Learning to Undress My Stress

Something had to change. 

When I went to the ER in an ambulance for a suspected heart attack for the second time in eight months, it was clear that something wasn’t right. When I, for the second time in eight months, was diagnosed with nasty GERD mimicking the symptoms of heart attack, it was time to figure out what was going on.

I very quickly realized one of the major factors. Which was that these events had a lot to do with how I was dealing — or in this case, not dealing — with stress. I know enough about that to realize that all the stress hormones that were percolating around my system could, if unchecked, lead to uncomfortable and even very serious consequences. Stress hormones, such as cortisol, are implicated in anything from RA flares, to cancer, and heart attacks.

Exactly how was anything but clear. I was on the cusp of May’s Arthritis Awareness Month and several of my other projects were hitting high activity at the same time. I barely had time to think, nevermind change my life.

And then a friend of mine came to the rescue. Marianna saw a post about the second trip to the ER — because: blog fodder — and reminded me of her alter ego, Auntie Stress. It’s not just a memorable moniker, but indicates a status as a teacher of stress management. And I signed up.

Marianna is a wonderful teacher. Using a common sense approach blended with an excellent sense of humour, she made the learning easy and exciting. We met on Skype where she guided me through a process of getting in touch with the real me and teaching to undress my stress with kindness, gentleness, and hardly any effort. Through the techniques she uses, you learn to build a bank of emotional and chemical cushions that act as buffers against stress hormones. And better yet, it helps you connect with what your heart wants, enabling you to live a more authentic life.

This is not say there isn’t homework to do between the sessions. There is, and it helps integrate the techniques in your every day to build habits that sustain what you learn past the end of the course. Marianna worked with my schedule, which was incredibly useful once I realized that signing up for another thing to do during May had been perhaps a little overly optimistic (ya think, Lene???). This extended the five week course into something more like two months, but secretly, I thoroughly enjoyed stretching how much time I spent in Marianna’s company.

If stress is getting the better of you and your gut is telling you that changing the way you cope with stress is essential, call Auntie Stress. You can find no better teacher.

To learn how to undress your stress and live a more authentic life, call Auntie Stress at 604-507-9970.



Unknown said…

Learning is a partnership; it works best when both parties are committed and engaged. I thoroughly enjoyed the honour of working collaboratively with you over the course of those two months.

I appreciate this glowing tribute. More importantly, though, thank you for continuing the practice of addressing and undressing your stress so that we can reap the benefits of many more years of you and your work.


Unknown said…
What a great gal to work with. Go Lene! (Not to ER, but to less stress).

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