Managing Stress

Years ago before I meditate and do prayers, my usual method of de-stressing was to watch TV shows especially Korean dramas nightly. On average, I would watch up to 4 to 5 hours per night. Music would also be part of my relaxation method as well. 

I had an anxious mind that kept on replaying events or conversations I could not make peace with yet. People who slighted me. People who frustrated me. People who angered me with their ego and whom I felt placed unfair judgment on me. 

Relying on media was a way to stop these running thoughts. In fact, I wanted to tire out myself until it was time to sleep. Yet not always I can sleep with a tired mind. Cinematic indulgence was a must for me to escape from my troubles. That was the only way to relax. My common belief.

Ten years ago I experienced a bad trauma that caused my mind, heart, body and spirit to be broken. I woke up with constant fear and running thoughts of anger on how the world was unfair to me. How no one understood me. I was running on adrenaline pumped up with negativity. That people cannot be trusted especially when I was hurt by others whom I did no wrong. Why must that person do that to me when I did nothing to them??! My common angry thoughts.

Stop! Stop all these negative thoughts!!

Although it appeared I became energised by such negativity, it was usually followed by feeling tired, more restlessness, anxiousness and more in negative emotions. I did not like who I was becoming. I did not like how I am feeling inside. Even in sleep, I cannot have a proper rest because my dreams was a continuous stream of unhappy thoughts and fears.

Eventually meditation, prayers and Qigong became a source of calmness and relaxation for me. My main purpose was to calm my mind and my emotions. Slowly this healing source become much more than a relaxation method. I started to be more understanding of different opinions. I reflected on past hurtful encounters and conversations instead of insisting I am right in my opinions. I started making peace with people whom hurt me. I start to forgive myself for hurting myself. 

Meditating among nature has been truly relaxing and rewarding.

With this gradual openness in my mind and heart, I suddenly feel life was not as bad as I thought. I started encountering kind people. Yet I ponder - was I too focused on looking at negative people until I discount goodness in people? 

I used to find nature boring. Hiking, observing flowers and animal kingdom appeared to be a boring and wasteful time spent. However, because of the sudden uplift in my mental and emotional state, I started observing closely of nature. Then one day I had a realisation - how beautiful nature is. How peaceful it can be. Butterflies, dragonflies, ladybugs suddenly became a common encounter during my nature experiences. I would be full of wonder, amazement and questions on what happened that led this way. To me nature was another beautiful world waiting to be discovered. 

Below are a series of photos of myself interacting with nature. This would never have happened until I started on my meditation and prayers journey. 

Myself and a dragonfly at a restaurant. It was
trapped inside the restaurant. I tried to calm it so that I can help it get out of the restaurant.

Dragonfly on my fingers

Treehopper on my finger. 

Myself with a butterfly in East Malaysia.

The day I got pregnant, I used the methods of meditation, prayers and Qigong to calm down my pregnancy symptoms of nauseousness, overproduction in phlegm, an unusual feeling of weakness in my body. I became even more sensitive to sounds, taste especially to negative people in social media and in person. I chose to limit myself to positive events and positive people. I am an advanced maternal mother, whom the doctors were concern for safety of my pregnancy. Although I still have growing aches and pain in my body and hormonal influenced emotions, my current practices help me to de-stress. 

The biggest challenge in my life right now is Patrick. The possibility I may lose him to the illness. How often I saw in the support group of babies or toddlers died because of it. It scared me. I admit it scared me. Once I learned to accept that it may happen, I start learning to be present with Patrick.

To enjoy every moment with him. To become less frustrated with him when he became very fussy and clingy because he wanted to play more than to sleep. 

I told myself I do not have regrets having Patrick in my life, long or short life. I asked my husband whether he has regrets having him. His answer is a firm no. We both loved him very much. It had been a challenging journey for us because of the thought of losing him. Of observing daily of his symptoms. Whether it was a sign serious enough to admit to hospital. For example, a fever. If the fever did not break on the third day, he has to be admitted to the hospital to find out whether the fever is a normal fever or an indication of bacteria infected cholangitis. That required admission into the hospital with up to 2 weeks of antibiotics. 

I told myself this I cannot avoid Patrick from experiencing his hospital trauma visits. However, I can help him manage his stress by playing with him. I have never made myself so silly like a clown before. I was laughing constantly like a hyena. I have never danced so hard until I felt I may dislocate my hips. I kept singing songs on love, courage, on uplifting human spirit and more. 

On doing this, sometimes this helps me to de-stress as well. 

When it can become overwhelming, I decided to do something different as an emotional outlet. I joined a ukulele workshop. However Patrick needed to be with me in case he need me to be around for comfort. I learned Japanese for almost two months. Patrick on occasion interrupted the class. Luckily the teacher was understanding of the interruption. I had to stop learning Japanese once the doctor told us it was time for Patrick to go for a liver transplant.

I attended ukulele workshop recently. 

Currently, our concern would be whether able to reach the targeted funds for Patrick's surgery. Luckily a charity organisation was willing to take up our case. Biggest concern and stress is whether Patrick have enough time to go for transplant safely. 

All I hope for right now is enough time. Currently we are still making arrangements and plan leading to Patrick's surgery next month in June. 

Praying all shall go smoothly. To stay calm for this journey with Patrick. To stay hopeful. To stay faithful. 

Stay faithful, stay hopeful.


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