m not yet earning an income.  Even though I view starting my own business as a really good thing, there are challenges.  Having quit my day job, I am now mentally increasing the importance of the goals I set and achieve.
At the same time I’m having to learn to pace myself.  I have found it necessary to build some self-care into my day.  At first I didn’t have a clue how to balance my day and became “obsessed” according to my husband.  All I was doing was studying business, planning what I wanted to do and designing my site.  I was having trouble finding time to cook, clean or tend our animals.  When the holidays hit I stopped doing business and focused on family.  It’s February and I’m just now starting to balance household chores with business goals without getting stressed out about it.
I’ve been meditating more frequently, breathing more deeply and practicing awareness in more moments during the day.  At night I’ve been disconnecting from the computer earlier and spending more time writing in my journal.  Today I did some art journaling.  All of these activities help me feel much less stressed.
How do you manage your stress?  What do you like to do to reduce your stress?


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  1. gina

    Way to go Loran! Guess we need to feel what it’s like not to be in balance so we know how we want to feel.

    I meditate daily and do lots of little awareness practices that pack a powerful ‘wake up’ punch by the end of the day……..

    Thank you for sharing your truth……..and I love that pic!
    gina recently posted..SufferingMy Profile

  2. Loran Hills

    You inspired me, Gina!

    I took that picture in Alaska. It was so exciting to see a real live whale!

  3. Gaelyn

    You certainly are an inspiration.

    When stressed I go outside for a walk into a natural landscape. That’s my form of meditation.

  4. Loran Hills

    Why thank you, Gaelyn! I’m really glad you followed me over here.

    Nature always works for me when I am stressed too. It’s the best form of spiritual connection for me.

  5. Stephanie

    Oh how I can relate! Balance has been a bit elusive to me as of late, but one thing that helps is just taking frequent breaks to just breathe. Sometime I will just light a candle to remind me to come back to myself. I honor you in your quest for balance my dear.
    Stephanie recently posted..Giveaway TWO Healing Truth Sanctuary MembershipsMy Profile

    1. Loran Hills

      Balance is usually elusive for me which is why I was glad to find a little lately, Stephanie.

  6. Tanja @ Crystal Clarity

    More and more, I’m trying to live my life to avoid stress before it happens, rather than having to manage it once it does – with varying degrees of success, I should add!

    Exercise is a big one for me – I love to walk, run, and push myself hard to burn off the adrenaline and the cortisol before it can build up in my body. I also try to meditate regularly, but I’m really not very good at it (the regularly bit, I mean – not so much the meditation itself, which I really enjoy)

    Reading fiction, listening to music and watching DVDs are also ways that I find help me. Plus, of course, there’s writing – I journal a LOT!
    Tanja @ Crystal Clarity recently posted..Danielle LaPorte’s burning question: how do I want it all to feel?My Profile

    1. Loran Hills

      Exercise is a great way to burn off stress, as you know very well, Tanja. Sometimes it’s hard to head off stress before it happens but I think prevention is a great idea.

  7. Ellie Di

    I hear you loud and clear! I’m totally one of those obsessive types, so I’ve crashed and burned more than once since starting the biz. The best thing I did for myself to get more balance was to block out my time. Friday is my professional development day, and Monday is my writing day, for example. I also don’t do headology work after about 3pm so I can focus on the day job and getting things together for when my husband gets home. What your schedule looks like will be TOTALLY different, but the idea is the same, I think.

    Whatever you find works best for you, I wish you all speed in figuring it out. Meditation and daily “rules” are a big help, but don’t stop there if you’re still feeling off kilter. <3
    Ellie Di recently posted..You Are Who You Think You AreMy Profile

  8. Loran Hills

    Ellie, I’ve never been very good at structure but I’ll have to consider a weekly schedule if I get too out of whack.

    1. Ellie Di

      I found a weekly schedule instead of a daily one has been a huge help. That way I don’t feel too trapped but I have something to hold boundaries with. Let me know if you’d like some help with it!
      Ellie Di recently posted..You Are Who You Think You AreMy Profile

      1. Loran Hills

        Ellie, I just might have to take you up on that offer.

  9. Petrea

    Yes! Balance is so important Loran. I’m like you, trying to do a lot of things at once and not so structured. I too have been trying to turn off the computer earlier. I spend less time on it on the weekends now. Adding more journaling and art making helps balance things for me as well as meditation, yoga and exercise out in the fresh air. I try torsten to my Self and what I need in that moment- but scheduling in some regular practices helps too.
    Petrea recently posted..Unfinished BusinessMy Profile

    1. Loran Hills

      Best laid plans and all that, Petrea! I think we do the best we can between regular practices and the unexpected.

