How to Manage the Two Sides of the Stress Coin
by Peter Sacco
STRESS: (def’n) A psychological distressing feeling leading to thoughts of frustration and eventual rage causing you to want to choke the hell out of the person closest to you. Do you ever feel this way?
Stress is considered the number one cause of illness, both physical and psychological. Even though studies and medical professionals continually tell us it is bad for us, most people continue to thrive on it. Of course the definition at the beginning of this article was in jest, however the truth is many people live this way. The only way they truly know they are alive is when they are stressed!
How about you? What are you doing to manage your stress?
Stress will always exist in some form in everyone’s life.
Not all stress is bad as humans need it to evolve and create positive changes in their lives.
There are two types of stress; distress and eustress.
Distress is the bad stress which causes mental, emotional and physical pain. And then there is eustress which is actually good stress. Yes, there is such a thing as good stress— change, situations or circumstances which produce acts of discomfort but makes one better for enduring it. For example, say you love kids and decide to have them. The stress of raising them may make you want to pull your hair out and give them up for adoption, but you wouldn’t give them up because they are your world. They bring you continual joys and pleasures in the presence of distress. The good stress of having them out weighs the bad stresses.
For one person, their distress might be another person’s eustress and vice versa. You see, stress is all based on perception. The key to managing your stress is influenced by how you choose to perceive it — holding onto the reins and steering it comfortably, or squeezing to tightly causing it to run roughshod!
Having taught stress management for many years to college students, clients and employee assistance programs I have found a handful of activities to be quite effective for most individuals.
Not in any order, I have found; hypnosis (self-hypnosis), meditation, walking, exercise and comedy/laughter (entertainment) to have the greatest, immediate impacts on reducing distress.
Hypnosis through the guidance of a train hypnotherapist or through the self-hypnosis (training or CDs) is an excellent way to relieve bad stress. First, it helps the mind to escape the rigors of fast-paced lifestyles, worries and anxieties. Through post hypnotic suggestions, the mind not only relaxes while it is in a state of hypnosis, it also learns to shift into a peaceful mindset of deep relaxation when faced with stressful situations.
Like hypnosis, meditation works the same way to calm the mind. It helps bring individuals to places of mental serenity where shifts in brain wave activity causes healthy, positive neurochemicals to be released. NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) training which is used in hypnosis to achieve changes in the neuro-connections in the brain/mind are available in meditations CD’s which provide instant deep meditation highly conducive to creating new neuro-pathways in the brain.
Walking is another wonderful stress reliever. By walking, one walks away from the problem(s) metaphorically — Exit stage right! Walking creates balance whereby one’s coordination is put to the test. One must swing their left and right arms/legs which creates this balance. Did you know that walking for 20 minutes creates a balance/harmony in the brain. Is it any wonder people report feeling better after going for a walk? Walk it off!
Like walking, exercise creates the same effect. It not only brings the brain into harmony, but it also helps release more healthy endorphins which make people feel better. Just working out 3 to 4 times a week for 20 minutes has tremendous health benefits besides relieving stress. Also, eating healthy, choosing wholesome energy foods like fruits, vegetables and nuts/grains, along with green tea are great for stress. It is important to take plenty of vitamin C, B-complex, Omega 3-6-9 oils or Krill oil and L-Arginine to protect the body/immune system from the damages of stress.
Finally, laughter is the best medicine. Stop taking life so serious! Research shows that people who laugh/smile a lot actually release positive hormones that promote good health and youthfulness. Just laughing a couple of times a day has tremendous health benefits.
Remember, what happens to us accounts for only a fraction of why we feel the way we do –stressed!
It’s not what happens to us rather how we respond which determines whether we are distressed or eustressed!
If you feel you’re in need of some decreasing of stress check out our stress and anxiety hypnosis management program here >>>.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES TO HELP MANAGE STRESS:
Peter Andrew Sacco Ph.D.
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