“The mind can go either direction under stress—toward positive or toward negative: on or off. Think of it as a spectrum whose extremes are unconsciousness at the negative end and hyperconsciousness at the positive end. The way the mind will lean under stress is strongly influenced by training.” – Frank Herbert
Stress is simply a reaction (physical, mental and/or emotional) to a stressor (trigger). It is a simple math equation A (stressor) + B (reaction) = C (stress). But the effect it has on the body and mind is not simple. Sometimes stress can be exciting, create interesting moments, and motivate you to excel, these moments are often referred to as “acute” stress. At other times, stress can have a negative impact on your life and the people around you. Controlling stressors is a great way to manage stress, however, many times you cannot control the stressors, so learning to control your reaction to stress is one of the best ways to manage your stress and reduce the impact it has on your life.
The first step is to build awareness around the stressors in your life. As a coach and hypnotherapist I often recommend my clients start a journal when they begin visiting me. It helps a person build awareness around the challenges that are keeping them from achieving their goals. Of course, the journal specifics are different and focused to the client’s issue. In the case of a client looking to reduce stress I suggest they record their stress reactions throughout the day, the stressor, the emotions and physical responses. I also ask them to record whether or not this is related to a fear (rational or irrational) and if there is any negative self-talk during and around the stress event.
After the person has identified the stressors, what is controllable or not controllable, and their emotional, physical, and mental reaction to the stress events a plan can be formulated to help them manage their stress.
In today’s world, reducing stress is very important. While the stressors we face are not the same as the ones the cave men/women faced all those centuries ago; the amount seems to have increased by leaps and bounds. This is not just because of external stressors but also internal ones.
The problem really arises when the body and mind take a long term (chronic) impact from the stress. So many studies have pointed to problems with the heart, arthritis, and other long term effects on the body. On study even points to a link between long term stress and a weakened immune system (resource).
Think of your body like a machine. It works well when it runs as it should. Overtaxing the machine at random intervals for minimal times and keeping up with basic care and maintenance will keep the machine running at regular levels for the most part. But overtaxing the machine for long periods of time in large amounts will make the machine run down faster and sometimes break.
Finding ways to manage your stress becomes very important in these cases.
If you are located in the Phoenix area and are looking for some help in managing your stress check out Spirit and Mind Connection, and Coronado Hypnotherapy’s free stress reduction mini workshop. Call them for times and locations of the next stress reduction mini workshop. This workshop will give you some great techniques to help reduce the stress in your life. If a more personalized experience is what you are looking for you can contact either one of them to find out about their individual sessions.