Winning the Battle Against Stress

Real Estate Agent with GreatWest Realty DRE# 00827565

Because of the pandemic and other 2020 stressors, it seems many folks I talk with in recent days, are experiencing more than usual anxiety.  There is no shortage of causes whipping us into frenzy, and tying our bodies in knots.

A few years ago, a company I worked for, gifted several employees with a special day, which has considerably changed my life.

On that day, we were to board a bus, and be taken to a surprise destination, for a day of fun.  I was fighting to get myself together to make this trip.  And on that morning, I wasn't feeling very enthusiastic because of some stress and a headache.  However, I managed to make my way to the bus, and board with the rest of the group.  Within a couple of hours, we arrived at a wonderful place called The Claremont in Berkeley, California

Linda Prout, the Claremont's fitness guru, was the facilitator for the day.  

No sooner had we arrived there, when Linda had us to place our chairs in a large circle.  

Linda explained that many of us hold on to more tension than we realize, and that there was a technique for releasing that tension from our bodies.

She prompted us to put feet on the floor, hands palm up in our laps, while instructing us to close our eyes. 

The next step had us rotating our shoulders in an upward and over motion.  Linda explained that we were a nation of shallow breathers.  She prompted - "breathe deeply in - then deeply out." 

It was at this point that she walked over to me, and reached in her pocket and pulled out a little gauze pad, which had a few drops of Peppermint oil on it.  She gently waved this in front of my face, and shortly thereafter, I noticed my headache was beginning to disappear.

With our eyes still closed, she continued to prompt, "Starting at the top of your head - If it is tight - then loosen."

Continuing, "If your forehead is tight - then loosen.  If your eyes are tight - then loosen."

This same prompt was continued on down the body - the jaw, neck, shoulders, arms, chest, legs, knees, feet, etc.

What I learned so quickly from that exercise, was that I had no idea how much tension and pain, I had been holding onto, which could be surrendered or consciously released or dismissed.

After lunch that day, Linda went on to discuss diet.  And it has been the building upon what I learned that day, which I feel has contributed greatly to my restoration of health.

There are several truths out there, which I've made my own, which have served me well. . .If I can't gather it, fish it, or hunt it - then I don't eat it.  There are exceptions to this of course, and I'm not without opening an occasional can of something to eat.  But, I have significantly reduced the amount of processed foods that I consume.

At some point I realized all the cans in my recycle bin were from one kind of soda pop, or another.  The labels on those cans, clearly demonstrated, there wasn't a thing in those cans which were benefiting my body.  And there were a number of ingredients physically harming me.  Eating fresh is vitally important.

From my own fitness journey I have come to understand, that it isn't really wise to pop large mega amounts of vitamins, minerals, wonder elixirs, that are marketed as being some miraculous cure for this or for that.  After all, our bodies are often quite challenged from the chemicals, which were contained in the environment.  LESS may be far more, when it comes to vitamin supplements. 

Personally, the only supplement I take is the recommended dose of Calcium, which my doctor recommends.  All other vitamins and minerals come from that trusted juicer on my counter top, and ALL those fruits and vegetables I continue to bring home from the market place each week.   I know what’s in the produce, and the quality it bears.  This isn't always true, when we purchase various pills and tablets, from wherever.

I joined a local health center, and began swimming laps, and I spend time "marinating" in the Jacuzzi. 

One evening, I was swimming back and forth in the pool.  It had turned a bit cooler here in Sacramento, so the pool looked something out of Dante's Inferno, or maybe a witch-and wizard's convention in Yellowstone Park.  The temperature of the air was much cooler; than the 82° warmth, of the pool.  And, this was generating mists swirling up about thirty feet.  The only illumination came from below, from the underwater lights, and through the mists, it looked something like hell.  The swimmers struggled back and forth - often two in each lane, of the lap pool.  They were barely visible and gave me the impression of tortured souls in purgatory - Flitting about from one group of tortured souls to another in their section of the pool. 

And there I was with them - but with one very defining realization.  I was not in stress or pain, and as I looked downward in the pool, as I stroked through the water, the illumination of the lights, made me realize I was beginning to see a very bright and real light at the end of a tunnel.  And, that is what a journey to stress free wellness is all about!

Comments (27)

Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Great wisdom in this post, I am pretty good at managing my own stress, there are times Diane & I snap at each other but in all fairness we have never been together 5 months 24/7 and both working from a small home.... never the less we are good... Once we are released from "prison aka sheltering in place" I am afraid our pets will be stressed... any advice for that?:))Endre

Aug 07, 2020 10:34 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Oh and if I may add the 504's on this sight do not help either:)Endre

Aug 07, 2020 10:36 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Lottie Kendall  - I haven't tried relaxing starting at my toes.  I need to try that! 

