I have had the honor to teach a large cross section of our great population: students from elementary, jr high and high school, college students and life long learning programs with students in their 40′s through 90′s, professionals ranging from police and sheriff, FBI, military (all branches), lawyers, doctors, craftsman, professional athletes, psychologists, social workers, counselors, physical and occupational therapists and more. The common thread throughout is that EVERYONE has various degrees of stress and different ideas on what happiness is at any given time. When I have had the opportunity to work with women in domestic violence shelters, people in drug rehab programs and even the homeless, I always start with this basic stress/happiness test.
1. Take a deep breath and look inward, open your awareness to everything going on within you and rate your current stress level between 1 – 10, 10 being high (I have had students say ’20′ on this scale), 4-6 being moderate and 1-3 being low.
2. Next rate your happiness level on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest. If you don’t have a feeling of your happiness level, then rate your current level of contentment with your life and present state (how you feel here and now)
3. Take another deep breath and repeat this mantra: “For me all things are permissible but not all things are beneficial and I WILL NOT BE MASTERED BY ANYTHING!
4. Take 3 harmonizing breaths, do swaying swaying tree 10-20 times.
5. Do either the 5 Organ/Element Set or the 5 Centering Set (generally 3-12 repetitions of each exercise based on your current health state)
6. Do some more swaying tree to cool down, take 1-3 harmonizing breaths and recheck in with your current state.
7. Rate your stress level now and compare to earlier state and do the same with your happiness state.
The norm for this little amount of low impact aerobic exercise (qi gung/chi gung) is to have stress levels go from high to none (0) and for the feelings of happiness, inner serenity and contentment go from the low spectrum to the high.
Take the challenge yourself and comment back. You can get the two recommended sets in either a dvd or download format. Avoid doing too much, too fast or too soon based on your situation. Invest in yourself and you will find you can be more productive, happy and able to serve those you love and enjoy more everything you do!