Chicago Health | Homepage
Cure to Stress Found in Canadian Waters

Cure to Stress Found in Canadian Waters

Kathleen AharoniBy Kathleen Aharoni

Last summer, my love and I canoed the Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. It was beyond exquisite. The trip was truly life-altering, though not for the reasons you might assume, like the beauty, serenity, accomplishment, the unplugged, the man vs. nature.

My life changed last summer because I experienced stress that threatened to ruin my trip, my relationship and my health. The silver lining, though, was that in choosing to be witness to my self and my stressful internal chatter, I discovered the instantaneous, cheap (as in free), miraculous cure to stress.

I know, this discovery is huge. Do you want to know the antidote?

S-t-r-e-s-s. Yes, the cure to stress is stress. I’ll explain.

The outfitter that we rented our canoe from gave us a mylar, rather than aluminum, canoe. He explained that the mylar canoe, which weighed 40 pounds, would be easier to carry on portages. Aluminum canoes weigh 80 pounds. Good news, yes? He also explained that mylar canoes are less stable and rip more easily—not such good news.

You see, years ago on a much shorter canoe trip on a hilariously shallow and obstacle-filled river in Michigan, our canoe tipped—the blame for this is still being argued—and all our belongings fell into this knee-deep river. I cracked up. My partner, mortified, fumed. Never in his years of canoeing!

I dreaded repeating another capsizing and reprimanding, so I said I’d prefer the aluminum canoe. Peace of mind is a priority for me. My preference was ignored.

So, there we were on day two in an unstable, vulnerable canoe on vast and stormy waters. Did I mention that we saw no other humans, had no way to communicate (no satellite radio, not even flares) and had traveled the same path back and forth three times attempting to find our route? I was also paddling in the front of the canoe, so I was able to see and feel every frigid whitecap that threatened our stability.

My internal dialogue went like this: OK, so if we capsize I have to either try to gather our gear and trust that my partner can stay afloat, or I have to attempt to reach him and let what sinks be gone. How the heck does one right a capsized canoe in rough, cold water when you can’t stand? Let’s say we right the canoe; how, then, do we climb back in it? Wow, what does it say about me if I go for the gear and not my love? What does it say about my trust in my love if I go for him and not the gear? Ugh. I’m not enjoying this conversation. Is this really what I choose for my vacation—fear, frustration, anger and the beginnings of shoulder ache?

Here comes the cure…

In that moment of asking “What do I choose for my vacation?” I stopped focusing on the stress—fear, frustration, anger and ache—and instead began to stress (focus on) my choice to enjoy, be in harmony with my love and nature and trust that all is well—a micro-millimeter attention shift of gargantuan size.

As soon as I stressed my choosing for all-good, I was in joyous cahoots with the waves that were tossing me with good-natured (no pun intended) teasing and delight. I whooped and giggled and became one with my beloved nature. I was home, carefree and giddy.

The four-night trip, even with its high winds, storms and tricky navigation, was blissful. And I now have the cure to that energy draining, gut destroying, illness producing, relationship annihilating bugger, stress.

Remember: The cure to stress is to shift the stress.

Here are some tips:

  • Wake up to the fact that you are stressed (feeling tension, disruption, distress or strain—mental, physical and/or emotional).
  • Ask yourself questions about what is bothering you and answer them.
  • Notice when your questions are sourced from fear and when they are rooted in your love and belief in your well-being. I particularly love the question that originates with The Mary Group (themarygroup.com): Is this__________ (fill in the blank) encouraging, enhancing, loving and supporting my forward movement? If your answer is yes, then put your stress—emphasis, focus, choosing, love, caring—there.
  • Imagine being enveloped by loving caring. Imagine being enveloped by fearful caring. Which allows you to feel you more clearly, lovingly and peacefully? Live in what feels best.
  • Choose now and again and more what is loving, nurturing, growth-enhancing, life-affirming and expanding for you. You will attract people, events and opportunities to you that support your good feelings and choosings.
  • Be in the now. Focus your choices to make each moment rich, beautiful and whole. By committing to the beauty of each moment, there will be no place within you for fear, which aligns itself to the unknown and generates stress to lodge itself.
  • Stress your joy.

Now that’s stress that I can thrive with. 

Originally published in the Winter/Spring 2015 print edition

Similar Articles

Pondering: When Cancers are Unexpressed or Stage 0

Pondering: When Cancers are Unexpressed or Stage 0

By Kathleen Aharoni Question: If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it

Curiosity: The Brain’s Superfood

Curiosity: The Brain’s Superfood

By Kathleen Aharoni I get really excited about the brain! It is the superconductor of my world.

Health Mastery: To Your Own Self Be Aware

Health Mastery: To Your Own Self Be Aware

By Kathleen Aharoni "You are here at a Conscious Parenting Summit,” award-winning author and international speaker Shefali

Health Mastery

Health Mastery

Pain: A Love Message from the Body of You By Kathleen Aharoni Dear Self: I would like to

Diabesity: Giving a name to the abusive relationship between obesity and diabetes

Diabesity: Giving a name to the abusive relationship between obesity and diabetes

By Dr. Gena Vennikandam Ever hear the biblical proverb, “If you find honey, eat just enough.”? These

Articles By Category

Family Health

In The Know

CH Lifestyle

June 2017
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
May 28, 2017 May 29, 2017 May 30, 2017 May 31, 2017 June 1, 2017 June 2, 2017 June 3, 2017
June 4, 2017 June 5, 2017 June 6, 2017 June 7, 2017 June 8, 2017 June 9, 2017 June 10, 2017
June 11, 2017 June 12, 2017 June 13, 2017 June 14, 2017 June 15, 2017 June 16, 2017 June 17, 2017
June 18, 2017 June 19, 2017 June 20, 2017 June 21, 2017 June 22, 2017 June 23, 2017 June 24, 2017
June 25, 2017 June 26, 2017 June 27, 2017 June 28, 2017 June 29, 2017 June 30, 2017 July 1, 2017

Recent Comments

Fund a Cure Night | The Griffith Family Foundation

Fund a Cure Night | The Griffith Family Foundation

Enjoy a great night of baseball at Peoples Natural

VIEW ARTICLE
Swing for the fences in the fight to Sideline Pancreatic Cancer

Swing for the fences in the fight to Sideline Pancreatic Cancer

Enjoy a great night of baseball at Peoples Natural

VIEW ARTICLE

Archives