I’m here to give you a gentle nudge about managing your stress. A few months ago, you and I made a pact (a pinky swear, virtual handshake) to take our stress seriously. Remember? If not, or if you’re new to this conversation, welcome! It’s never too late to dial down the raging cortisol, and today I have a free meditation for stress to help you do just that, so keep reading!
I haven’t always taken stress seriously. Stressful week? No problem, I’d just push down the intensity with an extra glass of vino. Sleep it off, then dive right back in the next morning.
Can you relate? We all have our own ways of dealing with stress (some healthier than others!).
In those days, I saw stress as something innately tied to passion. My stress showed I cared. It showed that I fiercely believed in my career. I was driven. I was motivated. I was willing to do whatever it took, even at the expense of my own health.
And I wasn’t alone! So many of us have come to believe that chronic stress is an unavoidable part of our lives—that pushing ourselves to our very limits is a sustainable (and even desirable) way to live.
I wanna break down that misconception, because it’s shortening our life spans and getting in the way of our joy. We can be passionate, productive and successful… and not burnt out by stress that wreaks havoc on our systems.
Now don’t get me wrong, some stress IS healthy. We have a fight or flight response for a reason. It’s there to alert us to danger (there’s a lion coming!) and help us get out of bad situations (run!). But when running becomes the status quo, that’s when it can become a problem for our health.
Simply put, we just aren’t built to have those stress hormones pumping through our bodies 24/7.
Over the years I’ve developed lots of ways of dealing with stress. But the most important skill I’ve learned is how to tap into my natural relaxation response with meditation.
That’s right! Just as we have a natural stress response, we also have a relaxation response. It’s just not a muscle we flex quite as often.
Think about it… we flex our stress muscle constantly—when we’re stuck in traffic or waiting on hold for tech support, when a loved one says something that stings, when we’re overloaded at work, when the bills start piling up…
Most of us can get to that stressful place in an instant. And the good news is, it’s totally possible to do the same thing with our relaxation response. It’s as simple as training our minds to reach for relaxation over stress when we’re faced with difficult situations.
Your relaxation response is a tool you already have within you. It’s part of who you are—you just need to know how to tap into it! Once you do, you’ll have access to a peaceful place within where you feel safe and calm, no matter where you are or what’s going on around you. You’ll be able to pause and reset using just the power of your own breath.
So let’s circle back to our pact (we promised to do this together) and tap into that relaxation response now. Below you’ll find my Instant Stress Reduction guided meditation. It only takes a few minutes and I promise you’ll feel your shoulders drop as the tension starts to melt away.
Grab a seat somewhere comfy, hit play and let’s chill.