Dealing with Stress Effectively
Stress is something we all deal with. Learning to be able to handle stress will serve you in all aspects of life. Recently, I helped my 95 year old mother move twice in a 6 month period. During this time of stress for her and for me I was able to deal with it effectively by using the strategies I share with my clients. Yes, one of the strategies is “self hypnosis” but the other 5 ways I retained my cool was by maintaining the most important habits of life:
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Exercise 5 days per week.
- Prioritize tasks to do the essentials.
- Focus on the things you can control.
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep and use self hypnosis.
If you consistently practice the above habits your stress will be within your control which is no small thing.
The fact is that according to the American Medical Association approximately 80% of the patients who visit an internal medicine doctor are there due to the long term effects of stress. Long term chronic stress or a person’s perception of the stress causes a great deal of physical damage and is underlying almost all disease. Symptoms like headaches, back pain, stomach problems, rapid heart rate, fatigue, nervous habits, cognitive problems and the list goes on and on.
Stress is a normal physical response to an event or problem that makes you feel threatened or overwhelmed. Our nervous system is sensitive to danger in order to keep us safe. But the same system that helps us avoid physical danger can be the system that creates long term chronic stress and damages our mind and body.
When the fight or flight response kicks in we are sent into a focused, energetic and alert state. This state can help you to meet challenges, make you sharp when doing presentations, help you to react quickly in an accident or other dangerous situation. However the problems arise when we stay in this state too much or when every little thing that goes wrong sends us into hyper drive. When adrenaline and cortisol are released constantly the damage it does to the body is extreme. Over time it will damage and inflame every system of your body and this includes the brain. Things like memory problems, the inability to concentrate, seeing only the negative and constant poor judgment are directly related to chronic or high levels of stress.
To break this pattern, it is important to take back some control. You have more control then you might think. The simple realization that you are in control of your life is the foundation of stress management. So do something that makes you feel in control and you will feel your sense of well-being grow.