Renew & Restore Detox Kit
- Clear away brain fog
- Ignite your digestive fire
- Rev up your energy
Life is stressful. It’s just the way it is … There’s nothing I can do about it … I can’t take a vacation, I’m too busy … I don’t have time to work out … I can’t get sick right now, I have too much to do.
The stressors of day-to-day living can be brutally overwhelming. Left unmanaged, stress will slowly build upon itself until we find ourselves spiraling out of control: back-to-back meetings, deadlines, difficult coworkers, irrational bosses, school, projects, walking the dog, errands, social engagements, cooking, cleaning, arguments with spouses, crying babies, colds, flus, planning for the next day, and the never-ending to-do list. We wake up, churn and burn through the day, pass out, and repeat. Sadly, it’s become our ”norm.”
We know on some level that we’ve fallen into an abyss and yet we don’t know how to stop the cycle or move out of the state of suffering, so we rationalize it or we blame our work, our boss, our spouse, our parents, or our friends for the events and circumstances of our lives. Some choose to pretend that it’s not really that bad or that this is just the way life is and there must be something wrong with us because we’re not able to cope as well as others seem to be coping. In other words, we inadvertently bury it and keep going which perpetuates the very cycles that got us here in the first place.
This is the world we live in and have come to know so well and yet, there has never been such a need for finding ways to maintain our center in the eye of the storm. So how do we do it? How can we be in this world with all of its day-to-day stresses—having a career, commuting long distances, raising children, navigating breakups, struggling with dead-end jobs—and still find it within ourselves to access a state of harmony, live with purpose, and connect to a place of calm, centered awareness? In those ordinary, everyday moments of stress, how can we move from chaos to calm in an instant?
Stress is what ultimately spins people out. Not just the big things in life like a career change or a breakup, but the seemingly little everyday stressors that add up over time. It’s the compound effect of experiencing the same aggravating circumstances over and over again that begins with mild irritation and eventually turn into madness that really wears us down. The imbalance occurs when our output is greater than our input. Meaning, we’re expending more energy than we are taking in, or giving more than we are receiving.
The key is being able to access what the Yoga Sutra 2.46-2.48 refers to as sthira sukham asanam, which emphasizes balancing the polarities of tension and relaxation. It’s about holding steady and calm while maintaining our stance. In this context, we can translate it as being stable and comfortable while holding our position—or, being in life and learning how to resolutely abide in a positive space.
From the teaching of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), comes the concept of an anchor. The simplest way to explain an anchor is to think of it as a link to an emotional state. The anchor serves as a reminder or a trigger that puts you into a certain state of being. Of course, anchors can be both positive and negative; however, we’re going to focus on positive anchors.
For example, an athlete will use an anchor to get back into “the zone” so they can regain peak performance in a game. It may be a visual image of shooting the perfect basket or knocking the ball out of the park. A professional speaker will have a routine they do before going on stage to remind them of the positive states they want to be in while presenting. This routine is their way of setting up an anchor—or a positive state. You can use this same concept at any time to help you get out of a chaotic state.
Here’s a guided visualization to help you create your own anchor to a powerfully calm and peaceful emotional state—or any other positive state you’d like to access in times of stress. If you’d like to use a physical object as your anchor, be sure to have it with you at this time, or you can work with a visual image in your mind.
Remember that life is what we make of it. How we perceive our environment is what creates our reality. If we look at life through the lens of negativity, then negativity is all that we will see. If we choose to look at life through the lens of positivity, then we will see and experience positivity and be able to live in gratitude. It is a choice and, when we have tools—like the guided visualization for anchoring a positive state—we can more easily and effortlessly navigate life’s most challenging moments. This is where you will also begin to realize the power of the mind.
Now that you know how to consciously change emotional states in an instant, where else can you practice shifting your perspective?