As you’ve probably figured out from reading my blogs or being a patient, one of my passions is biohacking stress. A less fancy way to say it would be- utilizing tools that minimize or negate the insidious affects of stress on the body. In today’s lightening-speed digital world of overwhelm, overwork and under nourishment, I believe we all need to become masters of biohacking stress.

My most recent tool is a big one, and not for the faint of heart. It’s not an herb, a pill a treatment or even a special meditation. It’s surrender. 

Intrigued? Want to try it? Surrender is the acceptance of what is. You let go of the illusion of control and stop fighting against yourself.

I’ve been working on my practice of surrender all summer. It’s a practice that has deepened throughout my life, and I know will continue to unfold. Best part of surrender? It is massively transforming my relationship to stress, and allowing me to live with more joy, freedom and presence

What is surrender? The acceptance of what is. You let go of the illusion of control and stop fighting against yourself. Believe me, as a control-freak in recovery, I know, this is a hugely advanced maneuver that takes constant practice. 

In his book the Surrender Experiment (I highly recommend this read!) author Michael Singer says, “Am I better off making up an alternate reality in my mind and then fighting with reality to make it be my way, or am I better off letting go of what I want and serving the same forces of reality that managed to create the entire perfection of the universe around me?” 

Contemplate this for a minute. How often do you push hard for how you want things to be rather than accept the way they are? What happens when you don’t get your way? Do you check out and distract yourself? Get road rage? Feel anxious and stressed?  

Sometimes surrender can be misunderstood for passivity. This is not the case. Surrendering does not mean you become a victim. Rather you become a warrior. You’re brave enough to see reality for what it is and act accordingly. You may be called to speak up for what you believe in or take action. The universe might also be asking you to practice acceptance or to leave a situation entirely. 

The practice of surrender is quite simple. Life gives us plenty of opportunity- right? Here’s baby steps that will get you there.

4 Steps to Practicing Surrender

1

Notice. Common signs you’re fighting reality instead of surrendering include: complaining, checking out of the present moment, distracting yourself with social media or other distraction, breathing shallowly or holding your breath, feeling anxious or tense in the neck, shoulders or jaw. Any symptom of stress may indicate you’re having difficulty digesting the present moment.

2

Breathe. Once you’ve become conscious of your habitual resistance, take 5-10 deep breaths. This will break you out of your stress-induced spell, and integrate your body, mind and spirit into the present moment.

3

Feel & Let Go. Allow yourself feel the uncomfortable feelings or hear the thoughts that come up. They will come up. This is what you were subconsciously trying to avoid. Just be with it. Be with the fear, the discomfort of the unknown, the sadness, anger or whatever you may be experiencing. And breathe.

As you breathe, allow the feelings or thoughts to move. In other words, let go. You may feel like sighing or crying. You may want to move your body or stretch. Great, things are moving! Let go without judgment or attachment for what arises.

4

Surrender. You’ve already won 80% of the battle! You’ve become aware of feelings and thoughts that were pulling you out of the present moment, started breathing, let go, and here you are! If you’ve gone through this process, you’re in a place where you’re able to see exactly what is in front of you. This is surrender– being present to things exactly the way they are without sugarcoating, avoiding or trying to turn them into something else.