Movement, Mindset and Mindfulness
Ideas and tips
I love stress. It’s brilliant. And not just because much of my work is based on stress. Let me explain.
Now first, I acknowledge that stress can be painful and toxic. And it can cause physical, mental and emotional problems. Just to clarify, I do not love that people are in pain and suffering due to stress.
I also recognise that life tends to chuck a load of stressful stuff at us and, sometimes, we just can’t change what’s going on. For example, bereavement, broken relationships, toxic work environments; I do not love the painful curveballs that life throws our way.
However, some stress can have benefits. Without any stress, life can get boring. Indeed, a lack of stress can be toxic. I’ve counselled people who are signed off work due to workplace stress only to find that being at home with nothing to do is more stressful. A certain amount of stress can keep life interesting. Useful stress, I do like.
However, the thing I really love about stress is it can help us to find treasure in life that we might have not found otherwise.
If my teenage years were less stressful, I may not have found the inner wealth of yoga. Had I not had an extremely stressful life event in my early 20s, I would not have found a career I love in counselling. If I had not had a stressful job, I would not have discovered the wonders of office yoga. Had I not found motherhood so stressful at first, I might not have appreciated the benefits of practicing mindfulness (sometimes) in every day moments and built up skills in asking for help and self-care. Not that I would have chosen for any of these painful things to happen. However, stress can have hidden benefits.
I see so often in stressful situations people find hidden coping skills in themselves and come out stronger. Indeed, what I often see in my clients, is that even when they can’t do anything to change stressful situations, they can change how they feel within them, and in doing so, they often find super-powers that they never knew existed. The super-powers of changing our inner state to change our outer state. Therein, lies the treasure of stress.
And for that reason, I have grown to love stress.
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Founder of Office Om, BACP registered counsellor, Yoga Alliance 200hr trained yoga teacher, Mental Health First Aid instructor and promoter of making daily life just that little bit better.