Often the only way out is through…..
One September afternoon, Bruce, our dear friend Tim and I landed in Phoenix and jumped into a huge white Suburban headed out for a two week road trip through the Southwest. First stop… Escalante National Park, UT. Tim wanted to do a slot canyon hike so I immediately googled “Escalante slot canyon guides,” read some reviews and was on the phone with Shawn of Escape Goat Tours within minutes. The two things I knew about slot canyons were that they were beautiful and that the day before we had hiked in Zion National Park a group of hikers had died in a slot canyon flash flood.
Shawn had three important questions for us:
“How fit are you?”
“What is your waist size?”
“How adventurous are you?”
My answers: “Very, small and very.” His response “Well there is this one hike that I rarely take people on but I happen to be available tomorrow morning.” You know where this is going….
Early the next morning, Shawn drove us out into the wilderness and the questions were flying. I casually but directly worked my way to the most important questions that I had for him: “Are you married? Do you have children?” I figured that a guy who had children had a greater stake in his own survival than one who did not. I was glad to hear all about his two kids, their homeschooling, on and on. Then I asked what the chance of rain was today…. “None in the forecast.”
Eventually we parked and hiked to our “drop-in” point. Shawn looked at the three of us and said, “After we drop-in there is no way out until the end so if you are unsure now is the time to change your mind.” In we went….
It had rained the days before so there were moments where we were up to our chest in water, slogging through red mud and scaling cliff walls because no one was thin enough to walk on the earth. I was behind Shawn and at one point he looked up and paused… I looked up. CLOUDS… His concern was obvious.
Being in a slot canyon during a rain storm I imagine is like being a spider in a bathtub when the shower is turned on. You are going down the drain.
We kept on.. It did not rain and 6 very technical miles later we emerged from the canyon with a memory that we all hold dear.
What does this story have to do with real estate?
Today’s fast-paced, competitive real estate market can trigger ALOT of anxiety. Similar to seeing a cloud while hiking a slot canyon. Our sympathetic nervous system responds to stress with the same fight-or-flight response whether we are buying or selling a home or being chased by a saber tooth tiger. Stress symptoms can include fear and anxiety, increased heart rate, chest palpitations, increased rate of breathing, shortness of breath, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs, butterflies in the stomach, lump in the throat, and dry mouth.
Below are a few yogi tools to use in those high anxiety moments.
Take 10 Deep Slow Breathes/Yoga: Deep breathing calms the nerves and feeds the body. Yoga and meditation are proven methods to reduce stress.
Take a Walk: Exercise is a huge stress alleviator but it doesn’t have to vigorous to be effective.
Drink Warm Non-Caffeinated Liquids: Decrease caffeine which is a stimulant and replace with warm non-caffeinated liquids that bring blood to the organs
Decrease Screen Time: Minimize computer, phone, TV time. Consider reading a book, listening to music or visiting with a loved one instead.
Lay on the Floor: This is very grounding and can reset the body and nervous system.
Eat Grounding Foods: Incorporate some of these into your diet: mushrooms, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, nut butters, root vegetables, red fruits and veggies, oats and whole grains.
Connect with Nature: Nature is inherently calming and nurturing. Simply looking up at the stars in your backyard or noticing a flower can be very effective.
Laugh: A deep belly laugh is one of the most effective ways to decrease stress. It opens our lungs, clears our mind, massages our internal organs and opens our heart.
It is impossible to avoid stress and anxiety regardless of our life experiences. It is the challenging experiences that are the most rewarding. Having tools to support us in those experiences is key. Happy Adventuring!!!