Welcome to day four of your 7 Day De-Stress Course.
Today we’re looking at the danger of running from molehill-sized mountains – and a single, simple, life-changing technique you can use to put them back into their rightful perspective.
Here’s a link to listen to the fourth part of your audio course. A transcript is at the bottom of this page.
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[audio:https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/destress-audio-course/part-four.mp3]Part Four Audio MP3
When you have had a chance to experiment with the techniques on today’s audio, how about popping by the special discussion area in the Soul-Sized Living forum, to share how you got on – and get answers to any questions you may have?
Are You Running From Molehill-Sized Mountains?
And just in case you’d like a positive affirmation for this stage of the audio course, how about:
I know that when I turn to face that old mountain, it is smaller than I thought it was.
Are You Running From A Molehill-Sized Mountain?
Today I want to talk to you about molehills and mountains.
Are you running from a mountain sized molehill?
It’s all about the situations, the conflicts and even the thoughts that we would do anything to avoid, which cause us massive amounts of stress – and we all have them… Sometimes they are brushed under the metaphorical carpet. Others are hidden in cupboards or are locked out of sight. What they all have in common is the effort that’s required to keep resisting them and the low level and sometimes even the high level stress that they can cause.
If you run from something that makes you feel uncomfortable, it will still catch up with you, even if just in your mind. But if you take a deep breath and turn and face it you’ll find it’s much smaller than you thought it was. To help illustrate this I would like to share a personal experience with you from a few years ago.
I remember, years ago, when my middle son was just 9 months old, I was feeling utterly exhausted by the fact he had such a high need for being carried everywhere. I couldn’t get anything done on my own. Even cooking or washing up I had to learn to do with him on one hip, and let alone running my business and everything else I was doing. Everywhere I went, he crawled behind me, crying, until I picked him up.
It might sound silly today, if you haven’t been there yourself, but I was near breaking point. I had created so many stories in my head about this; I had fed my stress pattern so much; and one day a very wise friend said something that nearly got her a smack in the face.
She told me he was going to keep shouting more and more loudly until I stopped running away from him and the situation. She nearly got screamed at.
“But I’m there for him 24 hours a day! I give to him constantly! I have nothing left to give! Can’t you not see how stressed I am?”
But then I realised the truth. I was resisting – fighting – and wishing this situation could be different. I was giving the stresses of having a baby who needed extra lots of cuddles “free rent” in my head space. I was thinking about it most of the time and I was making the situation feel so much worse than it actually was. My monkey mind’s stories were making me feel terrible.
Then, one day, I listened to her advice and I stopped fighting it. I went back to my old mantra – courtesy of the Dalai Lama: “This too will pass.”
I stopped running away from the situation and turned to face it. Admittedly it was with a sense of not-very-gracious acceptance, but it was acceptance none the less.
And – you guessed it – things improved fast. Not only did the monkey mind stories instantly lose their power, but my inner drama disappeared and miraculously (and perhaps predictably) as my responses changed, so too did the baby’s behaviour.
So that which I had been running away from turned out to be nowhere near as bad as I’d been imagining.
The problem arises when we imagine something – we trigger those same physiological reactions as if it were actually happening.
So the physiological stress, the hormones that fire off, the adrenalin, the fight or flight responses and the stressed-out thoughts all happen as though the event were real.
Is it totally crazy, when you think about it, to tell ourselves these stories; to run away from these molehills and to build them into mountains, because we are living life as though that’s real. Yet if we just stopped and turned to face it, we could live the life that really is real, that’s nowhere near as stressful.
So we run from the molehill and it becomes the size of a mountain. When we turn to face, it we regain perspective that cuts it back down to size.
Things are rarely as bad as the stories that our monkey mind is telling us.
So I’m curious: is there a situation for you at the moment where you might be running away from a molehill sized mountain? And I’m wondering: just imagine how you could set yourself free from that old stress and fear if you were to take a deep breath and decide – just for a moment – that you are going to stop running and deal with it. Or at least look at it and see what’s true.
It’s an amazing way to cut your stress levels and it’s an amazing way to stop the stories that your monkey mind is telling you.
I hope you found this technique useful; I’ll be back with more de-stressing tips next time.