25 Things You Can Do To Alleviate Stress

I am about to make a bold statement…stress is the main and only cause of all illnesses!  Everything we experience in our physical world is simply a projection of what we are allowing to run through our minds.  Our thoughts create our reality.  If your thoughts are “sick,” you will be sick.

We all know people who are wonderful individuals who are very positive and have great lives but still get ill.  How can this be?  Our conscious mind may be positive, but our subconscious mind runs 90% of our behaviors.  We are not always aware what sits in that deep recess of the mind.  One of the ways God gets our attention, if all else fails, is through our physical body.  A physical ailment will stop you in your tracks every time and cause you to question your life, your thinking and your actions.

If you do nothing else for yourself in this lifetime, do this:  learn how to manage stress in your life.  Contrary to what you may now believe, stress is not caused by your ex, your boss, lack of money, lack of sex, having no job, etc.  Stress is caused by your perception of those events in your life.  Change your perception and you change the “movie.”

Here are 25 things off the top of my head I have done in the past to alleviate stress.  Feel free to leave comments and add to the list.  Let’s all help each other!

  1. Close your eyes and take 3 deep diaphragmatic breaths (push your stomach out when you inhale) – breath always brings you directly back to your soul.
  2. Move your body – walk, bike, run, stretch, jump on a trampoline, etc.
  3. Sing a song (out loud – hey, if I can do it with my voice, so can you!)
  4. Smile – you actually use more muscles to frown than to smile.
  5. Listen to your favorite song or some relaxing music.
  6. Eat more greens (spinach, kale, and arugula) – greens are very grounding and balancing.
  7. Meditate or pray – worry is a form of prayer, so create thoughts that are more of what you want to see in your life, not what you are worried may happen.
  8. Sleep – this is not overrated!  We need sleep to recharge and we also get much of our spiritual guidance through our sleeping dreams.
  9. Close your eyes and visualize being in your favorite place – feel the joy of being there.
  10. Go out in nature – nature is a natural balancer of energy.
  11. Get away from your source of stress whether it is a person, place or thing.
  12. Light a candle – light is healing and is often used to clear out and protect energy.
  13. Take a bath – essential oils such as lavender are great!
  14. Peel an orange and smell the rind – citrus smells are a great stress reliever.
  15. Choose fruit instead of a sugary treat – sugar tends to aggravate stress and is thought to be a cause of depression.
  16. Clean something – it is truly cathartic.
  17. Lie down, spread your arms and legs out and just breathe for 10 minutes.
  18. Get near running water – the sound is very soothing and healing.  Wash your hands up to your elbows.  Toxins collect in the forearms.
  19. Garden – pick some fresh flowers, weed, or plant something new in your garden.
  20. Pet your cat or dog.  Pets actually absorb negative energy to protect us.
  21. Organize yourself (a drawer, desk, etc.) – feeling organized makes you feel less stressed.
  22. Drink a glass of water – water is cleansing and purifying to the soul and to your physical body.
  23. Drink a cup of hot tea – peppermint and chamomile are the best.
  24. Avoid gossip and negative people – walk away, change the subject of conversation, avoid certain places, etc.
  25. Remember that you are in control of you.  80% of the thoughts you have on a daily basis are lies that come from your past conditioning.  Always question your thoughts.  You cannot believe everything you think.

Faith is the power to stand up to the madness and chaos of the physical world while holding the position that nothing external has any authority over what heaven has in mind for you.“ ~Caroline Myss

Desserts…desert…I always get confused!  Lol!


Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .

0% Expectation, 100% Effort

Intention with no action leaves you only with a dream.

I decided to go to a Bikram Yoga class yesterday.  Bikram Yoga is a series of 26 yoga poses over a 90 minute period in a room heated to as hot as 115 degrees.  This is the type of exercise where you feel as if you have worked out super hard but got a massage at the same time…not to mention you sweat out of places you didn’t even know existed!  If you have ever done yoga before you are aware that it is not for the weary.  Although your body gets an awesome workout (and you end up with a nice tight yoga butt!) it is more of a workout for your mind.  The whole idea of yoga is no expectations.  Your best is different every day.  You are to look forward at yourself in the mirror and yourself only.  Not at your neighbor.  Not at your instructor.  At yourself only.  It is truly an art of self-focus.

As I stood in this un-Godly hot room yesterday feeling as if I was going to pass out, I had an interesting experience.  Back in Delaware where I have practiced Bikram Yoga for the last 3 years, I felt like quite the expert.  I stood in the front of the room, went through all of my poses, battled the heat like a champ and left feeling accomplished.  In Arizona, with higher temperatures, higher elevation and three times as many people in class, I found myself an amateur.  I had a battle with my mind, comparing myself to others, worrying about what they were thinking of me and actually needing to leave the room twice because I felt as if I was going to die from not being able to breathe.

Yoga instructors tend to be psychic by nature.  They seem to know what you are thinking and feeling at every moment.  At the precise moment I felt like Mini-Me in Austin Powers, the instructor reminded us that yoga was about 0% expectation and 100% effort.  She told us to allow ourselves to be where we found ourselves today with no judgment.  The key to yoga is not expecting to be anything but what your best can offer you that day.  Knowing what you want, expecting nothing, and giving 100% of yourself in effort.

In life we tend to find ourselves expecting things we want to show up in a certain way.  We have expectations.  Expectations are very different than wishes, dreams or wants.  Defining what you want is one thing; how it shows up is another.  We get caught up in the “how,” the expectation, the form of our want.  What is true is that the “how” is not up to us.  The how is solely up to the Universe.  Every prayer is answered.  We just think our prayers are not because we are expecting it to show up how we want it to show up.  We are so caught up in being anywhere but in the present time in our minds that we miss the form in which the answer to our prayers appear.  We are watching other people, seeing other people’s results, wishing we had what we don’t have now.  We focus on everything but what is in front of us.  It is your job to know what you want and it is God’s job how it shows up.  You give the effort and he fulfills the expectation.

For the rest of the day today, allow God’s plan to supersede your own.  Watch who you meet and what shows up when you expect nothing but give everything you’ve got.  Stay present in your mind and body.  Let nothing throw you off center.  If something or someone does, bring yourself right back.  Do what we do in yoga.  Come back to your breath and relax.  Breath brings you back to the present every time.  There are no expectations in the present.  Expectations only exist in your future.

In this moment, I will experience the joy of God’s plan, rather than the pain of my plan.” ~Archangel Ariel through Steve Thayer

Expecting nothing but giving my all,


Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .