Feeling Stressed?

Between Hurricane Irene and whatever personal tempests we are experiencing, dealing with life’s stresses seems to come up in almost every conversation I have…whether it be with family, friends or clients.

What is stress? Basically, there are two components to consider — stress and pressure. Pressure is a demand, expectation or requirement placed upon us (or which we place upon ourselves), and the degree of stress we experience relates to how well we deal with that pressure.

Some people deal with comparable levels of stress much better than others, so personality comes into play, as does (as always) diet and exercise. But perception is often left out as a contributor, and how we perceive the world can absolutely affect the level of stress we feel.

So…what can be done? Here are a couple of tips. Take control. Identify stressors in your life and change your relationship to them! Make needed changes in your personal or work relationships; make needed changes in your beliefs about money/material things; set boundaries…say NO to requests you do not have the time, energy, money or passion for. Laurel Leaf is an excellent essence to support boundary-setting. Geranium helps us to make needed…but often difficult…changes in our lives. Two key essences for two key ways to take control.

Also, ask for help. Be resourceful! Delegate tasks to others…and see how sharing the load can greatly reduce your stress. It can be very interesting how unimportant something suddenly becomes when others are asked to pitch in! Gee…sometimes it even turns out that it wasn’t that critical in the first place…and everyone decides to just forget it! Also in the “help category” is letting the plants and trees help you relieve stress. Lavender, Wild Chamomile, Exotic Basil, Peppermint, Violet and Fir Balsam can make a huge difference in your attitude. They calm, uplift, cool anger, allay fear and ease physical symptoms of stress (respectively). And, while essential oils initially address the effects of stress…over time, they dramatically change your perception of the stressors in your life.

Remember, when it comes to stress, perception is important. As the Greek philosopher Epictetus once said: “Men are distressed not by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen.”

Audre Gutierrez
Master Medicinal Aromatherapist
Shining Sun Aromatherapy

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