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Wellness

Why Is It Easy For Some Of Us To Take On Stress?

Stress is usually viewed as a negative emotion, but it can be used to develop insight and wisdom and help us become more resilient. It can be used to create a sense of power and independence of mind and heart.

Over time, stress has been identified as a driver of health and well-being. It may trigger some of the same physiological reactions as many of the other stressors, but the biological processes that lead to stress are different. One of those physiological reactions, the release of the stress hormone cortisol, makes stress more likely to occur. So, what happens when we take on too much stress? It turns out stress is often viewed as a negative emotion, but it can be used to develop insight and wisdom and help us become more resilient. It can be used to create a sense of power and independence of mind and heart. It can be used to help us build emotional strength, which is important because stress can bring out all the aggression and anger inside us that can prevent us from being able to connect with others and take the risk-taking actions to reach our goals. But you might be surprised to learn that the human body can be trained to have the same reactions as other stressors to enhance performance. So, what does that mean, exactly? It means that we can take a risk, we can get aggressive or defensive, it can actually make us better. That’s the purpose of the test that my colleagues and I developed and passed for the third time. They are simple steps that anyone can take that make us feel more comfortable with our stress levels and also help us to be more resilient because by doing the steps, we are actually relaxing into stress more effectively.

Step One.  Sit or Lie Down and Close Your Eyes. If you have any issues with concentration or remembering which part is really important, or have any issues getting up and moving, keep your eyes open during these relaxation exercises.

Step Two. Lie on your back and relax one part of your body at a time for about 2-3 minutes.  

Step Three. Close your eyes and feel the feeling of stress and tension. If you feel the feeling of stress within you, it can be difficult to concentrate or remember exactly what you are doing. This is where your breathing patterns come in. In order to focus, you must open your eyes, close your eyes, and breathe. When you’re done, let your eyes open and then return to the previous level of relaxation. Repeat until all of the stress is gone. It probably would help to have the mirror there, but if you’re sitting with a couch or a cushion, a blanket or your feet, it’s also useful to have a timer with you.

Step Four.  Do it Again . Repeat steps one and three for at least ten minutes, until you feel more comfortable being in the environment that you’re in. Repeat steps three and four as many times in a day as you need to so that you feel more and more comfortable for 10-15 minutes, and then take another test just as the one above. If you still feel stress, then it’s probably just best to get some help. Here are some ideas of how you can relax that will help you to feel more empowered:  – Take a yoga class or an acupuncturist’s breath therapy class.

– Sit in meditation and relax for up to 30 minutes with your eyes closed and breathing through your nose.

– Do a breathing exercise for the same amount of time.

– Practice visualization techniques. One good one is to imagine yourself in a comfortable place.  Imagine it as a room with a comfortable bed, blankets, and cushions for you to lie on. Then take a few deep breaths in and exhale them comfortably, and allow yourself to settle into it. Then, do it again. If you’re not quite comfortable at first, then try it again for a while. The key thing is simply to stay on your toes – to move from relaxation to relaxation. You can also try relaxing with your hands, which have an inner strength that is hard to match with muscle tension or anxiety. When you’re relaxed, your fingers should gently and softly slide along the edge of your palms, almost like stretching – without any pain! Just let your eyes fall shut and count in your head. Count down from 10 to 1 and then keep counting up to 10 again . Then count up again to 1 and then go to 7 for a while. Then do it again. You can also try moving your body.

– Move into a bath, sitting in the bath for a while with your eyes closed.

Step Five. Repeat Steps One, Two, and Three for a couple of minutes per exercise.  

Take a step back and reflect on how you are feeling, where you went wrong, learn from it and move on.