Her eyes had deep, dark circles. She told me, "I have not slept for weeks." I asked her why. She told me it was because she "was all stressed out". There was stress from her work and stress from her children. She was stressed away from driving an hour every way to work and her boss was "driving her crazy." You could see that her stress was eating her alive.
People come to me all the time with similar stories, about how stress has a negative impact on their lives. Stress is a murderer. It has been linked to everything from headache and digestive problems to reproductive deficiency and even heart disease. Stress has been shown to cook us both spiritually and physically and over time can kill us.
When you're stressed, your body releases stress hormone. These hormones can cause cardiovascular inflammation and if desired, it can affect the immune system, metabolism and other body systems. Bruce McEwen, doctor of neuroendocrinology doctor at Rockefeller University states: "Usually, in small amounts, these substations help the body to adapt, but when they are temporarily raised, they cause wear and tear."
Let's look at the categories of stress. The first type is acute or short-term stress. This is known as flight or combat treatment as the brain produces substances that tell the body to hurry to do it better. This is the type of stress that you will experience when another car dripping in front of you causing you to get your brakes suddenly. This is also known as an emergency.
A positive image of acute stress is known as eustress. This is the stress you experience when you get a presentation at the workplace, get married or buy a new house. These events are desirable, but, like an emergency, eustress may be as tax-intensive on the body and if it is added to other stress factors, it can adversely affect our health.
Another type of stress is chronic or long term stress. Although it may be of the same type of stressors and acute stress, this stress can cause physical problems. Prolonged stress occurs when we can not, or not, release stress.
So, how can we reduce our stress? Here are seven ways to deal with stress.
1. Recognizing some stress is good
Some stress is good. Stress athlete leaves just before breaking out of the starting lineup. The strain you find to make a deadline that will give you the presentation you have been unsatisfactory. The energy you get when you see an old friend or lover. This stress gives you these bursts of energy that increase your performance on time. Used wisely, such stress will allow you to push yourself a little more difficult when it matters most. Make the stress of your friend!
2. Avoid People Risky
Overloaded people are infected with bacterial strain and spread them indirectly. Soon, before you know it, you are also infected!
If you know Charlie is always stressed in the first month when his reports take place, avoid him! If Sarah is constantly complaining about how busy she is and how the kids are going to break her, avoid it! Protect yourself by acknowledging stress in others and limiting contact with them. Or if you're leaning, play a stress doctor and teach them how to manage yourself better.
3. Model Quiet People
Modeling is a way to make you the person you want to be. Such a model of quiet people, people who seem natural treat stress well. When people around you are losing your head, who keeps calm? What are they doing differently? What is their attitude? What do they say to others? What are they saying to themselves? Have they been trained in stress management? What experience have they had? You could watch them or or better, put them down and talk to them. Ask them how they accept those who seem to stress everyone else. Learn the best and model what they do.
4. Breath, Breathe Really
As a martial arts teacher I can reassure you, you can not be quiet unless you control your breathing. When new students would start to rescue (fight in a highly controlled manner) they would inevitably hold their breath and soon their faces would be red, they would sweat a lot and within a few minutes they would not be breathless. Does this seem like stress? Well the gospel is that you can shut your body to relax simply by using deep breathing methods. Focus on bringing the breath to the bottom of the stomach and then pushing the air out completely. Breathe slowly for four years, hold your breath for five and then breathe out for a number of eight. Repeat 4-5-8 breath for a minute or so, and your heart rate slows down, your sweaty areas will dry and it will start to feel more normal.
If you want more information about learning breathtaking, see enhanced martial arts or yoga teachers. I teach Tai Chi and other respiratory system, so if you're in San Diego, I call. In addition to helping you with breathing, this type of activity can definitely help you reduce your stress levels.
5. Stop stressful thoughts
Do you sometimes hear yourself, say: "If this happens then that might happen and we're all in the doctors!" Then, when you look back on it a few days later, do you feel stressed without any reason? Yes, we all have. Most of these types of things never happen. So why to waste all your energy unnecessarily?
Now, this is not to say do not think a problem through. Good planning involves thinking about different options and then deciding on the best action. But once you've made your decision, look through it and trust that if another decision needs to be done then you can do it.
These Types of Thoughts Give You False Evidence Appearing Real (FEAR) If you find yourself tangled with a stress button with these thoughts you can get control. See them what they are and decide to focus on what you want, rather on these kinds of fears.
Since many of us have been programmed to focus on negative rather than positive, you may want to try meditation or hypnosis. These types of activities can help you learn to control your focus. If you are in the San Diego area, give me a call. Stress management is one of the things that Total Mind Therapy can decide to help with.
6. Know What Allows You to
We all have different ignition points. Presentations, interviews, meetings, black reactions, tight deadline, tight budget, kids benches, traffic jams. My heart rate is racing just writing these down!
Create your own list of conflict points or hot places. Be special. Are there only promotions for certain audiences that make you work out? Is it one task that causes more stress than another? Have you drank too much coffee?
Knowing what causes stress is powerful information, because once you know what the cause is, you can take action to make it less stressful. Need to learn new skills? Do you need extra funding? Do you have to talk to your child's teacher? Need to switch to decaf?
7. Beware of yourself
Lack of sleep, poor diet and no physical activity causes destruction of our bodies and minds. If you only get five hours to sleep at night, you double the risk of dying from a heart attack. The same goes for eating fast food and forgetting practice. Just like your car needs good fuel, you need good food for your body to run properly. Just like your car needs regular maintenance, your body needs to practice to maintain it in good work. If you really want to reduce stress, take a good look at your lifestyle because these are things you control.
So let's review quickly. First, remember that some stress is good for you. Second, stay away from stress infected. Third, find calm people and models their behavior. Fourth, you learned to breathe, really breathe. Fifth, focus on what you want. Sixth, understand what causes you to respond and seventh, take care of yourself. Where you are, seven easier ways to help you control stress.
Bad news is that stress is always with us. The good news is that you now have some simple methods to handle it. You can find inner peace. You just have to admit what prevents it, and then work to remove these obstacles, or if you want fool proofing, you might go to a mountain or desert island. The choice is always yours.