Stress comes in two forms. Eu-stress is the happy kind that creates energy and focus. Dis-stress is the not-so-happy kind that comes from feeling out of control, that life has control of you.
A vital key to managing distress is to change your thinking, even if you cannot change the environment that is causing your distress. Think of it as outsmarting the external situation you are faced with or your internal belief, if that is what is setting up the stress. Simple yes, but often far from easy.
Consciously Choose Your Experiences
“It is essential to remember that every time we act on a belief, the texture of the future is changed. The self decides which feelings or ideas should take precedence over the rest.” M. Csiksentmihailyi from The Evolving Self
Humans live by stories, the experiences and beliefs that both inform us and keep us captive. We all have a great dream for our lives that often gets detoured by the inevitable practicality and minutiae of living.
Stress Is The Tiger
The body has an efficient mechanism to optimize survival by putting our energy reserves to work on the critical functions for fight or flight situations.
Muscles for running and the senses like sight and hearing go on sharp alert. The non-essentials for surviving the scenario go on the back burner of energy supplies, so to speak. So what happens when you are freaked out by a pressing task, driving in rush hour traffic, racing to the airport when you are about to miss the last plane home or worried about your finances, health, etc? You know, just the daily stuff you deal with. Your body does what it is programmed to do. Your digestion goes on the back burner of energy supplies. Poor digestion can create poor nutrient absorption and damage the gut lining. Given that most of your immune-system is your digestive system, you also can become vulnerable to pathogens, viruses and bacteria that otherwise would not affect you.
Now you see the real value of taking a breath and a break when you are going to eat. It is an elegantly simple fix to save your health as well as your sanity.
The adrenaline release also impacts blood-sugar and insulin. We are meant to take a rest after the stressor so the system can recover and get back to normal function. Take time to relax.
What brings you peace and ease? Even one focused breath can make all the difference. Freeze-Frame (click and go to page 9) is a simple tool from HeartMath. It is a one-minute technique that allows a major shift in perception. More than positive thinking, it creates a definitive, heartfelt shift in how we view a situation, an individual or ourselves. You can also go to The PBS article about HeartMath at http://www.pbs.org/bodyandsoul/203/heartmath.htm
Tips to Help You
When you are in distress choose a tool like the Freeze Frame or a mantra and take a moment to stop the frenzy and allow your perspective to shift.
Take a clear break from other activities when you eat. Just do one thing, eat. Breathe and chew well.
Plan a time each day to focus on relaxing mindfully.
Be willing to ask for support.
Make a list of your tasks. Label them as A, B, or C. Tackle an A before you choose a B or C.
Dorothy coaches people on their way to achieving health and lifestyle goals. Contact her at www.SynergyWellnessNW.com