The word stress all on its own can mean many things. It has its origins in the sciences of physics and mechanics, but the stress this article will refer to is the psychological stress of our modern day lives.
Stress in itself is neutral. It is an event, something that happens which takes us out of the natural state of homeostasis in mind, body and emotions. Homeostasis simply means harmony. Our minds, our bodies and our emotions seek harmony, and anything that disrupts that harmony is a stress.
It becomes a negative to our physical and emotional well being due to our perception of the event. It is then that we become distressed.
We feel distress if something is in conflict with our beliefs, is threatening us physically or emotionally, or is perceived to be out of our control.
We create stress through our thinking. Our negative thinking causes us to feel distressed.
Feeling distressed, or stressed, doesn’t feel good. Feeling less than par, can result in poor judgement, feelings of overwhelm, needing to be defensive, looking for answers in all the wrong places and so much more.
In fact, studies have shown, people lose healthy perspectives when dealing with chronic stress, in whatever form.
There are many forms of stress people chronically deal with. Do any of these ring a bell?
- being a woman in the corporate world
- being a working mother
- being a woman getting ready to have a baby
- being a new mother/parent
- working in a hostile environment
- being in a negative significant relationship
- feeling overwhelmed with too much to do
- being a caretaker of elderly parents
- being a stepparent
- being unemployed
- coming back to civilian life after being in war
- trying to get pregnant after so many years of putting it off
- feeling unhappy with your body
- unable to find the time to exercise
- unable to find the time to take care of yourself
- health issues sapping your energy and enjoyment of life
The list could go on and on.
Whatever the particular stress is in your life, the first thing you need to know is that you can change your thoughts and change your response to the stress in your life.
When you change your thoughts, you change your perceptions. When you change your perception, you see the same things that were causing you distress before, in a different light. You can begin to find solutions to focus on, instead of the focusing in on the stressful event, circumstances or thoughts.It begins to feel lighter, you begin to feel lighter and more in control.Here are 3 things you can do right away to begin changing your mind and de-stressing!
- Take a few good deep breaths.
Whenever you first notice the feelings of stress in your body, or simply become aware you are feeling stressed…stop and inhale deep down into your belly. Do this 2-3 times. It allows all those “monkey mind” thoughts to quiet down a bit.
- Remember you have do have a choice in what you think and how you respond. You have a thinking brain!
Remember you can either buy into the thought/situation/circumstance or you can choose to direct your thoughts in another direction.
- Turn your focus on how you want to feel, how you want to be, what you want to think, instead of focusing on the negative feeling, thought or event.
Take your focus off the stressor and you can shift how you are feeling. When you shift how you are feeling, you gain a higher perspective. It’s in this higher perspective where solutions are found.
If you start incorporating these 3 things now, you’ll start to see shifts happening as you program your mind for success in de-stressing!
I’d love to hear your response to this article, as well as what stresses you deal with and some ways that have helped you.