Reduce Your Stress

If you live in the early part of the twenty-first century, chances are you are feeling stressed.

Life for most of us today is highly pressured. Many of us feel stressed because of too little money, and too many urgent things to do, and not enough time to relax and unwind.

We are often sleeping too little, eating the wrong foods, drinking too much coffee, smoking too many cigarettes, juggling too many responsibilities, facing impossible deadlines, and exposed to a lot of chemical and noise pollution. Does this sound like your life?

In addition to the pressures of our daily lives, the constant barrage of terrible news coming at us from every corner of the world also adds to our sense of helplessness and anxiety. As a result of too many assaults on our mind and our body, we are often in a state of feeling acute stress much of the time.

What is stress exactly?

Your body has a wonderful internal program to deal with dangerous events that pose a threat to your survival.

When your brain decides you are facing a threat of some kind, it pours lots of chemicals into your bloodstream to make you feel instantly very alert, and very physically powerful to deal with potential danger, or to enable you to run away quickly.

This body system in response to a threat is meant to help you cope with real danger, such as a physical attack or an accident.

During a dangerous situation you will breathe much more deeply and quickly, taking in far more oxygen than usual. Your heart will be pounding in your chest. Your blood pressure will rise. You will have much higher levels of glucose in your blood in order to fuel your muscles.

These changes happen in your body so that in case of danger, your muscles have the ability to fight, to move heavy objects, or to swiftly run away.

For thousands of years this built-in physical response to danger has helped people overcome dangerous threats like marauding bears, and raging fires and floods. If your ancestors had to fight off a bear, or run from a forest fire, this stress response of the body gave them a chance to survive the emergency.

This powerful bodily reaction to danger is sometimes called the "fight or flight response". The fight or flight response still operates in us today.

The trouble is however, that in modern times, most of the stressors we face are not physical, but are psychological in origin. Most of the things that cause us to be stressed are not short term dangers, but events that go on and on for months.

For example, you may have a boss who constantly belittles you at work. Or you may face a mortgage payment when you have just lost your job.

A small amount of occasional short-term stress can actually be good for you. You will feel more alert, focused, and energized to take on a challenge.

If the stress seems to go on and on, such as in a war or a bad marriage, or when you face long term financial problems or illness, your brain perceives the threat as never-ending. Your brain then orders the release of a chemical called cortisol. Cortisol locks in the stress response reaction, and it keeps your body systems in a constant state of high alert.

The problem is that the body was not designed to live in a state of high alert permanently. Sooner or later the body's internal systems will start to break down.

What can we do to reduce the stress we feel?

One thing we can do to reduce our stress is to make sure that when we think about the things that are bothering us, that we are thinking about them in a realistic way.

If we have a habit of thinking about every negative event as if it is a huge catastrophe, we will be throwing our body systems into a state of high alert for trivial reasons. So be sure that you are not exaggerating to yourself how terrible an event really is.

And be sure to remind yourself of all your inner resources to deal with your problems, as well as the resources in your community that you can tap into for strength and guidance.

When we tell ourselves that we are weak and powerless and that our problems are overwhelming, we make ourselves more powerless than we really are.

If you are a person who tends not to confide in others when you have a problem, this will actually make your stress response worse. Refusing to talk about your problems can keep you feeling overwhelmed, and can keep you from seeing solutions.

When you are faced with a stressful situation, talking about it with a trusted friend or advisor is one of the best ways to start to deal with it.

This article is by Royane Real, author of "How You Can Be Smarter - Use Your Brain to Learn Faster, Remember Better and Be More Creative" To improve your brain power, download it today or get the paperback version at http://www.lulu.com/real

In The News:

COVID-stress management  Medical Economics
Montgomery County Maryland  Montgomery County Maryland
College Presidents Need Help Lately, Too  The Chronicle of Higher Education
Clearing the Way for Recovery  www.smileypete.com
5 Ways to Manage Stress During the Coronavirus Outbreak  Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

Stress Management: Ditch Thinking or Destination Thinking

Imagine driving down the road. You are driving with a... Read More

Stress- What Is It?

Whenever we think of 'stress', negative thoughts come into our... Read More

Stop Yourself Reacting To Other People When They Push Your Buttons

We all know what it feels like to have our... Read More

Stress Management: 5 More Things to Clean Out of Your Mental Closet

ResentmentsA wise friend once said that holding onto resentments is... Read More

Stress Management: How to Handle Rejection - The Power of NEXT

Raise your hand if you have ever been rejected by... Read More

Stress Management: How to Change Limiting Beliefs

Mark Twain once said, "It's not what we don't know... Read More

Managing Stress - Hire the Right People

Managing stress is not easy if you don't have the... Read More

Children Playing - How Play Is Important To Kids And Adults

You can learn a lot by watching children playing. There... Read More

Manage Stress and Fear: Visit The Secret Garden!

Recently I completed some new workshop engagements in addition to... Read More

Practical Ways to Bring Enchantment into Your Life

THE ENCHANTED SELF® teaches you how to access positive states... Read More

Panic Is No Laughing Matter

Burt Reynolds revealed his vulnerable side when he realized he... Read More

How to Stop Stress and Overwhelm Quickly!

My work often deals with proactive, preventive means to Overcome... Read More

A 2-Minute Stress Buster

Meditation seems to have arrived in the mainstream of late,... Read More

The Three Rs of Handling Your Emotions

My son was watching a Richard Scarry video this morning... Read More

Stress Management: Are You a Chooser or a Loser?

Author and speaker H. Stephen Glenn has said,"In terms of... Read More

Canadian Physicians on Slippery Slope of Burnout

In a recent CMA survey of 2251 physicians, over 45%... Read More

Stress Management: The Power of Expectancy

On a beautiful summer day years ago, I went water... Read More

Conquering Stress and Depression with Exercise

One of the best ways to combat stress and depression... Read More

Reduce The Stress!

First, let's make a distinction between pressure and stress. We... Read More

Stressed? Go on a Quick Getaway

Did you know that taking a short trip, such as... Read More

Stress Management

Have you ever said the words, "This job/my life is... Read More

How To Avoid Stress By Staying in The Present Moment

The future is nothing but a fantasy or a daydream,... Read More

The Top 10 Steps to DeStress

Do you feel tense and anxious at work? Do your... Read More

Stress Management and Relief Techniques - Quit Running from Bears!

Fear, and its accompanying seriousness, causes our suffering. Fear restricts... Read More

Army Ranger Reveals How to Control Corporate Stress

"Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into... Read More