Wednesday, January 23, 2013

An Anchor in Stressful Times

It’s so much more than a ring.

A couple of years ago my husband and I went on a cruise without the kids. It was a wonderful vacation and I was so relaxed—something I had not felt in a long time. At one stop, we bought a ring for me. The stone is red and it’s surrounded by very tiny little diamonds. To see the ring you wouldn’t think it was anything special, but to me it is. Over the past two years, it has become my anchor when I get anxious.

What do I mean by anchor? When I get stressed, I look at the ring and fiddle with it. I remind myself that this too shall pass and that somewhere out there is a place for me to relax and unwind. It sounds silly, but I can almost hear the ocean when I do this.

Sometimes we need a physical reminder of a time we were happy, relaxed or calm. For some it’s a favorite photo or painting. To others, it’s a favorite pair of shoes. For me, at this time in my life, it’s this ring.

Stress is a reality in our world—very few of us don’t feel it. How we manage our stress can have big implications on our overall health and sanity. But sometimes the tried and true methods of walking away, exercising or listening to music aren’t immediately available. “Um, excuse me boss, I need to step out for a second to listen to my favorite band so that I don’t lose it in this meeting” doesn’t fly in some situations.

But my little ring is with me all day. I can take a breath, twirl it around my finger, feel some calm and recharge.

It’s silly, but it works for me.

What anchors do you use throughout your day to help you get through stressful situations?

Reace Alvarenga-Smith is a Mom of two in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

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