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FREE Audio Program by Brian Tracy

No More Stress: Part Three

March 31st, 2008 by Editor

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu

The final part of this series focuses on emotions. Most of us are so afraid of our emotions even though we shouldn’t be. There’s no such thing as a “bad” emotion. All emotions are simply signals telling us something needs to change. And we need to listen to these signals before the problems we have get worse. This is the message in Heart of the Soul (also available in South Africa). In it, Gary Zukav and Linda Francis promote three things:

Breathe

“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.” – Abraham H. Maslow

There are so many benefits of meditation. In addition to reduced anxiety and insomnia, it helps you keep cool in the midst of madness and is also great for resting before you get tired (as Dale Carnegie suggests). Ultimately, it’s about slowing down to connect with yourself and your feelings.

Meditating for half an hour every evening really has brought a sense of grounding to my life. If you can’t find the time (which simply means you need meditation more than ever), all it takes is a few minutes in silence or a nice hot bath. Just close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Be aware of the feelings you’re having and pay attention to where in your body those feelings are occurring. It’s the first step to building emotional intelligence.

Express

“The unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates

Once you’ve gotten used to feeling what you’re feeling, the next step is to express. It’s about getting the issues off your chest so they don’t linger around and add to your woes. Other than having a solid support group, one of the best ways to do that is through a journal. I’ve been keeping one since I was fourteen and writing in it almost every day has been truly incredible.

This is about slowing down and connecting with your thoughts. It’s about listening to what that wise inner voice is telling you. Again, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Take a few minutes every day to jot down your thoughts, your dreams, or one thing you’re grateful for. Write about what’s happened lately and how it made you feel. Write about how you reacted to a problem and why you think you did what you did.

Information like that is priceless when it comes to figuring out what makes you tick. Looking at the events of your life from an objective standpoint really puts them in perspective. Sometimes you can’t help but laugh at all the molehills you turned into mountains. And going over some entries you wrote years ago reminds you how much you’re grown and how far you’ve come.

Relax

“Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centred by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.” – Chuang Tzu

Relaxing involves two things. It’s about doing one thing at a time and making sure you do it slowly. In a nutshell, relaxing is about focusing on the present. I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to be completely engaged in whatever it is you’re doing, from eating to reading to working out at the gym. There’s no greater feeling in life than being in that blissful state of flow.

Focusing on the present also ties into connecting with your feelings and thoughts. It’s about accepting all the curve balls life throws your way as an inevitable part of the experience. It’s about understanding that you can’t control everything. In fact, the only thing you can control is yourself and doing so requires letting your thoughts and feelings flow freely.

The first step is for us to receive them completely. We must detach so we feel our feelings without allowing them to completely sweep us up. Don’t resist your frustration or your anger because repression will only make it stronger. Instead, think of yourself as a conduit. Embrace it completely! Listen to what your body is trying to tell you and then start healing the pain. Don’t waste your time trying to rearrange the outside world when your inner world is where the real problem lies.

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

In closing, I’d like to offer an edited extract from the book:

“You must become aware of everything you are feeling all the time. Continuously scanning your energy system and the accompanying thoughts, moment by moment, is emotional awareness. Emotional awareness means relaxing into the present moment even when it contains painful emotions. Intimacy means trusting that the universe will provide what you need, when you need it, and in a manner most appropriate for you.”

(For more resources and tips, download your free copy of “Work in Progress” exclusively from www.varsityblah.com/about and check this out too)

Posted in Culture / Lifestyle, Science / Health |

6 Responses

  1. Daniel Says:

    Hi Eugene

    Well done for keeping up and the blog and continuously posting great content.

    I was really impressed by your guest post at Zen Habits and your comments lead me back to your blog all the time.

    Two suggestions: 1. my browser (IE7) seems to have a problem with your bullets and heading styles, perhaps you could change the style? 2. from your posts and comments it is obvious that you read a wide variety of interesting books, perhaps you could put up a list with short comments about the books you have read each month?

    Good luck with the studies.
    Regards
    Daniel

  2. Shilpan | successsoul.com Says:

    Eugene,

    Great post. I am big on living in the present moment. Key to happiness and stress relief is to learn how to free mind from past reflections as well as future worries.

    Shilpan

  3. Clay Collins | The Growing Life Says:

    I’m off to download work in progress. Thanks for your excellent contributions.

    –Clay

  4. Editor Says:

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for the comment. I’ll fix the bullet problem right away. I wasn’t aware of it because they work fine in Mozilla Firefox.

    Also, a lot of my posts directly relate to the books I read so I’ll definitely keep referring to them. I’ve actually switched over to fiction books but will still include whatever I can where relevant! Your best bet is to use the links in the appendix to Work in Progress.

    Regards,
    Eugene

  5. Links of Interest : Productivity501 Says:

    […] No More Stress-Varsity Blah This article offers some helpful advice for those that want to find practical ways to deal with stressful situations. The author recommends meditation, relaxation and expression as the keys to ridding your life of stress. […]

  6. Varsity Blah » Blog Archive » Life Guides: Road Signs Says:

    […] are similar although not quite as extreme. Regardless of which of these you are, you’ve got to take time out to relax and stretch your legs before getting back on the […]

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