  10. Janie of Utah

    Hi Loran,
    Congratulations on completing The Transformation Journey! That sounds like a huge undertaking during times of personal stress. I hope you’re finding more time to relax now.
    I work out my stress with the wonders of nature. There’s nothing that lifts my spirits more than a walk or ride under Mother Sky.
    Janie of Utah recently posted..Twelve Mile WashMy Profile

  11. Loran Hills

    Janie, are you still writing or is all your time spent riding? I agree that the wonders of nature are the best cure of all.

  12. Gin

    What an important topic! More and more I’m learning how important self-care is for me, and how important it is for me to go easy on myself, let myself go at my own speed (even if that means I’m not as productive as I want to be, or keep up with things as much as I want, or do things as quickly as I want to do). I’ve learned that I have to do this for my own well-being emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically.

    Things I do that help with stress – I have a huge variety, because what helps most at one time might not work too great at a different time. I meditate, use a lot of guided visualizations, listen to music, give myself Reiki, use essential oils, veg out in front of the tv with a DVD, spend time around water (if I can), and I’m doing a lot of art journaling. Those are some of my favorite ways.

    But finding a good balance when it comes to working for myself? I’m still having trouble with that!

    Thanks for this post!
    Gin recently posted..sayin’ yes…My Profile

    1. Loran Hills

      Well, Ginny, you not have balance but you have a great list of self-care activities!

  13. Jo

    Balance – ahh yes the most important stress reliever! I manage my stress by unplugging (been more successful this year than ever!), making art, taking walks with my hubby and…shhhh it’s a secret….watching really crappy tv like The Bachelor. LOL! If there’s anything to remind me that I’m even keel and my life is good it’s the drama of reality tv :)
    Jo recently posted..Open Your Heart to Your SelfMy Profile

    1. Loran Hills

      My unplugging needs more work, Jo. I do allow myself one stupid TV show, Grey’s Anatomy. Although last week was so bad I was sorry I watched. Oh well, they have so many reruns that there aren’t too many wasted hours of my life invested in the show.

  14. Gaelach

    I’m working on prevention instead of dealing with too much stress, too. A lot of times in the past, I wouldn’t really take the time to calm down or even realize I was getting too stressed. Of course, that wound up with massive breakdowns waaaay too often!

    So now I’m trying to realize faster when I’m starting to feel overwhelmed and step back for a bit. Meditation is on my to-do list, too. Just have to find the time and place to do it.

    Much love,

  15. Carrie

    Balance is such an important element that I am still working on. The four letter word I am most familiar with is work. I am trying to change that to play, like hanging out in the GC circle, going and getting manicures, things that in the past I would have felt were too self indulgent. I love the idea of unplugging earlier and am working on that:)
    Carrie recently posted..Holding Sacred Space For Our EmotionsMy Profile

  16. Loran Hills

    Gaelach, good luck in all your efforts! It takes a lot of practice stay aware of what’s going on and causing stress.

    I just got a pedicure and enjoyed every minute of ot, Carrie. It is so worth it to take time out from work.

  17. Tess

    Looks like the time spent designing the site worked, it looks really good. That’s nice you’re in a routine now though, being over worked is tough. Stress has visited my house some recently. There’s a new mall going in downtown, so Tim is working most waking hours on that and not getting a lot of sleep. Lots of stress for him, and some for me too, taking care of Zoey without help and being 34 weeks pregnant. Normally, running is my stress killer of choice. I’m really excited for when I can start running again. For now, it’s lots of sleep and using my elliptical.

    1. Loran Hills

      Thanks, Tess. I’m in the process of reworking some of the details here but overall it’s working.

      Construction stress, baby stress, yikes! Hang in there!

  18. Jan

    Balance is hard for me too and with the career path I have chosen I have constant change in my work and personal life. I agree that exercise helps and when I stay focused and take the time to meditate my stress is greatly diminished. I also try to approach each day with a positive attitude that what is ment to be will be…

    Thank you for the inspirational words. The site is beautiful, and your hard work and dedication show.

    1. Loran Hills

      You really do have a lot of change in your life, Jan. Thanks for taking a look at the site.

  19. Pam

    hi Loran ,I’m realising what I thought for years was depression and lately have been scaring myself with thoughts that I was losing the plot /developing something like alzeimers is probably the effect of long term stress.
    I have become locked in a spiral of thoughts spinning like a whirlwind seconds after I awake ,and yet I seem to be stuck in this inertia of hardly doing anything as though all my energy is going on the thoughts and keeping me rooted in this horrible trap .

    I’m cosidering ordering your package and devoting time to it each day .Time is one thing I have plenty of as I’m not working although I need to be very soon .

    Thank you for all you share and your wisdom and kindness ,love Pam

  20. Loran Hills

    Stress does have all kinds of side effects. I think you might find my package useful, especially if you work through all the exercises!

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