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How to Avoid Drowning in Pressure by Riding the Waves of Stress

By Dr. Molly Casey

Mindset and Stress

“Problems are like never ending waves in the ocean. You cannot stop them but learn to surf.” -- Author unknown

While the above comment may seem like a negative statement, it’s not. It is a shift in mindset as you face stress. Because life is a process, there will always be the next hurdle to jump, obstacle to navigate, or challenge to be met. There will always be the next wave to try to ride.

You have two choices in life. One is to live in an emergency state where you are constantly focused on the problem of the current wave. The second is to realize that issues and problems will always be around, that the waves will keep coming, and you deal with it.

Learn to Be Healthy

When you choose the first option, usually the wave swallows you. You’re concentrating only on what to do to squash or quell the current problem. This is often associated with a lot of complaining and suffering along the way.

When you choose the second option, you look at what is right in front of you, deal with the reality of it, and choose to learn skills to facilitate handling the situation; you learn to ride the wave.

The more you become skilled at handling the situation, the stronger you’ll become at handling the next situation. You’ll learn with each successive problem that arises. Improving upon these skills can transfer to other areas of life. The less frequently you get swallowed up by the wave, the more likely you are to be happy. Health is just like this, it is a process. Learn to be healthy.

It’s inevitable that there will be “problems” along the way, but instead of getting swallowed up by the details of each situation, take a deep breath and commit to learning skills that will provide the body a stronger foundation from which to live. Don’t let the little aches and pains, the obstacles of life, derail you.

Take the attitude of strengthening the host (your body). Here are three basic things that will help you immensely.

Optimal Communication

Optimal functioning of any system or process requires optimal communication. When communication is interfered with at any level, functioning will be less than the system’s highest potential even if it is “still OK.” Functioning at your best is required to ride the waves of life and health. Because of this, make chiropractic care a regular part of your health routine.

The nervous system is your master communication system. The brain speaks to the body, and the body to the brain, via the spinal cord and miles of nerves that travel throughout the body. The spine houses and protects the nervous system. When the spinal joints are not moving through their full range of motion and are stuck or “misaligned,” it can cause structural interference with that communication. Chiropractic adjustments correct and restore the joint range of motion, thus, it strengthens the host by increasing its ability to communicate optimally. This is entirely under your control, so get regular chiropractic adjustments.

Decrease Stress

Everyone deals with stress. It is a part of daily life. Stress is well-known to be a contributing factor to most chronic illnesses, as well as a negative, unhelpful factor to any illness you’re suffering from (or with). You’ll never hear “go find some ways to increase your stress, it’ll help in the healing process.” So, in order to learn to ride the waves of life and health with more skill and grace, decrease or mitigate the stress that you can.

Although it’s not always possible to stop certain stress, such as ending familial relationships or quitting a job, it is nearly always possible to tidy up certain areas that create stress in smaller ways but add up collectively. So perhaps it’s not wise to pull your child from sports because it’s causing you stress; maybe there are other parents you can carpool with for practices and games, thereby decreasing time spent on transportation. Maybe you can tighten up your time management or organizational approach to tasks at the office so you can leave on time and are able to get some exercise in before you go home. Maybe you can make your bedtime earlier and stick with it so that you can rise earlier and have an extra half-hour in the morning for quiet time or meditation.

Stress most often decreases your ability to learn to ride the wave, if you will. Most people can find areas where they mitigate the stress that cannot be avoided and eliminate stress from activities otherwise deemed as necessary. You and your body will be able to better handle the process of life and health when you remove or mitigate stress to the greatest degree possible.


“Ten years from now you’ll laugh at whatever’s stressing you out today,” Tony Robbins says. “So why not laugh now?” That’s not terrible advice. Laughing has so many physical benefits and it helps decrease stress. People largely forget about the healing power of laughter. At different points throughout the journey of life and health, it can be hard to juggle all that’s going on, it can be difficult to see the forest for the trees. But that doesn’t mean that lightening up and laughing at any little piece you can is any less important.

In no way am I suggesting that one should laugh off serious problems. However, during the journey of going through your ordeal you can be aware that life is still occurring around you. Find the joy and lightness where you can in your situation. Laughter will soften the blow of many of the hard things you go through in life and help your body deal with what it needs to move through and beyond it as gracefully as possible.


Learn to ride the waves of life and health. Stop focusing only on the negative, the aches and pains of today or that you think may be coming. Look to strengthen the host by improving communication between the brain and body.

Take an honest look at your life and see what you can eliminate or add that will help decrease stress. If you can’t cut out or add anything, what can you reorganize to lighten your load.

Finally, look for ways to laugh and soften up the experiences you can, just be a little gentler with yourself and the process of life. Riding the waves will never be more healthy.

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