Where are you at with life right now? Are you in a state of stress, or living a blissful life? Which ever one you are choosing to experience, the other often seems like a far off, distant space. And really it’s not. If you are feeling stressed now, choosing blissful living is only a few steps away. If you are choosing blissful living, a state of stress may be a distant memory, or something you know how to manage with ease. No doubt you will continue to choose it. Humans interestingly enough continually choose the same things (often expecting a different outcome!) until they become aware there is other options or they have a major health scare to frighten them into choosing something different.

I am not here to frighten you into choosing something different for yourself. I would rather share with you some tools I use and offer to clients to help them move through a stressful period in the life. (Nothing lasts forever after all.)

1. Be Present - Most stress is not actually related to the present moment. It's caused by fear of future events that may not actually happen, or dwelling on past events that you wished to unfold a different way. Can you change either of these? Not easily, so its best to live in this present moment. That is the only moment you can change. You have to choose it though!

2. 10 Second Increments - Following on from #1, if you only have the next 10 seconds to live for, what would you choose? A state of stress or blissful living? And the next 10 seconds, what would you choose? And the next 10 seconds? And the next? If you live for the moment and choose your state of being your blissful living can go from 10 seconds to 10 minutes to 10 hours....and more, if you choose it. This is one of my favourite tools from Access Consciousness. 

3. Belly Breathing - My yoga guru's have shown me the many benefits of deep, belly breathing. Give it a try. Breath deeply into your belly so it expands and you can feel your diaphragm moving. Do this a total of 5 times. Notice anything different in your body? A little light headed, clearer thinking, less mind chatter... just a few of the benefits that are immediately noticeable with deep belly breathing.

Now breath into the top of your chest. Don't laugh, this is where most people breath everyday. After 5 breaths, how do you feel? Constricted, stressed, starving for life force? If you had a choice, and you do, how deep will you breath in future? If you start this consciously to relax yourself, before you know it your body will do it automatically.

4. What are Your Stress Triggers? - We all experience stress to some degree or another at some point in our lives. Some people are more prone to this experience than others. Why? They are not aware of their particular stress triggers and what to do about them. What are stress triggers? Things that set you off - a phone call from your ex, your power bill coming in at double its normal amount, road rage, over loaded at work, noise, a look of disapproval from significant others... Know what your individual triggers are and create some diversions/strategies to help you deal with them. (if you need help I am great at being able to re-frame situations for people to help them out of the goo).

5. Diversions - Isn't this just avoiding the issue? Not always. Ever noticed the difference in your conversations with your loved ones when you are tired and stressed or just after a yoga session or bodywork. I know for me its like chalk and cheese. So diversions can be a great thing to give you the space to breathe deeply and compose yourself. I like to photograph nature, I use this as a diversion before I start to feel stressed. Walking in nature is also deeply relaxing. What diversions do you allow yourself to help keep you centred and feeling blissful. (Note: alcohol also works in the short term but is not a sustainable solution - choose wisely!)

6. Do You Create Stress? - I know people who are always stressed because they make more of things than they are. They are constantly running on their adrenals and often feel burnt out, tired and overwhelmed. Eeek. Who would consciously choose this? You have so many other choices. If this is you, what could you choose to not create any more stress in your life. (Just for the next 10 seconds any way, we know you could never have a blissful life...)

7. Are You Caught in Your Trauma and Drama Life Story? - We all have a story. Sometimes it seems like telling everybody about how crap your life is gives you validation for being stressed, sick and downright miserable, after all how could they do this to you? Breath. What if you could be grateful for everything that occurs in your daily life? It's never what happens to you that matters, it's how you deal with it that counts. If you could tell your story if a different way, what could you choose? What you constantly talk about comes to fruition. What if you could be an observer of events occurring in your life instead of a reactor?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this...

See you on the table soon, 

Scott Murray