Managing Stress and Anxiety in Everyday Life

Living in the western world, we live with stress and anxiety. Feeling the need to balance career, relationships, deadlines, bills, and only having 24 hours in a day. We all have our vices to escape and release. Some of us become fixated on these escapes. Many of us fell into our addiction due to stress. Many are living with addiction unknowingly due to anxiety or the need to escape.

These “vices” are an attempt to fix or escape. Many professionals label these as “False fixes.” In the below video, speaks of how to reclaim these needs for vices or escape that have “hijacked our brain.” Dr. Peeke is an internationally renowned physician, scientist, and expert in the fields of nutrition, metabolism, stress and fitness. Triathlete and marathoner, Dr. Peeke is nationally known as the “doc who walks the talk” inspiring through example.

This presentation speaks of overeating as an addiction to deal with stress an anxiety to escape. Many seek drink or drugs.

Dr. Joe Dispenza gives a lecture on how your brain manifests stress and anxiety physically and how we have the ability to change that manifestation. The emotion of anger, hate fear, anxiety, insecurity, depression, guilt, and shame are part of your wired brain that is addicted to those s. We can make the change. This is the physiology of how we can make that change:

So great. Rewire your brain. Go ahead… do it. Not that easy of a concept right? Well, I hope the above two videos help define the problem and give hope to a solution for you as they did for me. But the path to that rewiring of the brain while dealing with stress and anxiety was a hard one for me.  This path, for me, was done with baby steps. Below are some steps that worked for me. I hope these help. If they don’t please let us know what has worked for you as this is a community site and all shared experiences are welcome.

Mindfulness is the Key to Counter Stress and Anxiety

For me, being awake and alert is key to understand the triggers of stress and anxiety and more over the ability to evaluate the situation and react in a calm healthy manner. I discovered the concept of mindfulness during college with readings of . Recently I came across another which I used during a group session with others dealing with work-life balance stress.

Modern life is stressful, and in truth, most of us aren’t handling it well. In this informative talk, drawn from research in social work and religion, Dr. Regina Chow Trammel explores how the ancient practices of mindfulness can enable all of us to transcend the pressures of life. Learn how to gain mindfulness skills and make use of your whole capacity as a human being: body, mind, and spirit.

In the above lecture, Dr. Chow Trammel gives an exercise of breathing, meditation, and focus. This is a great exercise. But to be honest, impractical in most of our lives as the stress tends to come at us in waves and most of the time, taking a step away is simply not practical. My approach to counteract “not having time” has been to make the time doing what we do in everyday life. Not take moments of life for granted. It is a great way to remember we are alive and blessed with so much we tend to take for granted. Here is an excerpt from one of my teacher’s book’s “” on how to be mindful when taking on an everyday normal chore. In this example, it is washing dishes.

“Washing the dishes to wash the dishes” by

by Mrpositive on April 21, 2009 in Uncategorized
Thirty years ago, when I was still a novice at Tu Hieu Pagoda, washing the dishes was hardly a pleasant task. During the Season of Retreat when all the monks returned to the monastery, two novices had to do all the cooking and wash the dishes for sometimes well over one hundred monks.

There was no soap. We had only ashes, rice husks, and coconut husks, and that was all. Cleaning such a high stack of bowls was a chore, especially during the winter when the water was freezing cold. Then you had to heat up a big pot of water before you could do any scrubbing.

Nowadays one stands in a kitchen equipped with liquid soap, special scrubpads, and even running hot water which makes it all the more agreeable. It is easier to enjoy washing the dishes now. Anyone can wash them in a hurry, then sit down and enjoy a cup of tea afterwards. I can see a machine for washing clothes, although I wash my own things out by hand, but a dishwashing machine is going just a little too far!

While washing the dishes one should only be washing the dishes, which means that while washing the dishes one should be completely aware of the fact that one is washing the dishes.

At first glance, that might seem a little silly: why put so much stress on a simple thing? But that’s precisely the point. The fact that I am standing there and washing these bowls is a wondrous reality. I’m being completely myself, following my breath, conscious of my presence and conscious of my thoughts and actions. There’s no way I can be tossed around mindlessly like a bottle slapped here and there on the waves.

The cup in your hands
. . . There are two ways to wash the dishes. The first is to wash the dishes in order to have clean dishes and the second is to wash the dishes in order to wash the dishes. . . .
If while washing the dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not “washing the dishes to wash the dishes.” What’s more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes.

In fact we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink. If we can’t wash the dishes, the chances are we won’t be able to drink our tea either. While drinking the cup of tea, we will only be thinking of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus we are sucked away into the future – and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life.

These simple mindful practices day to day begin the rewiring of that brain. The step away from addictive behavior and a healthy solution to anxiety. Eventually, the trained mindful mind will develop into a habit.

Rev. Takafumi Kawakami, Deputy Head Priest at Kyoto’s Shunkoin Temple, embraces the skill of mindfulness as the center of Zen Buddhism and meditation, inspiring us all to slow our frantic lives to stay true to the present. The above is a great reminder of how to use this practice to become free from the suffering of the hear and now. To stay true to the present moment.

How do you manage stress in your life? Have you attempted being mindful? How has your experience been?

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