How do we handle the stress in our lives?
How do we deal with emotions? How do emotions relate to stress?
Life is stressful. There doesn\’t seem to be a time when we don\’t have a stressor in our life, but we can definitely see that some people deal and cope with stress much better than others. Stress can be harmful and helpful. We can be stressed and that fuels us to accomplish something challenging or we can be stressed and be completely unable to move or think about anything.
Stress in itself, like emotions, is neither good or bad. Stress is the response of our mind and body to a situation or object. What we usually think about when we are thinking about stress is negative stress or distress– depleting stress. We want solutions to stop the stress that interferes with our self-confidence– the stress that interrupts our relationships– the stress that confuses our thinking and the stress that makes us react in ways that don\’t align with who we are and want to be. Depleting stress.
So, that\’s what we\’ll tackle today: depleting stress.
Too much of it makes you irritable, makes it difficult to think clearly, and leaves you feeling disconnected from self and others. So, how do we get rid of it? Depleting stress is usually a response from our emotions. Luckily, our emotions are something that we can regulate and manage to reduce and cope with depleting stress. So, when we feel worried, sad, angry, anxious, and we let those feelings hang around and carry it with us day after day, we are accumulating depleting stress.
When I work with kids, I explain it to them this way: We carry around two bags with us in life, a green one and a red one. Our green bag is full of feelings of love, appreciation, gratitude, forgiveness, kindness, and joy and these feelings are as light as feathers. The red bag is full of feelings of disappointment, anger, frustration, sadness, shame and hate and are heavy like rocks. When we feel those feelings from the red bag and just keep it inside, those feelings get heavier, and the feelings from the green bag start to fall out because we start to focus more on holding onto the red bag. Our bodies start to ache because that red bag is so heavy.
Our minds start to focus on the red bag so much that we can\’t think of anything else. Those feelings in the red bag start to take over everything. So, I ask my kids and I\’m asking you– how long do you think you can carry around that red bag with all those feelings of shame, anger, and frustration? How would your mind and body feel if you had more feathers and feelings of joy, love, and gratitude?
Most times we cannot predict or change stressful situations, but we do have power over our emotions.
We can learn to listen to our emotions, understand the messages behind them and reconnect with feelings of love, gratitude, joy, and peace. Check out my Instagram page @smallworldenrichmentllc and practice this \”Heart of Gratitude\” exercise with me to tap into those feelings that combat depleting stress.
Partnering with you,