something most of us try to avoid. However, some stress may actually
benefit our lives, while too much stress causes added conflict. Without
stress we often lack the enthusiasm and energy that nudges us forward
to achieve our goals of growing and learning. The trick is establishing
a healthy level of stress, and maintaining that level.
The more stress and strain you are experiencing, the less likely you
are able to cope with additional life events or hassles. You become
more vulnerable. One event that is a hassle or challenge begins the
snowball effect of stress. One event you may be able to cope with. Add
another event or two, and the response to the stress becomes greater.
You begin to become irritable, confused, angry and possibly even
depressed. The greater the pile of stresses, the more vulnerable you
are. All areas of your life suffer: physical, family, financial,
professional, community, mental, social, and spiritual.
What contributes to stress? After all, stress is a response, not a
cause. An action, reaction to an event is what causes the stress.
First, before we keep using that word 'stress' let me bring this
awareness to you. The word stress is used excessively without truly
recognizing what it is. In today's world we consider stress the
disease, when it is really the result of the challenges we face. Stress
results when we are not prepared to cope with the changes that are
happening in our lives. The changes and challenges come from a variety
of areas in our lives. Most of the time we think of stress as something
the 'other person' or 'other situation' gives to us. This is not
correct. Stress is what our response is to the situation. We create the
response to the events in our life.
Hurried and Rushed – Who Me?
In today's hurried
life style stress results from what some call 'hurry sickness'. Do you
ever try to get twice as much done in one day than is logical to
achieve? Do you feel guilty when relaxing? Do lines at the checkout
counter aggravate you? If so, these are signs of 'hurry sickness'. Some
additional traits are:
- Do you finish
other people's sentences?
Do you think or do more than one thing at a time?
- Do you find yourself scheduling more work/play
into less time?
- Do you
eat too fast?
- Do you
place work before family?
answer yes to many of these questions, you may be suffering from 'hurry
'Hurry sickness' has to do with trying
to schedule more experiences so that we can be fulfilled. This is often
reflected in a day that has so many appointments and obligations that
there is no time remaining to be together with your family or friends.
Even less time remains to reflect on what it all means. Workaholics are
only one manifestation of the 'hurry sickness'. Other examples are drug
abuse, disease, physical exhaustion, appetite changes and other health
Our hurried lives have been markedly
altered by modern technology. The mass media, the speed and
availability of travel, new communication devices like E-mail and cell
phones have expanded our personal worlds. With the communication
devices we have access to, it is a challenge to have some time to
Help Time –
- Sit backing a chair – take a deep breathe. Quiet
yourself (perhaps with some quiet music.)
Place one hand on your forehead. (You are actually covering acupressure
- Lightly hold
your forehead. (This brings blood to the front of your brain so you can
about what is stressing you. See it as vividly as possible.
- Take a deep breath.
- Keeping your hand in the same position begin
thinking about how you could change this situation.
- How would it look if this situation could be
responded to in a different manner?
Take a deep breath, release hand.
Be aware of how you feel.
take as long as ten minutes of holding if it is a strong stressor. The
original cause of stress has not actually changed or disappeared. What
has changed is your perception of the stress.
most often received comment is; I see things in a different light or
things are clearer now. Yes, you've been able to bring your brain
function to the forebrain to begin making clearer choices. Use this
technique. Benefit from it. Others have and you can to. When you
release the stress from an issue, you are able to see solutions in a
A one, maybe
two second stress reliever –
Breathe – Breathe – Breathe
So often when under
stress and going into the survival mode we tighten our chest and create
shallow breathing. When this happens we do not get the oxygen we need.
So simply taking a deep breath can be a most beneficial technique to
relieve stress. Some people take a deep breath every time something
beeps. Think of how often we hear beeping tones in our lives: car
doors, microwaves, phones, computers. Take a breath every time you hear
one and it will lessen you stress responses. Develop your own unique
method to remind you to take a breath, when your watch beeps, or every
time you return from a break, leave a building, etc.
And more –
there are many additional methods and actions you can use to reduce
your stress. Feel free to explore. The library is a wonderful source.
Many publications are available on stress. Or seek a professional
person who can help you such as a massage therapist or other
professions in the natural health field.
importantly, use methods and techniques that fit you the best. We are
all individuals. Honor your body/mind to what is the best for you.