What do you do when you’re stressed? For that matter, what does it MEAN when we are stressed?? I think these are vital questions. Why? Because the first thing we reach for when we are stressed is symbolic. Read on for insights about symbolic triggers and ideas about handling stress.
About Symbolic Triggers
Consider what you crave, need, or lean on when you are out of your mind with frustration or dealing with stress.
Is it food? That might be symbolic of a need to digest your frustration. The belly is a fire-pit of soul…centeredness and churning. Food is a source of nourishment. Together, the stomach and food are symbolic triggers that potentially point to a need to process the emotional stress that we have consumed.
Maybe it’s alcohol. If you’re fried to the max, and your instant response is grabbing a beer…that’s symbolic too. It’s a sign of the psyche needing to be recharged. Booze is an escape. It elevates (or sedates) our minds. If you tend towards alcohol to retreat from stress, I’m willing to bet it’s a symbolic signal towards mind-focused stress.
What about smoking? The lungs are about inspiration. They are kin to the air. Cells in our bodies convert oxygen into carbon dioxide. It is the lungs that remove that Co2 waste product from our bodies. Their function is essential to our existence on this lovely planet, as Co2 is necessary for plant life. So, if you reach for a smoke the minute you’re on edge…that’s symbolic. It’s symbolic that you’re choking within your own anxiety. It’s also symbolic of a lack of inspiration. The whole thing about AIR revolves around elevation, lightness…and well…airiness!
So what do we do? Alternatives to Dealing With Stress
Some of our knee-jerk responses and symbolic triggers to stress are habits formed over long spans of time. That’s something to be mindful of. If it’s a stress-relieving habit, it might take effort to consider other options.
That said, I do have a few suggestions (of course, lol). Here they are…
Alternatives for Stress Eating: If you grab food when stressed, consider meditating instead. Think about the functions the stomach has. Imagine it churning and functioning without any additives. You can also imagine a fire pit within your belly. Let it rage with an awesome blaze….and allow that blaze to burn all your stress away!
Alternatives to Overdoing Alcohol Consumption: If alcohol is your stress reliever, consider drinking water instead. Our bodies are made of over 87% water. It is cleansing. Purifying. Renewing. Drink 16 ounces or more water at that moment when you’re at your wit’s end. It will refresh a lot better than a brew. Also – water purifies the mind. All water consumed flushes through our neuro fluids and kinda swooshes out the mental madness we have to deal with.
Alternatives to Smoking: If smoking is your stress-stomper, consider going for a walk instead. I know it sounds lame compared to a cigarette…but it helps. Exercise of any kind fills the lungs. It gets us inspired and energized. It reminds us of our breath, our inhalations, and our life!
More About Making Different Choices When Symbolic Triggers Crop Up
I Will Hug You, Squeeze You, And I Will Call You George!: You remember that Warner Brothers cartoon with the abominable snowman? Poor fella just wanted love. I think a lot of times our stress is due to lack of love and attention. So if you can relate, grab a friend. Love a dog. Pet a cat. Squeeze a loved one. You get the idea. Snuggle on that cuddly baby for as long as it takes to relax!
It’s all Zen!: The idea of zen is all about everything and nothing suspended in a liminal space. If that makes no sense, then just consider being in the present moment. If you ponder it….we can do nothing about the past. The future has its own motives (meaning…we can plan, but the Universe might have Her own plans that may clash with ours). All you have is this current, present moment and that’s a space in time that offers massive opportunities to de-stress and take pause.
The Last Word About Symbolic Triggers and Stress
Firstly, you know I’m not dispensing medical advice, right? I’m not writing this post to offer therapy for stress. I just wanted to point out that our go-to solutions are symbolic, and should be contemplated. If you need help, please seek professional attention, online therapy and/or proper counseling. Okay? Okay.
Secondly, if you beg for a burger, beckon for a beer, or bum a smoke…that’s your right…and I’m not judging. Trust me. I have an epic addictive personality. No joke. You be you!
Lastly, there are some awesome go-to habits we can culminate that are great healing tools. Maybe some of you practice these habits already…but if you don’t…I hope these tips about symbolic triggers and dealing with stress prove helpful to you.
The only truly profound potential we have is in the present moment. When those symbolic triggers crop up and you’re stressed out, try to unplug future and past tense, and plug into the present moment. Reach into the infinite possibilities available in this very second. It’s a refreshing re-start button that trumps any panic button. May all your moments be as peaceful as possible and as always, thanks for reading!
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