By Judith Orloff, MD
Continued from part 1 of this article…..
Let go of physical stress.In the APA survey, 30 percent of adults report that their stress level has a strong or very strong impact on their physical health. Stress makes us feel lousy. We become tight, tense, obsessive, and burned out by adrenaline and cortisol. Consequently, we become malnourished or overweight. We don’t exercise, and the quality of our sleep suffers. One of the best ways to let go of physical stress is to let your body do what it was designed to do: move. Practice some kind of movement you like at least a few times a week, whether it’s going to the gym, walking your dog, or doing yoga stretches. The goal of movement is to get out of your head and surrender to the bliss of the body’s sacred energy. Let movement give you a reason to love your body.
Let go of time-related stress.
We are immersed in a culture of rushing. Nature offers great lessons about letting things happen at their own pace, and surrendering to the flow. When you experience worry, fear, or anxiety about an upcoming event or work deadline, look up at the sky and focus on a cloud. Watch it drift, and see what the shape reveals. This is a calming exercise that helps a rushing mind slow down and gain perspective. If it’s breezy outside, go outside and let the air rush through and around you. Imagine the wind clearing out your mind. Water is another of nature’s stress busters. When you’re stressed, mindfully drink a glass of water, and take a bath or shower to cleanse negativity around deadlines from your system.
Let go of illness-related stress.
When we’re sick and don’t feel well, we often become depressed and overwhelmed. If you can tune in to your intuition, it will help you get out of your state of inertia. Start by noticing your beliefs. Shift negative beliefs (I will never heal) to positive ones (I trust my body’s healing powers). Listen to your body–and if a treatment or a doctor’s approach feels “off,” allow yourself to question it. Sleep when you need to. Stay away from people and settings that make you feel depleted instead of energized. Listen to your dreams to see what they tell you about your health.
– Judith Orloff MD is author of The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life (April 1, 2014) upon which this article is based. An assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA and NY Times bestselling author, Dr. Orloff teaches workshops nationwide, has given a TED talk on this book, and has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, Today, PBS, CNN, NPR, and many others. More information at drjudithorloff.com.