This past week I have taken some time to not use my phone. I started to realize that I had a lot off stress that I wasn’t dealing with. I recently graduated from college without a clear plan for my future and moved home with my parents to save money. During the time when these changes were happening, I started feeling very disappointed and discouraged about my future. I felt like I was somehow failing if I didn’t have it all figured out right out of college. I have been working a lot at some part-time jobs and have adjusted to living back at home very easily. However, I have felt recently that I was trying to move forward without fully accepting my current situation.
One way this has manifested is that I have noticed it straining some of my relationships. I have been less active in trying to maintain relationships with some of my friends. In order to not have to discuss what my plans were or what I was currently doing, I was distancing myself from certain people. On the other hand, I was lashing out at some of my other friends. I would get upset for very minor things and blow the situation out of proportion. Instead of dealing with the stress I was facing I let it affect how I was interacting with people.
During my time without my phone I did a few things which I found very helpful. First, I toned down my yoga practice and practiced a lot of gentle, slow, restorative yoga. Instead of trying to nail a new pose I focused on being kind to my body and just taking it slow. Second, I started meditating twice a day. I meditated once in the morning before my day started and once at night before I went to sleep. During this meditation I centered my intention on letting go. Amazingly, as each meditation session came to an end I could feel the ball of stress in my chest decreasing. By this weekend it was practically gone!
Finally, I started doing more spiritual reading. I restarted and read through the Bhagavad Gita and then I read A Profound Mind by the Dalai Lama. Currently I am reading The Four Desires by Rod Stryker. I am learning so much, not just about yoga, but about how to live intentionally each day and not let small bumps ruin my whole day.
By the end of the week I had developed a few resolutions to help me keep the current peace I have found. First, I am going to check my emails 2-3 times per day, but only on my computer. I believe that by distancing myself from the hyper-connectedness we live with now I will be able to stay more calm. I am hoping this will give me more time to relax instead of feeling like I always need to be available for everyone.
Second, I want to keep reading spiritual books. I hope that by continual research into different religions and spiritual practices I will be able to find a daily practice that helps me stay peaceful. Do you have any suggestions for books that I should read?
Finally, I plan to keep meditating twice per day. I know that some days this won’t be possible. However, on most days I hope that I will be able to keep up my schedule of meditating once in the morning after I wake up and once at night before I go to sleep. This past week has reaffirmed in my mind the amazing benefits of meditation. If there is one thing I do not want to skip during my days it is my meditation practice!
Have you been feeling stressed lately? How do you deal with your stress?