Endre Barath, Jr. - I feel your pain about the 504s. They can certainly add to the daily stress!

Aug 08, 2020 01:00 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Myrl, for sharing your positive experience.

Take care, be safe and have an outstanding week.

Aug 09, 2020 05:14 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Myrl Jeffcoat - thank you for sharing this information.  It is important.  When I was head of HR we used to have days like this.  They are very important.  I am trying to practice this now and have lost weight because of it.  All good.

Aug 09, 2020 05:58 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I would love that kind of surprise trip!  It sounds like you are on a really good path, with swimming laps and eating healthy, you are always going to be in tip-top shape!

Aug 09, 2020 06:22 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Myrl Jeffcoat so glad you were able to recharge! So important to remind people that days like this are vital!

Trivia: I DJ'd over 2 dozen weddings and Christmas Parties at The Claremont during my Mobile DJ Career 1988-2018 which began in San Mateo, CA. The Rolling Stones stayed there during their Steel Wheels Tour in 1989/1990 too! Amazing location, challenging load in LOL.

Aug 09, 2020 08:23 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Myrl Jeffcoat - What a great read.  Thank you. 

Because of COVID-19, our routines have changed dramatically.  Part of that routine change is eating more veggies, making juices and smoothies in the blender, and taking a swim near dusk almost every night for about 45 minutes.  The phone sits far away.  I get a chance to reconnect with Rick and we can talk uninterrupted.  These are all good changes and I feel blessed for them. 

Aug 09, 2020 09:38 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

BRAVO Myrl Jeffcoat , I have noticed a stressful environment going strong since about April unfortunately for all of us. It is also interesting how civil unrest has also flailed in same time period.

 Thank you for sharing and giving us some relief...

Aug 09, 2020 10:01 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Myrl we all need to find a way to cope with the stress in our lives.  For me I concentrate on giving stress instead of receiving it. 

Aug 09, 2020 01:16 PM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

HI Myrl-Years ago my yoga instructor would have us do something very similar at the end of the session. It was totally relaxing. It looks like you've learned how to handle stress and we can all learn from it. 

Aug 09, 2020 05:37 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

What a wonderful overview, and I love the thought of a secret destination! I totally agree with the need to get rid of processed foods. I try not to eat them unless I have to for some reason. I do think that helps us stay healthier....

Enjoy your day!

Aug 10, 2020 06:13 AM
Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire


Another home run, filled with wisdom and great advice. Now if only someday I follow it............ cheers cvc

PS not only the 504's but the interminable time just to login, run spell check and post a comment!!! UGH maybe we should organize a rebellion???

Aug 11, 2020 08:29 AM
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Glad to see your post in the featured daily e-mail.    What a great story about your special journey, literally.    I'm off to close my eyes, breate deeply, rotate my shoulders, relieve accumulated stress.    Thanks! 

Aug 11, 2020 08:55 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I find it interesting that so many people eat poorly--a lot of fast food, processed food, very overweight, etc--yet somehow, they are still alive!  You think the heart would give out!  Anyway, I'm with you on how my eating habits have changed. Was never into fast food but I have cut way down on meat consumption and processed foods. I even bake all my own muffins and cookies to control the sugar and fat content.  that bus trip did change your life!

Aug 11, 2020 09:27 AM
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Myrl-you paint a remarkable and stress-less picture of your journey that day...I might actually try a couple of those tips!

Aug 14, 2020 01:08 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Myrl -

Sounds like an awesome day! I agree with you about the stress - I think many of us are having more than our share these days. I know I could do a better job of finding time to relax and de-stress!


Aug 26, 2020 04:24 PM
Steffy Hristova
HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 480-966-9353 - Tempe, AZ
Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work!

Hi Myrl,

I can imagine the wonderful day you had at the Claremont in Berkley. And the yoga session with the talented instructor. Yes, those yoga postures and thoughts, intentions help release stress, which we may not even know we have accumulated. What a wonderful story you had for us today.

Aug 26, 2020 08:10 PM
Shannon Jones
The Shannon Jones Team - Long Beach, CA
Long Beach CA Real Estate

So important! Thank you for sharing. 

Sep 10, 2020 09:19 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Myrl Jeffcoat - Today must be my lucky day because I landed on your page! I have to say, just reading it while it's still dark outside and very, very quiet, I was completely relaxed as I clung to every word you wrote. That was a wonderful gift that you and several others received that day and one that obviously benefited you tremendously. Linda Prout, the Claremont's fitness guru was very in-tune to reading the anatomy and the impact stress has on people's bodies.

Myrl, thank  you for sharing this information about a day that changed and perhaps even saved your life. I hope you get to meet her again someday. I know I would!

Sep 13, 2020 02:38 AM