Creating Ease (AKA How to feel less stressed out)Dec 26, 2022
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We’re tight... we’re tense… in both our bodies and our minds. While we know that creating more ease in our bodies is essential for both physical and emotional health and wellbeing, we can struggle to know how to make it happen. We need practical steps to feel less stressed and create ease.
The good news is, there are techniques we can employ as needed. I personally use the step-by-step practice I share in this episode because it works. And I hope as we move into the new year, it works for you too.
“It’s these brief moments, often repeated, that create new habits and create our sort of new status quo.” – Dr. Sara Dill
What You’ll Learn
- Training in tension
- Brief moments, often repeated
- How to create more ease, any time, anyplace
- Simple but not necessarily easy
Contact Info and Recommended Resources
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I'm Dr. Sara Dill, and this is the Stress less Physician Podcast, episode number 46.
Welcome to the Stress Less Physician Podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Sara Dill, MD. Using my unique combination of coaching and mindfulness tools, I will teach you practical ways to reduce your stress level, feel happier at work, and create a better balance between your medical career and personal life. If you are a busy practicing physician who wants to design a life and medical career that feel good to you, you are in the right place.
Hey everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. So happy you are here. So, last week I talked a little bit about what I was already gonna talk about this week, which is basically creating more ease in your body and in your life, which in other words, is sort of how to feel less stressed out. And I think most people, I know myself very much included, go through a lot of our day with a lot of tension and tightness and either conscious or unconscious or subconscious stress, right?
I think a lot of us are tight and tense, both physically in our bodies and also tight and tense in our minds and emotionally. So it's sort of the whole package here, and I was thinking about this yesterday. I knew I was gonna record the podcast today, and yesterday I was getting my long overdue colonoscopy, which I'm sure many of you have already done, and I'm sure many of you maybe need to do or will do in the future.
And I was noticing that I was a little anxious about it. I mean, there's the whole prep and everything. But lying there in the gurney, waiting to have the procedure, I noticed that I was feeling a little anxious and a little tense and stressed out. I like to be in control of most of my day and situations, and I just noticed that I had some tension in my body and I was thinking about this and actually used this technique that I'm gonna talk about to really relax.
And I will say that I felt quite relaxed before my procedure even before I got any sort of, you know, versed or whatever it was I got for the procedure. But I think that this practice is something that is quick and easy, and it's a way that you can start to create the habit of creating more ease in your body and creating more ease in your mind and creating more ease in your day, moment by moment, day after day.
So this unconscious or habitual tension and tightness and stress that we carry in our bodies physically, and that is also in our mind, more mentally. It often creates a very draining experience of our days and of our life. So if our experience is colored by tightness and tension, it also means that we tend to be responding to all of the events and happenings of our days, including work and home and relationships. Everything that happens, it tends to mean that we're responding from a place of tightness and fear and tension, whether it's conscious or not. And this is the opposite of coming from a place of ease and space and relaxation. Or if not relaxation, at least coming from a place of calm and centeredness, both physically and mentally, and I would say emotionally.
You know I love to define my terms. I'm always a little bit of a science nerd and so I went to Google and looked up a few different definitions of ease and it's ease in terms of the noun, right? Creating a sense of ease. So one definition I liked was the state of being comfortable.
Are you comfortable right now in your body? Are you comfortable right now in your mind, or are you tense? Are you tight? Are you spinning? Another definition of ease is effortlessness. Another one defined ease as behavior, or a sense of being relaxed and natural. I really like that one. Relaxed and natural. And a fourth definition of ease. You can see they're all related. Here is an absence of difficulty or effort, and I would sort of say like stressful effort. Sometimes making an effort can feel sort of good and satisfying, but is it coming from a place of responsiveness and spaciousness, and more natural sensations.
So, today I wanted to talk about how to create more ease for yourself, and I promise you, it just takes seconds. We all have time for this, and this is a practice. Creating ease is something that the more you do, brief moments, often repeated, the more you will find yourself operating without chronic tension and tightness and that feeling of stressed outness that most of us carry around. Sometimes I think of it as a heavy backpack that I'm always wearing.
So I would like to ask that you just try this out, see if it works for you. See what happens. But the more that you do - it's these brief moments often repeated that create new habits and create our sort of new status quo - the more you'll find yourself operating without chronic tension and tightness and that feeling of stressed outness, really, and you will probably do whatever task is in front of you better, if you can switch into a state of calm and relaxed ease than from tension and tightness, can you let it be easier?
So this is how to create more ease anytime or any place like right now. So my first question is, how do you feel right now? Are your shoulders high? Are they up by your ears? Are they tight? Are they low? Are they feeling relaxed? Are you tense or are you relaxed? Just check in with your body just very briefly. And then I want you to take a deep breath. And with that deep breath, I want you to relax some of the muscles in your body. It might be a clenched hand. It might be lowering and loosening your shoulders a little, or maybe it's relaxing your face, your jaw line.
And then I want you to take another deep breath and I want you to continue to relax another part of your body, somewhere in your torso, maybe your buttocks, your abdomen, your chest. Maybe just your arms or your legs, and then I want you to take another deep breath or as many as you want, and just picture letting the tension out with each exhalation, relaxing your body and exhaling that tension.
And just notice how you feel now. That's it. This is a simple and effective switch. You can do any time to create a sense of more relaxed ease in your body, and maybe in your mind. It takes less than a minute. And again, notice if it makes it seem a little bit easier, or at least a little more pleasant to face the next moment in your day, whatever that next task, or event is.
I know how easy it sounds to simply notice when you're tense and then consciously breathe and relax your body. And I will say it's simple, but not always easy, because it actually requires awareness and practice. And sometimes you might discover it's a lot more challenging than perhaps it was just now.
And in those moments when maybe you're having a hard time relaxing or letting go of tension, or even noticing how your body feels, can you just let your tightness and tension be there and breathe anyway? You can always just let some areas be tight and relax and loosen up where you can.
It's okay. It's always gonna be a little different. There are other techniques, but today I wanted to keep this simple and easy. So I invite you to practice this. Notice when you're tense and breathe and relax and exhale that tension out. And again, see if you can repeat this often. Again, brief moments, often repeated are how you build new habits and create this practice of switching in to feeling and creating more ease, and feeling less stressed out.
That is it. That's what I have for you today. I hope this was useful for you. I'm actually feeling a whole lot better myself, so hopefully this worked for you too. Please let me know. As always, you can reach me at [email protected], send me an email, let me know if you want me to talk about anything else. All right. Have a wonderful, beautiful week, and I will talk to you soon.
If you are a busy practicing physician, ready to start feeling less stressed, enjoy work more and learn how to create a more balanced and sustainable medical practice and life, sign up for a consult call with me at Saradill.com. It would be my privilege and pleasure to work with you.
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