You blame yourself for your inner struggle and feel like you don’t have the right to be overwhelmed, like you shouldn’t be so exhausted and anxious all the time, it’s not like your life is terrible, it’s really not. 

You should be able to manage stress along with everything else, right? Here’s the truth:

Your stress is not something to manage, it’s a force for action that exists to help you thrive. 

Your stress is an impetus for positive change, a message from a deeper part of you that’s just trying to show you what’s not in alignment with what you really want for your life. Struggling is what’s preventing you from realizing your potential, because stress is purposeful. And here’s the really good news:

Your struggle with stress is actually an amazing opportunity for personal growth.

I hope this piques your curiosity because I know as soon as you change your mind about stress, your life will begin to improve. Your stress is your path to stop struggling with overwhelm, frustration, anxiety, mental exhaustion, and feeling bad about yourself. Here’s a simple story to help illustrate why:

A peanut farmer is trying to catch a monkey that has been stealing his peanuts. So he sets a trap.

He cuts a small hole in the center of a coconut just big enough to fit the monkey’s hand, then puts some peanuts inside the hole and ties the coconut to a tree. Soon after he set this coconut trap, the farmer finds the monkey with his hand stuck inside of the coconut running frantically around the tree.

The monkey had stuck his hand in the coconut and was holding the peanuts in his fist. Since his fist was bigger than the hole in the coconut, he couldn’t get his hand out and was stuck and struggling to get free. 

The monkey in full stress response was so focused on being trapped and stuck that he didn’t recognize that he had a simple choice to make: keep holding on the peanuts or let them go and run free. 

Our (monkey) brains are wired to be efficient and can get stuck in patterns of stress and struggling. If the monkey saw his stress response as a source of information, he would have realized what he was doing (holding on) that he could’ve easily changed to get what he really wanted (to be free).

Stress helps you recognize something you’re doing that you may want to change. 

Stress and struggling can help you become aware of patterns you have that may not be working for you, something you think or believe or do that’s inhibiting your ability to have what you want for yourself.

And every time you’re struggling with stress you have an amazing opportunity to make a conscious choice about what to do or think, instead of allowing a pattern take over, you experience personal growth. 

Here’s a recent example from my life: 

When I’m not teaching or connecting with clients, I reply to emails, set up social media posts, create flyers, design class sequences, manage my schedule, and million other things, but the most important part of running my business is communication and that always involves writing. 

I use to sit down to work, make a list and dive right in to get as many things as possible done. At 2 o’clock I leave to do school pick-ups and some days my list would be mostly done, some days not so much.

Writing has typically been stressful for me out so I’d do anything else first and even when I would focus on writing, struggled to actually get any meaningful work done . (BTW, next year, I’m publishing a book!) 

Because I know stress and struggling helps you recognize something that you may want to change, and I’d been feeling frustrated and anxious about the communication part of my business for too long (years!) I started to pay close attention noticed a couple things I was doing that I could easily change:

    1. Prioritizing unimportant busy work. (social media-bleh!) 
    2. Being distracted by notifications while I was writing. 

Struggling helps you become aware of a pattern in your life that may not be working for you, that may be preventing you from having what you want. (Like holding on to peanuts at the expense of freedom!)

Here’s what I discovered when I embraced my stress about writing as a source of information:

    1. I unconsciously thought that checking off the list was a good thing, but the truth is I was spending a lot of time on task that didn’t really matter instead of focusing on what is really important to me. 
    2. My automatic pattern was to be in response mode, even when trying to write but really I was asking my brain to do too much at once, which we know does not work and is stressful inducing.
    3. I worry that my message and writing isn’t good enough and that I’ll be judged, but actually I’m learning that when I just let myself share what I know about how effective the insights and practices of yoga are for becoming more present, calm and confident, not only is the process of writing much simpler, I get a ton of positive feedback from women like you which is so rewarding!

Struggling is a message from your inner self to focus on what you really want. 

It was my stress that helped me pay attention to patterns that were keeping me developing the content I know helps smart, capable, but stressed-out women. It was my struggle that helped me recognize the opportunity to make conscious choices about my to do list, approach, and mindset.

And while this is a work in progress, (We’re all always a work in progress because personal growth is our life’s purpose!) I definitely feel less scattered and more present for what’s important, less overwhelmed and more calm about making it happen, less worried and more confident about sharing my message. 

So much so that I’M WRITING A BOOK?! Now that IS personal growth! 

When I reflect on the last 20 years, my stress has initiated and fueled massive personal growth. So I really do love it. So are you curious about what would happen if you loved your stress too?

Try this:

  1. Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper so there are 2 columns.
  2. On the left, make a list of the top 3-10 things that you frequently struggle with or cause you stress.
  3. On the right, write how you’d like to feel in those moments of experiencing your stress response. 
  4. The next time one of the things in the left column happen, ask yourself, “What can I do to feel (whatever you wrote in the right column).
  5. Repeat because creating new patterns is a practice

Even though it takes practice, I promise you loving stress so that you can get unstuck from patterns that aren’t serving you and discover the life-changing magic of choosing joy is surprisingly simple. 

What you need is a practical method notice your patterns of stress, open to the message that something is out of alignment with what you really want, and welcome what you do want for yourself and your life. 

That’s why I created Make Peace with Stress.

When you know how to make peace with stress, to get the message your stress is sending and apply its wisdom, you go from:

    • Overwhelmed to focused on what’s important to you.
    • Anxious to calm and feeling in control.
    • Worried to confident and at peace with things.
    • Exhausted to optimistic about your future. 
    • Struggling to experiencing meaningful positive changes.

Make Peace with Stress is a virtual yoga therapy program for ending your struggle with stress so that you can be present, calm + confident every day and experience massive personal growth. And I share the exact 3-step method to make peace with your stress for free in this webinar

 

Albert Einstein said that our problems can’t be solved at the same level of consciousness from which they were created.​ So I hope you’ll consider changing your mind about stress and check out my webinar!

It’s an honor to support you.

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Hi, I’m Stephannie. I’m a Certified Yoga Therapist and creator of Make Peace with Stress. My personal + professional work is about transforming challenges into catalysts for growth. On the yoga mat. And in life.

Want to chat? I’d ❤️ to! CONTACT ME.

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