Archive for March, 2010

Kick Stress to the Curb (Part Two)

Monday, March 8th, 2010

In our last post (Kick Stress to the Curb) we talked about several ways to combat stress.

We discussed the fact that stress is actually created in your mind…not by “stressful” events themselves…as most people think.

In this post we are going to dig even deeper into the topic of stress. I’m also going to share a powerful technique you can use to immediately stop stress from getting in your way.

But before we get to the technique, I want you to understand how devastating stress can be to your health.

When you are stressed, when you are tired, when you are overly emotional, your body releases hormones which can cause you to feel even more stressed. One such hormone is cortisol.

When cortisol is released into your bloodstream, it can cause negative effects on your body.

It has been shown to be responsible in part for weight gain, irritability and a myriad of other health problems. Cortisol also stimulates the release of stomach acid and can suppress the immune system.

We live in a fast-paced, busy world. We are constantly bombarded with marketing messages, images, information, offers and business solicitation for all type of things.

We have more to do than ever before in history, so it is very easy for us to get overloaded and to feel overwhelmed.

The reality is that the mail sitting in the pile on your table and all of the other things swirling around in your head can be dealt with one at the time. You do not have to let them fester in the back of your mind and cause you stress.

Unfinished (or unstarted) projects on your list…going to the grocery store…picking up dry cleaning…and all the mundane, daily tasks…don’t let them get the better of you and cause you stress.

My friend and colleague, personal development expert, Darshan Shanti, shared some wisdom with me regarding how to eliminate stress from your life. I’d like to share it with you now.

Step One:

First and foremost, realize that stress does not exist in the external world. It is a creation in your mind. It is based on the meaning you are placing on the events and circumstances in your life.

Step Two:

Break the stressful event down and look at each of its component parts.

1) The event itself
2) Your perceptions about the event
3) Your thoughts about those perceptions
4) Your emotions about the event, your perceptions and your thoughts
5) Your decision about the event, your perceptions, your thoughts and your emotions
6) And lastly, your response to the event, your perceptions, your thoughts, your emotions and even your decisions.

While this may seem like a lot of work at first, this exercise will slow down your thinking process and allow you to become proactive and not reactive. You’ll begin to realize that at each step of the way you created the stress in your mind.

Once you do that you can take responsibility for your creation.

Step Three:

Relabel your perceptions, thoughts, emotions, decisions and reaction into something positive.

Anything you can make up and label as “stress” can be relabeled as something else that will serve you better. It is therefore your decision to allow (or not allow) stress in your life.

Basically if you realize that whatever you are afraid of, whatever you are worried about, whatever your stress is about, it is not nearly as bad as you think it is, it will diminish the negative hold stress has over you.

If you really think logically about what is stressing you, you’ll probably realize that it isn’t nearly as bad as you think it is…or as bad as the images you have created in you mind.

What we think of as stressful is really a reaction to an event that in our mind seems negative.

Stop letting stress have power over you. Your energy level will shoot through the roof and you will feel and look healthier too.