Category Archives: Stress Management

Holding Space for Letting Go

There are many people for whom the presidential election has triggered great worry, fear, sadness, and a whole host of concerns about what the future political situation might bring. If you or someone you know needs a place to sort things out for themselves, please give them my name and contact information. For the next several weeks, I am offering one-time sessions during which they can unburden themselves in an accepting and safe environment. It is not psychotherapy–I come from a spiritual perspective–but it is confidential. Suggested payment is $50 for a one-hour session plus optional meditation and mindfulness guidance..

What are you Tolerating?

woman is stressed outDespite good intentions, this is the about the time when New Year’s resolutions begin to crumble and fall by the wayside. Undoing old, bad habits or adding new, healthy ones is a challenging business, and it takes more than grim determination to create change that lasts.  This is especially true for those who have chosen to destress their lives in the new year.

Too often, this is because we go about making changes the wrong way.  The big things in life seem to be the source of unremitting stress, yet those big things—a bad boss, unchallenging work, lousy financial situation, or crummy relationship/lack of relationship—often are only symptoms of the true, underlying issue. And that’s why destressing by overthrowing your whole life or big chunks of it doesn’t work—first, it’s daunting to make such big changes and second, some unconscious part of you already knows that the real problem has little to do with what you consciously believe needs fixed.  The real secret to feeling better and having a better life lies unnoticed amid a heaping pile of stress, worry, and anxiety.

This year CAN be different, though.  You can get to the source of stress in ways that create calm in your life and a sense of rejuvenation that those who rely on willpower alone will never find.  Neurofeedback, obviously, is a tremendous, long-lasting way to calm the body and relieve stress so that you are not always over-responding to life’s hassles.  To get started or to find out more about this step to transforming your life, contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn what neurofeedback can and cannot do.

As great as neurofeedback is, though, it cannot reduce or eliminate the crazy from your life all by itself.  You have to take additional steps, and those steps are much simpler than you may think.

The secret is NOT to try to shift the big issues in your life, since those are likely not really the problem in the first place; rather, the best place to begin uncovering why we’re really stressed out is with the little things that drive us nuts. As one of my psychotherapy clients used to tell me, it isn’t the big things in life that really cripple us, it’s the gnats and mosquitos that make facing the big things so hard.  So, let’s start with the little, annoying things.

Grab a piece of paper or open a word processing document and start listing all the things that bug you. What are you tolerating in your life that you don’t need to tolerate?  We’re not talking big picture things like nuclear proliferation or immigration crises.  Look at the little things instead.  Is there a pothole on your commute to work that rattles your fillings every day?  Can you never find a pen in your house when you want one?  Is that junk drawer becoming a junk room?  Does your most practical pair of work shoes hurt your feet?  Are you eating out too much and want to cook more at home?  Whatever it is, write it down.  Make your list expansive, make it pretty and colorful if you’re the artistic type, and include every little thing that drives you crazy over the course of a week. Almost all of us could get to 25, but I encourage you to aim for 50, or even 100 items.

Once you’ve thought of everything that bugs you, refine the list. There are multiple ways to do this, but the best two approaches for our purposes are either prioritizing the easiest ones to fix or the ones that annoy you the most.  However you choose, make a top 10 list.  Then, give yourself a short timeframe in which to address those things—depending upon what they are, a week is probably a good amount of time for things like washing scuffs off a wall or adding adhesive grips to the back of a picture frame that never hangs straight.  Go for it, and see what happens.

Addressing tolerations may seem like a backwards way to start reducing overall stress, but it actually works well, because having fewer minor things bug you creates space for pleasure. That, in turn, can create energy for you to tackle still more tolerations, or perhaps begin to face the bigger stressors that are invisible to you right now.  Either way, it’s real progress!  Next time, we’ll address what to do once you’ve finished your first set of tolerations.

What Are You Tolerating?

Despite good intentions, this is the about the time when New Year’s resolutions begin to crumble and fall by the wayside. Undoing old, bad habits or adding new, healthy ones is a challenging business, and it takes more than grim determination to create change that lasts.  This is especially true for those who have chosen to destress their lives in the new year.

Too often, this is because we go about making changes the wrong way.  The big things in life seem to be the source of unremitting stress, yet those big things—a bad boss, unchallenging work, lousy financial situation, or crummy relationship/lack of relationship—often are only symptoms of the true, underlying issue. And that’s why destressing by overthrowing your whole life or big chunks of it doesn’t work—first, it’s daunting to make such big changes and second, some unconscious part of you already knows that the real problem has little to do with what you consciously believe needs fixed.  The real secret to feeling better and having a better life lies unnoticed amid a heaping pile of stress, worry, and anxiety.

This year CAN be different, though.  You can get to the source of stress in ways that create calm in your life and a sense of rejuvenation that those who rely on willpower alone will never find.  Neurofeedback, obviously, is a tremendous, long-lasting way to calm the body and relieve stress so that you are not always over-responding to life’s hassles.  To get started or to find out more about this step to transforming your life, contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn what neurofeedback can and cannot do.

As great as neurofeedback is, though, it cannot reduce or eliminate the crazy from your life all by itself.  You have to take additional steps, and those steps are much simpler than you may think.

The secret is NOT to try to shift the big issues in your life, since those are likely not really the problem in the first place; rather, the best place to begin uncovering why we’re really stressed out is with the little things that drive us nuts. As one of my psychotherapy clients used to tell me, it isn’t the big things in life that really cripple us, it’s the gnats and mosquitos that make facing the big things so hard.  So, let’s start with the little, annoying things.

Grab a piece of paper or open a word processing document and start listing all the things that bug you. What are you tolerating in your life that you don’t need to tolerate?  We’re not talking big picture things like nuclear proliferation or immigration crises.  Look at the little things instead.  Is there a pothole on your commute to work that rattles your fillings every day?  Can you never find a pen in your house when you want one?  Is that junk drawer becoming a junk room?  Does your most practical pair of work shoes hurt your feet?  Are you eating out too much and want to cook more at home?  Whatever it is, write it down.  Make your list expansive, make it pretty and colorful if you’re the artistic type, and include every little thing that drives you crazy over the course of a week. Almost all of us could get to 25, but I encourage you to aim for 50, or even 100 items.

Once you’ve thought of everything that bugs you, refine the list. There are multiple ways to do this, but the best two approaches for our purposes are either prioritizing the easiest ones to fix or the ones that annoy you the most.  However you choose, make a top 10 list.  Then, give yourself a short timeframe in which to address those things—depending upon what they are, a week is probably a good amount of time for things like washing scuffs off a wall or adding adhesive grips to the back of a picture frame that never hangs straight.  Go for it, and see what happens.

Addressing tolerations may seem like a backwards way to start reducing overall stress, but it actually works well, because having fewer minor things bug you creates space for pleasure. That, in turn, can create energy for you to tackle still more tolerations, or perhaps begin to face the bigger stressors that are invisible to you right now.  Either way, it’s real progress!  Next time, we’ll address what to do once you’ve finished your first set of tolerations.