Like many others, you may have noticed too that when you use a stress management technique, or a stress relief tip, there is some noticeable change, at least for a while. How long does that tend to last for you? Is it a lasting change? For many, it’s a fleeting break, a welcome respite for a few moments, and then it’s often back to the same stressors and fast pace.
This pattern is understandable. For one, there is a lot going on and a lot to do. That’s real. And it’s easy to get back into the breakneck speed of the Giant To Do list.
But while it’s easy to see the To Do list and to admit that the schedule may be too full, it’s harder to notice and catch what is going on internally. Yet that’s the key to so much stress: the internal stress patterns that are often going on just outside of our awareness.
Rearranging the external schedule and crossing off tasks on the To Do list can help us feel more in control, and that’s all good. But for stress relief that lasts, and to transform that stress into deeper and lasting calm, something else is needed. Because so many of our internal stress patterns are practically automatic, we can get stressed out without quite realizing how we got there, or the internal choices we made along the way. To reverse that, we can’t rely on automatic thinking and well-worn internal choice paths. To experience a new level of calm and control, it’s important to bring our awareness more into the mix – to realize and acknowledge what internal choices we make to get ourselves more stressed out.
Once we have heightened that awareness, we have greater control to choose again and to choose the directions that will bring us back to greater calm and control every time. That’s the path of Conscious Calm. We aren’t likely to get to lasting calm by accident, on our way to getting stressed out. But when we bring greater awareness into the mix, we are back in the territory of choice. And that can make all the difference in experiencing deeper, lasting stress relief and calm.
Dr. Laura Maciuika is the author of Conscious Calm: Keys to Freedom from Stress and Worry. www.consciouscalm.com/book