A few years ago, I spent some time with my good friend, Lisa Souza, in a client-practitioner sort of way. Lisa is very interested in everything regarding the brain. That’s why she spent the extra time and energy to become a licensed hypnotherapist. The time we spent together in that capacity still reverberates through me.
She taught me that our brains do not know the difference between sarcasm and truth. If, for example, I had continued to say, “I’ll never be a successful author.” or “I have no talent.” or even, “I can’t understand anything to do with computer programming…” My brain would have believed it, and most likely I would never have published anything.
That’s how powerful all of our brains really are.
There’s good news: You can change the way you think!
In the past, I found how easy it was to simply succumb to stress in my life, to put myself last on the list of getting my needs met. Now I’m learning how to be mindful, to be kinder to myself. Try to look for those things that help de-stress my life. Here are some ways I’m doing it:
- This sounds strange, but it’s working for me so far: lower my alcohol intake throughout the week. I am going from drinking wine every night, to drinking a glass of wine or a beer on the weekend. The reality for me is alcohol isn’t doing me any favors. I’m learning about Cortisol – and how my body responds to stress. It’s all linked. Everything is linked.
- Carve out time for myself: I pack up and go to the coffee shop to write, the different environment helps me not think about vacuuming…which I always seem to do when I should be writing at home.
- Pay attention to what I put in my body: for me this means taking Omega 3s, a good probiotic, remembering daily meds… and drinking one-half in my weight in ounces in water each day. (You heard me right…)
- Take time to move: It doesn’t matter. Go for a walk, a swim, something other than sitting in front of my computer hour after hour every day. Movement is good. Movement is life. If I want to be able to move in the future, I need to make certain I’m moving now.
- Acupuncture: I never thought I would go to an acupuncturist. But I am! And it makes all the difference. To tell you the truth, I feel every needle – I am that sensitive. But Dr. Roselyn Bailey, is highly skilled and board certified. Don’t let just anyone stick you with a needle!
Take time to be gracious and hospitable to myself. It doesn’t take much – maybe it’s adding something to the house that makes me feel better about my surroundings – Maybe it’s buying triple-milled soaps – Maybe it’s taking time for tea, or setting the table with fine linens, china, and the silver. It matters. It calms my soul – especially when stress is high.
- Escape when I can: There is restorative power in water. When I am by the river or on the Sound, or at the beach, I feel grounded. It makes me happy and I can feel tension lift and dissipate.
I’m interested in what you think. How do you de-stress?… Please leave a comment!
By the way, Lisa Souza is a kick-ass author as well as a brain geek. Check out her book, Beauty and the Bridesmaid!