Like everyone, I sometimes find myself feeling anxious and stressed out. But thankfully over the years I have learned, through meditation and conscious living, that I am able to instantly move from feeling stressed to feeling chilled out, just like that. It’s actually really easy.
Here’s how you can instantly chillax too, no matter where you are.
Let’s just say that you’re standing in the kitchen at work making a cup of tea. You’re feeling good about things, just chillin’.
While you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, one of your colleagues walks past and innocently asks how your coming along with such-and-such project.
“Yeah not too bad,” you say, “Still a ways to go but we’ll get there.”
Your workmate moves on and you disappear into thoughts about the work project just mentioned as you make your tea and move back to your desk or area of work. You’re barely aware of the present moment as you churn through an inner-dialogue of details, concerns and imagined scenarios related to the future outcomes of the project.
As you sit down at your desk, you notice that your shoulders hurt and your stomach feels tense, knotted up. What’s happened? Just five minutes ago you were feeling good! What changed?
Well, what happened was you disappeared from the present moment and dove head first into a mental world of future worries and imagined scenarios. These triggered the flight-or-fight “survival” mode in your brain and body and you tensed up, ready for life-or-death action at any moment.
Stress Only Exists In Your Mind
When you get stressed like this, do you realise that your feelings of stress are not the same thing as the circumstances of your life? Stress actually doesn’t exist outside of you, it begins in your mind and only exists in your mind and body. Stress is your response to what happens outside of you or what you think about.
And it’s the “what you think about” factor that holds the key to going from stressed out to chilled out instantly.
When you are worrying, which we all do a lot, lot more than we may realise, we are disconnected from the Tao, the Universe, God, the Big I Am, whatever you want to call it. Let’s just call it The One Thing, because everything is one thing, right? And we are a part of this One Thing.
The One Thing only exists in the present moment because NOW is the only place that ANYTHNG exists. When we worry, we disengage with our reality and disappear into imagined scenarios where things go wrong. The mechanical parts of our mind don’t really understand that these imagined scenarios are not actually happening now, so they get busy triggering the stress response all over the place, hence why your shoulders hurt and your stomach was in a knot when you sat down with your cup of tea.
I am not going to go into the details of the stress response suffice to say that it is not very good for you or useful unless something really crazy, like a knife wielding maniac attack, is happening right now, in the present. All that matters is understanding that when we worry and fret about imagined future scenarios, we stress ourselves out.
How To Change Your State Instantly
The trick to going from “stressed out” to “chilled out” is simple once you know how, although it may take you some practise to master.
The trick is to practice being in the present moment as much as possible. Get out of your head and just be where you are now.
Practice noticing what is in front of you, where you are, who is here with you. And practice noticing what is going on in your mind. Consciously set up a “notification” system in your mind that alerts you when you are projecting into imagined future scenarios instead of just being where you are. This alert is not hard to set up, it will become automatic if you regularly practise noticing when you are stressing out.
Then ask yourself why – why are you stressing out?
Ask yourself, is the plane crashing? Am I being chased by a gang of bloodthirsty wolves? Strangled by a psycho killer?
If the answer is yes, then by all means – STRESS OUT!
But if the answer is no, which it usually will be, then notice that you are stressing out, probably habitually, because you are just not “being here now”; you are not being mindful of the only thing that is real – which is…
This Universe, Now
Develop a habit of anchoring yourself in the present moment. When you notice you’re stressing needlessly, anchor yourself in the present moment by simply focussing on your stress. I find that by focussing on the sensation of my stress, and by noticing what I was thinking about, this dissolves the stress almost instantly. Breath deep into the physical sensations of your stress and get back into the present moment.
In doing so you re-connect with The One Thing.
Actually, you never were disconnected, you just thought you were, because there is no other reality that The One Thing – this Universe, now.
And when you bring your awareness back to this Universe, now, and breathe deeply, noticing the physical sensations of your stress, you may find like I do, that your stress just dissolves under the bright glow of the light of reality. You remember that everything is OK, and you go from “stressed out” to “chilled out” in an instant.
Be warned though this may take patience and persistence. Be gentle on yourself, it takes time to learn a skill. We’re are all still working on it! So keep working at it and in time, your monkey mind will exert less of an influence on you as you evolve to increasingly live each day in a state of inner peace and harmony.