A new campaign launched by the Skin care company Sanctuary, is urging young women to just ‘let it go’ in response to rising stress. The campaign includes a video of women in their later years, offering advice to their younger selves. It urges young women to let go of perfectionism, pressure, and self-hatred and to embrace relaxation, presence and enjoyment. In essence, it’s a movement for happiness.
It’s an important message for almost 50 percent of women who say they feel ‘moderately or extremely stressed’ and another 40 percent who feel like they’re about to burn out.
Chances are, you can relate to the pressure of keeping up with life. But what are we keeping up with exactly?
You know it’s a problem. We ALL know it.
We can talk all day about the factors that trigger stress including the accessibility of more choice, 24-hour technological resources, more demanding jobs, self-consciousness, pressures that greet us at every turn and mobile phones which we seem to never turn off.
We know that we should focus more time on just ‘being’ and less time on doing because that is the space that allows us to breath in what really matters and to get more enjoyment out of life. If you’ve ever taken a break from it all, you know how beneficial it is.
But how many of these ‘awakenings’ have you had? How many times have you committed to being more present, smelling the roses and prioritizing your wellbeing? And the even bigger question is- why don’t the effects of these time outs ever seem to last very long?
I mean, it’s not like we really want to return to the chaos but we always do, even though we know logically that it’s not good for us. It’s like that bad habit you can’t seem to break no matter what you do. It’s a process most of us are not even aware of and often feels like an “urge” to return to those old and powerful behaviors that are so familiar. Vacations and ‘me time’ are fantastic but there is no point, if you continue returning to life ‘as usual’.
It’s time to stop talking about temporary escapes from your stressful reality and time to start transforming your daily life so that you don’t need to run away from it anymore.
Stand up to your stress!
Is there a more permanent solution for maintaining balance and presence in your daily life? YES. But the solution requires understanding the most powerful drivers of your behavior.
Your daily behavior is the direct result of your most powerful beliefs about yourself and about the world. Evaluate your own beliefs for a moment.
What comes to mind when you think about what it means to be a woman? A mother? A wife or girlfriend. What do you think about friendship, accomplishment or love? These thoughts are born out of your most powerful beliefs. Think about how your actions and motives reflect these beliefs. Then, you can begin to determine if these beliefs are helping you or hurting you. Are these beliefs creating behaviors that benefit you or sabotage you?
Think for a moment about a recent situation in your everyday life. It could have been today, yesterday or last week. It could have happen at home, work or school. It was a moment in which you proceeded with a behavior that you knew wasn’t good for you- but you did it anyway. What happened in your mind right before you did it? What was the belief that popped up and convinced you to do it despite your better intentions? It could be the tiniest thought that points to a greater belief and deeper source of your behavior.
Another good way to pin point a belief that doesn’t serve you is to take stock of the grander picture of your life. What areas of your life do you want to change but just can’t seem to for a significant amount of time? It could be a battle with weight or addiction- an exhausting struggle with perfectionism or disorganization! Perhaps you keep falling for the same type of person who doesn’t treat you like you deserve or maybe you keep running into similar problems with friends or family. Have you ever asked yourself why you keep encountering these struggles over and over? Pay close attention to the answers you come up with- they point directly to your beliefs.
We all have areas in our life that could use a tune up- and some areas that we’ve always been successful in! The common denominator is always your beliefs. Beliefs that don’t serve you serve to create behaviors that sabotage your growth and improvement
Of course, you don’t sabotage your life on purpose- at least, not consciously. But you are functioning on a subconscious foundation made of belief and emotions, built and fortified throughout the course of your life.
It’s strong but you know what’s more powerful? YOU! You can break apart the beliefs that don’t serve you and effortlessly embrace ones that drive you towards success in every aspect of life.
Freedom is an inside job
This is the great secret of life. You don’t have to be a prisoner of your past, your impulses or your routine. True freedom means breaking out of theses self-imposed barriers. It means you stop following and start leading your own life.
But you don’t transform your beliefs by pushing away negative thoughts or pretending they don’t exist.
While vacations, relaxation and meditation offer a chance to re-connect, you can only stay plugged in when you let go of the source of your stress.
That’s the path to permanent transformation. It’s how you really #LetGo – for good.