By Megan Schultz
Do you find yourself going through the daily motions of trying to check items off of your long to-do list? Are you struggling to take a few minutes for yourself and just be still and simply breathe? Then, this article is for YOU.
I find myself guilty of answering YES to these questions. I often forget to appreciate the beauty of life when getting caught up in what I have to do, where I have to be, and what I have to prepare for. Though seasons of my life may be busier than others, I have found that there is ALWAYS a need to find ways to reduce my stress. Without taking time to focus on my well-being, stress will continue to wear down on my personal happiness and well-being.
On my journey to discover how I can personally reduce my stress, I have read many articles, listened to podcasts, and taken note of the methods of others. For me, what has worked is beginning to ask the following questions which in turn has led me to finding the peace that exists within me. Although everyone differs in what brings them true joy, I recommend asking these questions to determine what works best for YOU. Your attempt at taking time out of your busy life to focus on becoming a better YOU will be well worth the joy it reaps. So, take a moment and just ask…
- When I think of the word “happy”, what first comes to mind? For me, when I think of true happiness, I think of being surrounded by my family and friends with genuine laughter.
- What scent makes me calm? My favorite scent is lavender, a calming and relaxing smell that brings me peace.
- Is there a type of music or song that brings me comfort? Although I love many different genres of music, spa instrumental and Christian acoustic music brings me comfort. Spotify or Pandora always picks the best songs for me to hear.
- Where is a spot that makes me feel at home? I always have a smile on my face when sitting outside of one my favorite cafes that has a view of the St. Louis arch. Particularly, when the sun is setting, I see the true beauty of nature. However, if I was closer to a beach, it would definitely be there!
- Who brings out the best version of myself? Who puts a smile on my face? My mom and sisters truly push me to a better me. They motivate and make me feel like I could take on the world. My boss also puts a smile on my face in making me feel so loved and appreciated.
- What physical movement makes me feel strong and confident in who I am? I love to run and bike. Jamming out to music while doing cardio makes me feel so strong and helps me release so much stress.
- Is there a quote or Bible verse that empowers me? “Be strong and courageous…for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you” -Deuteronomy 31:6
- What am I grateful for you? I am grateful for the people in my life. I couldn’t tackle each day without those who inspire me by my side.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and unable to focus on the positives in life, take a moment and find your own answers to these questions. Discovering how to bring out the peace that lies within you will help you through all of life’s stressors.