Do you feel stressed?
At a sale’s party for a health product recently the thought occu
rred to me that I was feeling a deep sense of despair, almost panic, that my stress may be too expensive to treat.
I know stresses in life at this time in history are insidious and difficult to decipher. I know this because even though I don’t feel that stressed, my body is showing signs that I am. Dry skin, migranes, fatigue, low immunity, and other small, but definitely stress related issues, that pop up all the time.
Health care is expensive, but I know preventative health is by far the cheapest choice – even if it means $14/hot yoga class, $40 a bottle of health-juice, organic veggies, hiring a babysitter to spend time alone, or to have a good chat with a friend – or my spouse, wonderful multivitamins, beautiful anti-oxidants and xanthones that are miracle foods. Even time to slow down, when I get paid by the hour can seem an expensive luxury – but its still cheaper than a doctor’s bill for a serious stress-caused illness.
So, I’m not arguing against any of these things. I am so happy when I have the resources to do them. But still. Why is cost part of this discussion? I don’t want to ever feel, no matter what my economic situation, that I can’t afford health – especially when I am already a healthful person!
I dont feel like my life is stressful. Honestly. I love my work, which has its ups and downs, but they are all manageable, and make life fun. I have my kids, which are great, and I love being a mom. (Granted, I do get a little wired up – especially around dinner time, when all are hungry and the breakfast dishes are in the way.) My friends and relationships are only improving and in general life is good. I make consistent efforts to bring joy into my life, I paint regularly, I have a prayer/meditation practice, I love to cook and we eat healthy. I go out dancing (well, OK not that much – but last night’s DJD funk-party was great!) I enjoy nature and time with family and friends. I think I have many stress coping mechanisms in my life. Despite all this, there are underlying stresses that I am not dealing with.
During my meditation today, the thought occurred to me that a feeling of kindness can offer a cure.
Pushing aside “buzz” and tension, even for a few seconds, can build the long-term muscles to cope with stress. When the dinner is cooking, and Emery is at my feet crying because he cant get his lego sword to work, I can stop. Push aside my anxiety and tension, and look him in the eyes with kindness and ask him if I can help. The benefit is all mine.
The effort it takes to push anxiety out is monumental. Even if for a second. Like working out at the gym, I’m starting with the small weights. Its the feeling of kindness and love that makes the benefit. I can be helping people all the time, be of service to the world, and be a mega-star in selfless sacrifice, but if I dont feel that sensation of pushing aside the moment to be with someone, feel love and kindness and offer my help, then I wont have the same rewards.
If I can feel this at every opportunity, I will be building psychological muscles for health. Pushing those walls of tension aside, and letting kindness flood in, whenever I have a chance, is my new health-regime.
And its free.
This is what I wrote in my journal today about this:
“1 cure for stress:
To stop in the middle of madness and chaos, a look with kindness into a child’s eyes and to sincerely ask him what he needs, and then, with love and full joy provide it for him, as a lovely treasured gift.”
Baha’u'llah on kindness:
“A kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of men. It clotheth the words with meaning. It is fountain of the light of wisdom and understanding.”