What Are We Doing About Stress
We have all heard that stress is killing us, literally. We’ve all read different ways we need to lessen our stress. Exercise, eat right, get a good night’s sleep, etc. but we all have stress in our lives. There is no way around it. We can’t go through life in a bubble where nothing bothers or irritates us.
We all seem to be rushing from task to task, place to place, running to get someplace to get another task done. So we know that stress is killing us but what are we really doing about it. Truly, what do you do every single day to help with your stress. Most of us would say we exercise to help with stress, but what else. We try to get to bed early, but usually go to bed late and then wake up tired and then guess what, feel stressed.
I went to a meditation retreat this summer in Montana. One of the things we did was we were asked to go outside and sit for twenty minutes. Look into the distance and not focus on what was in front of us or around us, but feel the space between the space. I was thinking, “Huh? Feel the space between the space?” What on earth does that mean!
We all went outside and I picked a rock to sit on and we are in this beautiful valley in the mountains. So I looked out at the mountain in the distance, but let the mountain go fuzzy and was thinking, “feel the space between the space.” Being in the mountains it’s so quiet. We are used to hearing traffic noise, the television, music, etc. but here it was so quiet. But when I sat on the rock and let the mountain go fuzzy, there was suddenly a lot of noise. I could see particles floating in the air, the noise of the bugs and little critters around me. The sound of the wind, the movement of the air, the grass moving slightly. The clouds moving in the sky and feeling the space between me and everything around me.
It was really a beautiful exercise, difficult to not focus on anything, but when I feel stressed, I try to think back to being on that mountain and looking out at the space between the space. Just breathing and hearing all the things happening around me.
The challenge when coming back from something like a retreat, where you are in a bubble, and feel something deep inside is how to bring that back to the real world where we live and work.
So I challenge you to try to find the space between the space. The trees are changing color, the weather is cooler, things are constantly changing around us. Take the time when you are going about your day. Go outside, sit, look, but don’t see the object you are looking at, look between you and the object. See the subtle movements, notice your breath, notice the air moving around you. Feel the beauty that we sometimes miss.
I could write all day long about how you need to sleep better, eat better, get some form of exercise but try just sitting in silence for a few minutes and not focus on anything. Just be. If you can do this for a few minutes everyday you are doing something that will help with your stress level. It calms your nervous system and gives your body the needed break from constantly taking in information.
You never know until you try. I thought it was a little strange when I was asked to do it, but it’s a great way to slow down for a few minutes without feeling like you have to “do” something.