When you hear the phrase “stress weight,” what comes to mind? Chances are, you think of those extra pounds from binge-eating your way through a particularly difficult time in your life. But stress weight is far more than going up a size when life gets especially tough.
Stress is, in itself, an invisible weight. It bears down on you regularly over time. We often increase it by trying to carry burdens that are not ours to carry. In the end, it erodes away at us, depleting our life force energy, preventing access to joy and gratitude.
Learning to understand the sources of your unconscious stress weight is the first step to letting it go. Ask yourself, what is weighing heaviest on you right now, and is this really your weight to be carrying? We discover that many of our clients carry a stress weight greater than what they can physically lift.
A Matter of Control
If you recognize that the primary source of your stress is one of the many problems of the world, then we suggest exploring the question of whether or not it’s something you can control. There is a lot of division and discord on our planet that you do not have control over, whether it be politics, the pandemic, climate change, supply chain issues, employee shortages, etc. There are also all the actions of others around you and other people's emotions that you do not have control over, yet our human nature is to try and control these things. We allow ourselves to be affected by everything outside of us, unconsciously spinning us out and wearing us down.
It’s no secret that chronic stress can take a devastating toll on your physical and mental health. Over time, it can lead to an array of life-threatening illnesses, from cardiovascular disease, stroke, or cancer, as well as often being the root cause of anxiety, depression, and addiction. If that is not a big enough motivator for you, it also causes gray hair and hair loss. Luckily, recent studies have shown that those who reduced stress over time also reversed their gray hair and hair loss.
While the long-term impacts of stress on the body may be well known, what is far less understood is how to measure your stress. Technology has wearables to help but our suggestion is to use your body intelligence as a tool to do your own stress weight check-in regularly. Do a simple body scan and imagine the stress you feel having a weight in pounds/kilos and how much you are carrying.
The reality is that stress is far less about the life circumstances, the stressors, and more about our responses to them. What it boils down to is the perception that we have no choice or ability to respond, which is a mindset that we do have the ability to shift.
Studies show that one of the most significant sources of stress is when you feel a loss of control. After all, no one likes feeling powerless. No one wants to feel that they are the ones to whom things happen, rather than the one making things happen.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. Inevitably, there are circumstances and experiences which are out of our hands. Sooner or later, your children will grow up and take charge of their own lives. Eventually, someone you love will pass away. One day, your plans for your career will change in a way you never expected. That’s all part of being human. You can’t change it.
So what do we have control over? We only have control over our actions, responses, and choices. We have created a little card to help you remember what is in your control and what isn’t. Letting go of trying to control that which isn’t ours is challenging due to our addiction to control, so be patient with yourself.
The good news is that you can learn to let go of the things you can’t control. Better still, you can begin to strategically modify how you respond to those events, those realities. This, indeed, is what resiliency and self-efficacy are all about.
The key is not to struggle against the things you can’t control. Rather, it’s about changing your perception of them. If you lose your job for example, would you be willing to see it as an opportunity for growth and learning? If you fall ill, could you take it as a sign that your mind and body require greater self-care? If your adult child marries someone you don’t like, are you willing to surrender and let your child experience their own life journey? Life or the universe may be teaching you to let go. Or, it may be showing you how to grow through the relationships that challenge you most.
At Casa Alternavida, we can help you understand the stressors that are weighing you down, and support you with coaching to help unravel the root causes of your biggest weight. While on retreat at Casa Alternavide, you also get the luxury of being fed healthy, organic food, sleeping well, being out in the vibrant rainforest and walking along the sandy turquoise beaches so you can become the empowered, joyful, and resilient person you deserve to be.
Casa Alternavida was founded on the principle that there are healthier, “alternative” ways to balance life and work. This alternative is to stop the unconscious addiction to stress, overwhelm, and struggle to focus on a healthy, balanced lifestyle that yields better results. Our practitioners are trained to support you with unraveling those unconscious commitments so you can actively create the lifestyle you want to be living, take charge of your well-being, and reset bad habits. We are experts at creating playful experiences in nature that inspire deep personal insight and long-term positive behavior change. Teams walk away from our facility with new excitement for their projects, practices to work smarter, and a deep appreciation of their companies. If you are a business that cares about your employees and wants to enhance your workplace culture, we are dedicated to providing alternative ways of building resilient leaders and teams.