All you need is five minutes. Whatever life stressors are weighing someone down, the fact is countless folks regularly deal with high levels of depression, anxiety and other crippling disorders. But area wellness coach Julia Gandy Torres says if people would just allow themselves to take five minutes out of their day to recharge, that it would do wonders for their self-care.
Gandy Torres, a Marlton native, is the owner of Embodying Wellness and has spent more than two decades working to help others find ways to enhance their innate resiliency. Growing up as a self-described very angry and anxious child, confronting her own struggles helped shine a light on the importance of her own health and wellness and inspired Gandy Torres to want to help others take the same journey.
“My father told me that when I was 16, I was going to give myself a coronary because I was so stressed all the time,” she says. “I took that to heart and thought how can I help myself and then bring that out into the world?”
After graduating from Rutgers University with a business degree, Gandy Torres entered into the wellness industry as a massage therapist. Often, her clients would lie down on the table and say they wanted her to “fix them.” That’s when she realized there was an even greater way for her to make an impact in someone’s life.
“I would say, ‘I only have you for an hour, you have yourself 24/7.’ [It made me think about ] how I could help a person find that relaxation and access to stress relief other than just giving them a massage. That’s when I educated myself not only on the physical aspect of relaxation and helping somebody feel better, but also the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects as well.
Having now trained extensively to learn the finer points of stress reduction, Gandy Torres offers a number of wellness coaching services that address all levels of one’s being and help them take stock of what she calls their inner peace inventory. She further looks to connect with others as host of her podcast, Peace and Love Amplifiers.
“My big focus is on peace building and how to generate greater access to inner peace, because from there a lot of wellness comes through that,” she says. “The ultimate goal is to live a more peaceful life and we want to change the inner environment of our bodies from one of stress to get to a more relaxed state.”
After all, the willingness for an individual to change has to start within and that means embracing how one’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual states are interconnected.
“Those elements all connect and when we can find ways to use that inner peace inventory, you kind of pull through those things to help you relieve the stress in your body,” Gandy Torres says.
The Top Ways to Alleviate Stress and Focus on Self-Care
1. BUILD UP YOUR INNER PEACE INVENTORY
Before you find yourself in a stressful situation, rely on your inner peace inventory and form a plan to build your resiliency and core emotional intelligence. “You can’t really learn when you’re stressed, so you need to fall back on these methods that you’ve developed,” says Gandy Torres, who created the wellness initiative and soon plans to trademark it. Mediation or some sort of stress-relief technique is a great way to help you navigate through the challenging times.
2. STRIVE FOR PERFECTION, DON’T SEEK IT
Gandy Torres says stress derives from having a certain expectation only to be disappointed when that expectation hasn’t been met. By managing your expectations and learning to be more adaptable to whatever situation you are faced with, you are better able to roll with the punches. “We need to be able to take ourselves off the hook of having this notion that we have to be perfect and maintain a high standard when it’s not able to be met,” she says. “It’s not about being lackadaisical at all, it’s about meeting the challenge in a way that is honorable to your own well-being.”
3. LOOK WITHIN
We need to recognize that when we are peaceful inside, we create a more peaceful world outside by generating kindness and respect for each other. “One of the quotes that I came up with is ‘Self-love begets inner peace. Inner peace begets world peace. Therefore, self-love begets world peace,’” Gandy Torres says. “It all starts with yourself. If I am in a grumpy mood, do I want to share that with my family or with the person behind me at Wawa? I don’t need to. I can learn to shift and still be kind even though I am grumpy on the inside.” Having the recognition that we are all inter-connected and affect each other goes a long way.
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 9.
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