“The place of absolute tranquility… the gentle water bubbles are surfacing to the blue serenity of the mountain lake… Ah… what a joy…”
“MOM!!!! WHERE IS MY DINNER??? “ “DAD!!! I AM TAKING YOUR CAR!!!” No kidding, the blue lake just popped in front of your so-called third eye and vanished into who knows what. As a mother of active nine year old boy I personally would laugh out loud at anybody who preaches the wonders of a stress-free life – it just seems impossible in many life situations. Is it really impossible or there are ways to not only cope with stress but to glide through it and come out at the other end unscathed?
It is known that stress, especially the chronic stress can create huge havoc on the physical, mental, and emotional levels. However it is very important to distinguish between the “stress triggers” and the “stress response mechanism” activated by your body. While encountering a stressful situation your body automatically shifts to the “fight or flight” mode. This response is very beneficial if you are about to run away from the grizzly bear chasing you in the woods. Your body is capable of immediately shutting down hundreds of ongoing processes such as digestion, reproduction, hormone regulation in order to activate other processes important for your immediate survival.
Now, the body reacts the same exact way either if you are stressed about running away from the grizzly bear or if you are sitting on your couch watching TV about 700 billion dollars bailout. With one simple difference – there is absolutely no physical need for your body to shut down your digestion and hormone regulation while watching news on TV. But it is happening anyway. Now, think about how many times you encounter stressful situations during your typical day.
It is not the fact of stressful events occurring in our life that wear us out – it’s the way we react to them. It means we can control some of the impact affecting our life by changing our lifestyle and our way of thinking. And it can be fun to do!
These are the three basic components in stress management:
1. Learn how to shift your attention quickly and how to use your primary senses to lessen the impact of the stressful event.
2. Nourish your body with a balanced diet supporting your well-being and avoid foods that aggravate stress.
3. Adopt a regular and fulfilling spiritual practice.
We will talk about all these topics, and in my next article I will share with you the ways of re-patterning your mind in order to handle stressful situations effectively.