Defusing Back to School Stress

School is back in session after the Labour Day long weekend. My sister is a teacher so I see her gathering all her materials to start planning lessons. Do you feel back-to-school stress? For some people, school is both exciting and stressful. Perhaps it’s their first year at high school or university. And yes, it can be – a new environment, new people, more homework, different clubs to join…

I may be an outlier here; I loved school. It wasn’t a stressful time for me. The gang is back together, after we all scatter off to visit family, summer jobs, vacations, summer camp … Recently I dug out some old letters and post cards that I had received from friends, visiting their grandparents in the UK, or family in Japan, or away at summer prep school, or just because we still wrote letters back then, even if we were in the same city.

So if you are feeling some of that back-to-school stress, you aren’t alone! And just because you don’t experience nervous tension or tight shoulders, your body may still be launching stress responses anyway. We have a biological – an evolutionary – response to internal and external stimuli that may be threatening to us. In many ways, this depends on our perception and whether we exist in survival mode. This isn’t to make you feel bad, and it’s most certainly not about blame. It’s to empower you with knowledge and skills to up level your stress management.

So what to do? Understanding the Bigger Picture.

David Hawkins shows us that high levels of consciousness can raise us above non-beneficial effects. In one way, we can see this as being bigger than everything, inhabiting the limitless energy that dwarves the chemistry test, the EMF at school, the looming essay deadline… making it all irrelevant, and through that, do-able, and even fun! (When I say irrelevant, I don’t mean give disrespecting other people.) Imagine what you can call in, what you can create, when you are out of survival mode and in creative space. Yeah, they don’t teach this to you at school.

Short of becoming a saint or a master, what can we do? Right now. What can we do to increase our awareness and consciousness, on our journey to becoming masterful? And what does that even mean?

Dr Joe Dispenza offers this definition of a master: we decide our internal conditions, regardless of the outer conditions (paraphrased).

It’s about choice and responsibility. While we may not be able to control our external circumstances, we can choose how we want to respond. We can choose what to do with the memorized emotions that arise from our habits, conditioning, and pattern. Perhaps instead of lashing out as we did last week, we can exhale, pause, and observe our inner landscape.

We can also learn tools and techniques, including time management skills, meditation, building resilience, TRE®, HeartMath, better dietary choices, getting enough sleep…. The question is – knowing these skills, will you practice them? Will you implement them when you are feeling stressed and snowed under? Therein lie the puzzle – why do we not? Why do we not simply exhale in the moment? Or why do we not start the essay way ahead of its deadline? Why do we stay up into the wee hours, knowing how exhausted we will be the next day?

That’s where self-awareness and self-observation come in. Witness yourself, with curiosity. See your the script of your habits and patterns launch, as automatically as the OS of your phone does when you touch the home button. You know how the OS system takes energy and RAM, for all its components, so that it runs smoothly and dynamically? It takes a lot of our energy to keep these scripts going as well, including the emotional movie that runs in the background, informing our choices that are made without self-awareness.

How do we defuse back-to-school stress? My recommendation is to get some skills, such as those previously mentioned, as well as even a basic understanding of how self-observation works, before school really gears up. So that you can get some practice and rehearsal time in, before the playoffs.