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Understanding and Managing Stress

Stress is an inevitable aspect of being human. Once we do what we can in our external environment to simplify our lives and put everything into clear perspective, it is time to look inward to find and build resources to help us manage stressors that we are unable to change. Self care is an important aspect of building our resources through exercise, social connection, good food and water, and generally loving ourselves through our thoughts and actions.

Stress is actually not all bad. It is the body's way to respond to dangerous situations in order to protect us. When our body is in danger, whether it is real or perceived, we release stress hormones to make us more alert and energized in order to deal with the potential threat. When the stress becomes chronic, it can take a toll on our health as the body is meant to come into balance once the stressful situation has passed. There are numerous diseases and mental health issues related to chronic stress.

We need to take time to come into balance whenever possible and yet time seems to be in short supply. However, when we focus on the present moment there is a sense of the infinite. When we stop to breath in the beauty and remember for a moment the love that created this beautiful world and all of us in it, time seems to stop for a moment. The present moment has the potential to expand infinitely in all directions if we let it. Spend your time cultivating this moment.

Each moment is so precious and life comes down to those precious moments that we stop long enough to notice. There can be so much distraction in life now that we may need to consciously direct our attention to the beauty that exists all around us. The more we develop this awareness, the more rooted we are in this infinite moment.

One way we can find nurture in our lives is to focus on what we have to be grateful for rather than focusing on the lack we might see. Every morning try to focus on what you have to be grateful for. Find three things about your life that touch your heart. It can be as simple as having a home to live in or having a wonderful friend in your life. Gratitude has the power to transform our lives for the better and has us looking in the right direction. When we are looking in the right direction we know which way to go and can more clearly see the path in front of us.

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