In Silicon Valley, the old saying of “money is the root of all evils” can easily be replaced by “stress is the root of all evils.” Over the last few years, I have seen more and more patients who work in the high-pressure industry of tech. This is why managing stress has become an essential component of my treatment plan, regardless of what conditions or symptoms initially bring a patient to me.
Symptoms Of Stress
Stress can cause eczema flare-ups, suppressed immune systems, frequent headaches, chronic insomnia, worsening pain and a constellation of gastrointestinal symptoms. We can prescribe a pill, topical cream or bodywork to help alleviate those symptoms, but that’s like putting a tarp over the roof without repairing the hole; you will continue to have leakage from time to time until you have the roof fixed.
30-Day Gratitude Journey
Managing stress is easier said than done. Many try, fail and then give up. I have seen that in both my patients and myself. But before you claim defeat again this year, I want to challenge you with a 30-day gratitude journey.
This 30-day challenge requires only 20 minutes a day and your willingness to give it try. Each day when you wake up, I want you to set aside 10 minutes. Find a quiet corner in the house away from any distraction. Close your eyes softly and picture a moment in your life that makes you feel very blessed. Recall every detail of that experience and try to re-live that moment if you can. Finish this visualization with this note to yourself: regardless of what I will face today, I will choose to be grateful for what I have.
At the end of each day before you go to bed, set aside another 10 minutes. This time, think about what happened today. Pick 1-3 things you are grateful for. There is nothing too small to give thanks to. There are many things we take for granted, such as the clean air we breathe, our ability to walk, the colors we see, etc. Give thanks to these blessings and keep in mind that someone in this world is not as fortunate to have them. If today is a particularly difficult day, remember that every trial can be a disguised blessing. Those who survive it will thrive and blossom. Give thanks to the opportunity that challenges you to become a butterfly.
By focusing more on what you have and not on what you don’t have, you can alleviate stress. Through a consistent practice of gratitude, you can become someone who always sees the glass as half full rather than half empty.