TEEN TALK - Stress Management

Stress Management with Cassandra Spiegelhoff

I had the opportunity to teach a class about stress management to freshman at the Burlington High School and LOVED IT! Below is the details of what we discussed and practiced.
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“You will never be able to control everything around you. You can’t control the people around you or things that happen in life. All you can control is yourself. How you act and react is a skill you want and need to master. The great thing is that you control that.”

Take a moment to check in with yourself. Sit upright in your chair, take a deep breath, and relax. Scan through your body. Start at the top of your head and see if you feel tension. You may notice you might have a headache or feel tired. Don’t be alarmed. Just notice it. Don’t try to change it or fix it. Just simply notice it. Move down to your neck, then to your shoulders, your arms, ribs, back, hips, legs, and feet. Just notice any pain you may have and just observe it. The interesting thing about pain is that it’s never the same. It’s always changing. Throughout our lives we experience pain and it can swallow you whole. Bringing all your attention to one thing wrong but the truth is there are so many more things that are RIGHT and GOOD in your lives. It’s just that you’re choosing to give the negative thoughts and feelings your attention.

WHERE ATTENTION GOES EVERGY FLOWS.

Now bring your attention to your breath. Focus on the inhale and exhale of your breath. Quietly say to yourself, “I am safe. I am loved. I am strong. I am peaceful.” Say this quietly to yourself a few times. You can say whatever phrase(s) that feel good to you. I suggest repeating these phrases while sitting with your eyes closed for 2-3 minutes.

Now think of the people most important to you in your life. This may be your mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, boyfriend, girlfriend, or whoever is in your close group. Imagine them all in the room with you. I want you to imagine your heart filling with love. So much love that it overflows and fills their hearts with love. You can imagine your love as bright white light pouring from you towards them. Say quietly to yourself, “May you be safe. May you be well. May you be peaceful.” This is your tribe. You may have heard the saying before of “the 5 closest people to you are who you become.” This is true. Who you choose to spend your time with is your choice. Choose wisely. If you find that the people around you are negative or don’t support your dreams and goals, you may want to find new people to hang out with. In your life you want to surround yourself with people who lift you UP and love you for being you.

Now think of someone you know who you may be struggling with right now. Maybe you got in an argument with someone or someone has been annoying you. Imagine this person standing in front of you. Imagine that same white light filling your heart with love. This may take a while because your natural instinct will be to feel anger or hate. Overcome that feeling with LOVE. Imagine the love filling your heart up so much that it starts to overflow. Imagine this love filling their heart. Say quietly to yourself, “May you be safe. May you be well. May you be peaceful.” The truth is if you can love your enemy you can love anyone. Learning how to deal with difficult people is crucial. It’s crucial now, in college, at your job, in your future career, in your marriage, and in any role in your life. Because truth be told, people are challenging sometimes. People lash out in anger and hate because they themselves are hurting. If you can see that for what it is, you will be able to see conflict from a place of compassion. If you can learn to approach every difficult situation in your life from a place of love, the outcome will be much better rather than adding more negative drama. 

We all are under huge amounts of stress. Most of this is self-inflicted. Most stress comes from within ourselves as things we believe we need do or achieve to feel accepted, loved, and respected. If you truly love yourself you will not have to look outside yourself for validation. Why do I bring this up while on the topic of stress management? Because most of the things you do in your life that are causing you stress are for other people. Most things you do is to get other people to love you and accept you. Unfortunately, this is a never-ending black hole. If you live your life simply to gain acceptance of others, you will live an empty life. I’ll let you in on a little secret. The goal in life is to simply accept and love yourself while you are constantly continuing to grow. Giving back and contributing to the world in the best way you know how is the key to a fulfilling life. 

Now that you we’re all on the same page here, this is a little checklist for you:
- Meditation: Helps you to calm your mind and to better understand your thoughts and emotions.
- Get out into nature: Fresh air LITERALLY brings life to you. Try to get outside as much as you can. Being in nature has been proved to help patients with anxiety and depression.  
- DRINK WATER: Yes. That simple. When our lives get chaotic we forget to drink water. Dehydration leads to anxiety, irritability, and lack of energy. Our bodies are made of 60% water! You need more water in your life. NOW.
- Use the chart below to help you organize your “to-do” list! This was a life saver for me and helped to reduce my stress. I don’t know about you but my to-do list is a mile long. This help me stay organized and feel successful after each day!

(Listed in order of importance)

#1 This section is for your URGENT & SKILLED TASKS. Urgent means there is a deadline that is soon. Skilled tasks are something that only you can do. Depending on your tasks, try to get one of these done a day. These are your most important tasks. 
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#2 This section is for your NON-URGENT & SKILLED TASKS. Non-urgent but skilled tasks are things only you can do but not under a strict deadline. 
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#3 This section is for your URGENT & NOT SKILLED TASKS. Not skilled tasks are things someone else can help you with. Is there someone that can help you with these tasks?
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#4 This section is for your NON-URGENT & NOT SKILLED TASKS. These are the things you “think” you have to do. If someone else can’t help you with these tasks these are LAST on the priority list! 
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Because I say “YES” to things that excite me, I own a photography company and started a clothing line with my sister! Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration and good vibesJ
@cmaedesign@sistertribeclothingand my personal Instagram @c.maespiegs

Come to our next event! Tuesday, November 27 @ 6:30pm at Mercantile Hall in Burlington. Event is FREE! We’ll be discussing more in depth into Stress Management and setting goals for 2019 for a better you! Come join me next Tuesday!!!

Cassie Spiegelhoff