Stress is a necessary part of life; a motivator that creates a sense of urgency. Without some sort of stress to urge us forward, our lives would become dull, boring and meaningless.
Imagine life without any demands or deadlines. It might be a fun vacation for a while, but in time it would grow old and exhausting. We all have a need for routine and structure. A life without any structure or demands would be an irresponsible life of chaos. Positive stress is essential and requires us to take action. It can be compared to the pistons in a car. The friction between the pistons creates energy and movement. A car wouldn’t function without positive stress. Positive stress is what gets us out of bed in the morning and makes us go to work and pay our bills. Stress is a natural part of life, but it is only considered positive when it motivates action. If stress builds up over time, eventually a person will wear down.
I’d like you to imagine a brand new car tire. The thick tread on a new tire can handle quite a bit of abuse, but over time the tread of the tire wears down until eventually the tire is bald. When a tire is bald, it doesn’t take much to flatten it.
When we’re under too much stress we’re like a bald tire rolling along just fine until suddenly we hit a bump in the road and “POP” we are flattened.
Do you ever feel like you’re ready to pop?
Stress is your body’s way of getting you to pay attention. It’s an automatic warning sign demanding immediate attention. It’s much like a warning light in a car; if ignored, there could be serious consequences.
Imagine the oil light going on in your car. This is a signal that you had better add oil soon or your engine could quit working. Most people have a significant financial investment in their car, so they generally heed the warning of the oil light. It doesn’t take very much time or money to add oil, but this small thing saves the car from severe damage.
Too often we treat our cars better than ourselves. We have warning signs of stress as well, but generally we don’t listen until something catastrophic (such as a heart attack) makes us pay attention. There are things that we can and should do regularly for stress management maintenance such as simple breathing techniques or relaxation CDs, walking in the mountains, massage, etc. In the long run it is well worth paying attention to our “warning lights” before there are long term serious consequences.
In order for our entire body system to function at 100% we must be balanced in three essential areas; body, mind and spirit. This is called the triad of health. When we are feeling bad physically, it is difficult to feel good emotionally and mentally. Likewise, if we are feeling depressed, our physical movements will likely be slow and sluggish. The body and mind are intrinsically connected.
Now I’d like you to imagine the inner workings of your car. The engine of a car might be compared to a person’s mind. It provides the power and sends signals to all the other systems so they can function. The transmission could be compared to a person’s body. While the engine provides the power, the transmission provides the motion. Imagine your own engine and transmission in your body. Are they working together as a team? If not, you are under stress.
In order for a car to function, all parts of the car must work together synergistically. If the engine isn’t working, the transmission won’t work. The engine and transmission work together as one. Separately they have no use, but together they create power.
It is much the same with our own body. Imagine being able to think but imagine that the part of the brain that sends signals to your body, does not work. It would be as if you were trapped inside your body. You wouldn’t be able to communicate with the outside world or even care for your own needs. That would be an example of having a working engine but a nonfunctioning transmission.
Fortunately, most of us have at least a semi-functioning mind and body. The problem is that we don’t do routine upkeep on our body, mind and spirit. Why is that? A car can be replaced, but we have one chance with this mind and body. It would be wise to take good care of it. Just as a car requires an oil change and upkeep, our body, mind and spirit also require upkeep.
Now let’s focus on the triad of health once again. The body, mind and spirit must all work in harmony for us to experience total health. So what are some ways to keep the body balanced?
Below are some suggestions for physical upkeep.
• Kick Boxing
• Massage Therapy
Exercise is CRUCIAL to stress management. It releases endorphins into the body. This is the “feel good” chemical that the body naturally produces. It is free and it is legal! To maintain a healthy body, a person should do some sort of physical activity a minimum of 3 times a week.
I personally enjoy walking outside every morning for 30 minutes. I find that I am able to meditate during walking and talk to God. It is a great way to start my day. Even during cold weather, I bundle up and enjoy the outdoors. We all need a little bit of sunlight every day. This also helps with stress and our emotions.
The mind is next in the triad of health. If it is ignored there can be serious emotional
consequences. The mind houses our emotions. The emotions can be affected by lack of nutrition and a chemical imbalance. If you are feeling depressed there are holistic options to jump start the brain before medical drugs need to intervene. Sometimes it is a hormonal imbalance. There are holistic remedies for depression, anxiety and hormonal imbalance.
Here are a few suggestions for holistic emotional help:
• Michelle Ruward: LMT, CHT Massage therapy, Energy work and Emotional Clearing
• Visit a homeopathic Doctor or Chiropractor to test you for your individual needs.
Utah County Area holistic testing:
Mark E. Johnson, Homeopathic testing: 801-434-9490
Besides being emotionally balanced, we also need to invigorate our minds through reading or continuing education. Our mind needs to be strengthened just like our muscles.
The last part of the triad of health is our spirit. Our spirit is the core of who we are. We are not our mind or our body we are our spirit. We were each sent to this earth with something that only we can do. We need to be constantly striving toward fulfilling our mission. If we allow our lives to only be about work, we are missing out on the joy of the journey. If we do not take the time to feed our spirit, our spirit will suffer just like any other part of us when it is neglected.
To keep our spirit balanced, we must live within our value system. Living outside our value system creates immense stress on our spirit as well as our body. Our body houses all guilt in the form of illness and pain. Living outside our value system slowly kills us spiritually as well as physically.
We each connect with our spirit in a very individual way. We all have different spiritual beliefs. The key is finding what works for you and connecting with your source.
Some suggestions for spiritual maintenance are:
• Energy Work
• Listening to uplifting music
• Living within your value system
• Massage Therapy
• Uplifting books or poetry
• Walking outdoors
Below are listed stress management alternatives available on this website:
The Seven Minute Stress Cure: This is a good way to help maintain emotional and spiritual balance very quickly.
Massage Therapy: strengthens the immune system, increases circulation and balances your body, mind and spirit. I have been a licensed massage therapist for 12 years. (Graduated with honors from Myotherapy Institute of Utah.)
“Sitting at a desk for eight hours a day is taxing enough without frustrated and upset clients added to the mix. Running the front office of a busy bookkeeping and tax preparation business is stressful. I didn’t realize the extent to which the stress was affecting me until I began meeting with my massage therapist (Michelle). The physical aspect was addressed first. Over time, sitting at a computer had tightened my neck and shoulders to the point that when Michelle first placed her fingers on my neck she said “Wow, your neck feels like a brick.” She has the amazing ability to search out and find the tender points on the body without a person having to say what hurts. I feel looser and more relaxed within minutes of each session. Once the physical needs have been met, the emotional aspect can be addressed. Michelle found that I had been storing some frustration and anger about my job in my upper arms that I didn’t even know existed. Physical touch was painful. Michelle performed some energy work on my arms. It felt as if a huge weight had been lifted physically and emotionally. I hadn’t realized that there was anything wrong, but I walked out of the session feeling lighter and happier than I had in months. I have been to many different massage therapists over the years, but none of them are even worth mentioning in comparison to Michelle. Her 12 years of experience, combined with flawless technique, create an experience for the mind, body and soul like no other.
Emotional Clearing & Guided Imagery: Release old patterns that are keeping you stuck and create new healthy alternatives.
The Seven Minute Stress Cure CD along with massage are two exceptional ways to relieve stress.
|To schedule massage,
or relaxation seminars
please contact Michelle at