Patricia's Blog


Managing and Transforming Stress

Let’s face it: this world is a very stressful place.  Personal stress from financial strain, relationship difficulty, poor health, or universal stress from global sorrow and suffering and details of the 6 o’clock news can be almost too much to bear!  Most of us walk around with depleted adrenal glands, as our bodies just can’t take all the stressful input.  Science has proven that a person can even die from too much stress.  Does this inspire you, or perhaps scare you, to take steps toward better managing the stress in your life?

Here are some valuable ways to reduce and manage stress:

* Change your environment

* Breath consciously and deeply

* Love without holding back

* Cultivate a meditation practice

The great yogic master, Paramahansa Yogananda, taught: Environment is stronger than will power.  This means - whatever environment we’re in, people we’re with, images we watch, music we hear, or situations we’re aligned with - all of this - has a greater and stronger hold on us than the power of our own will. Are you surprised?  I was, when I first heard this.  I thought with my own free will I could choose my state of mind.  I came to learn the wisdom of the master’s words, however, and very soon made better choices for myself.  Take a look at the environment and people that surround you, and see if you want to make some changes.

Next, breathe!  I know, you’re thinking you already breathe – all day long.  But I’m talking about taking conscious, deeper breaths from your lower abdomen throughout the day.  You can combine this practice with some yoga stretches, if you feel so inclined.

Try this exercise:

  * Stand and close your eyes.

  * From your lower abdomen, take a slow full inhalation and let your arms draw up the center of your body and reach for the ceiling.

  * Now slowly release the air completely and let your arms fall gracefully to your sides.

  * Repeat this 3 times. 

  * Afterwards, stand calmly in the stillness and feel your body energized yet relaxed.  

  * When you are ready, open your eyes. 

Third, remember to love more!  When we open our hearts, expanding our capacity to love all beings without holding back, we realize that we are not separate from anyone or anything.  We realize that our own suffering comes from all the ways we withdraw, withhold, and contract.  Ultimately, we realize that love is the greatest healer – of our own hearts and everyone else’s.

And last, cultivate a meditation practice.  Calming your breath will help calm your mind, which then allows you to dive into the quiet and stillness of your soul.  It is in this stillness that we can perceive the connection with our deepest Wisdom Self.  Stress melts away and surrenders when peace and stillness are experienced.  This is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

Learn to transform your stress through a series of my How to Meditate classes, or enjoy some individual instruction in stress reduction.

Feel free to call or email me with any inquiries – 707.477.8231 or