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Believe It or Not, We All Have an Inner Zen

By Mikkie Mills

Ways to relieve stress fast is probably the most talked about topic on the internet because stress is an epidemic in modern society to the point where people don't even realize that they are under a tremendous amount of stress. Or we see it around us and we see ourselves as somewhat better off than our neighbors. We say "well at least I don't have their problems." That's a great way to refrain from feeling like a victim. It's a great way to be grateful for what you have. But it doesn't do anything to help you recognize where you are wobbling on your own central axis when a clear picture of a person who is managing their stress well is such a rare sight in our everyday lives!

We're not necessarily telling you to avoid stress! We're not telling you to kill your stress like it's some sort of enemy. We're telling you that there are infinite ways to handle your stress with as much strength and grace as humanly possible that you can do bigger and bigger things in life and manage all the heavy lifting and find tuned balancing of mind, body, and spirit that it demands while still returning to who you truly are in every moment.

Here they are:

  1. Breathing technique.
    Everyone is always telling us to breathe through our stress. However, most people don't even really know proper deep breathing techniques. It's not about filling your lungs with air. It's not even just about belly breathing. It's about starting a truly deep breath off with what can be described as a kegel flex. Yes, the pee-holding muscle. You literally start a truly proper breath THAT low. The pelvic floor is the springboard from which you can direct your breathing into the parts of you that need "reinvigoration." You can then direct your breathe into the tense muscles around your neck like an archer finds their target.
  2. Find caffeine alternatives.
    A lot of us are convinced that we NEED our coffee. We don't get enough sleep as it is, and we don't have time to sleep, or so we think, and hence, caffeine. We're convinced that because our sleep function is off, we have to overcompensate. Here's the truth: you get just as much of an energy boost from juicing raw green vegetables and fruit every morning as from coffee, only the true nutrition we should be eating anyway doesn't fry our nerves to bits.
  3. Dance.
    Whether you're a seasoned dancer that does it anywhere and at any time, or you only gets down in the privacy of your own home, you've got to free your body in order to get the blood flowing and the toxic buildup that has happened energetically and in your cells from sitting too long in front of screens. Any exercise works, but it helps to focus on dancing because it allows you to connect with music and be guided by it as opposed to getting locked into repetitions. Move your hips. Move your pelvis. Gyrate. Release shame and self-judgment around our infinite sensual nature whether you are male or female.
  4. Declutter your home.
    A lot of today's stress comes from people holding onto objects that were once badges of egocentric achievement, but now they're just burdens. Some of the things you no longer use are just sitting in your home taking up space, gathering dust, and snapping at your mental energy. Keep the energy moving by gifting it or donating it to someone who will use it. Also exercise the practice of "out of sight, out of mind." Utilize your local storage unit until you can figure out how to mindfully find new homes for your stuff. Google "boat storage near me" to put that stuff in a temporary home while you feng shui, cleanse and clear your current home of stresses.

With stress being such a global epidemic, harnessing our stress in a functional way is a lifestyle practice of tremendous value. When you are managing your stress effectively, you are becoming the best version of yourself.

About Mikkie Mills: “I’m a Chicago native who loves to share her expertise about personal development and growth. When I’m not writing, I’m chasing the little ones around or rock climbing at the local climbing gym.” More articles by Mikkie.

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