How To Cope With Stress

As they say, "There are no stressful situations, only stressful responses".

Therefore, everybody has a choice to decide how they wish to handle or react to their own stressful and challenging situations and you are the one that decides whether you want to react with stress or whether you want to remain calm and in control.

We all have to face challenging situations and life can be full of pressure, but the pressure and stress are a thing that we all have total control over.

It is not the situation that causes the stress, it has more to do with your thoughts, attitude, approach and perceptions about the situation and how you feel leading up to the situation or event, and how you react afterwards.

Long term stress, worry and tension are everybodies worst enemy, they are responsible for feelings of emotional unwellness, ill health and a poor quality of life.

Everything changes when you start to feel stressed and tense, you shift into survival mode, in most cases you do not function well, you cannot think clearly, it will block off your creativity, you lose control, but worst of all, it is potentially harmful to your health.

Eventually, too much stress will manifest itself as some physical condition in the body, too much stress can take off years of your life expectancy, it can make you look older than your years and it can take its toll on your skin.

What is more concerning is, some people have become so accustomed to stress that they have come to accept it as being normal, some have even forgotten what it feels like to be calm and balance.

However, this is a very potentially dangerous way of living, because stress is not a normal part of our life, yes in small and controlled amounts, it can help to motivate you and in some fields it can improve your performance levels.

A short burst of stress here and there probably not cause too much damage, however, that's where its few benefits end.

Because if you let it accumulate and you allow the momentum to gather then you could be heading for trouble both physically and psychologically.

Stress will throw your whole body out of balance, if left unchecked, it can cause burnout, panic attacks and high levels of anxiety.

This can have a crippling effect on your emotional well-being which can result in depression, insomnia, exhaustion and much more.

Stress is bad for your emotional well-being, it is part of the fight or flight process and it is closely linked to fear and anxiety.

Chronic stress can interfere with cognitive functions which include problems with thinking, memory, concentration and behavior. 

Stress can leave you feeling irritated, bad tempered and frustrated, in this state more things seem to go wrong, and you can start to take things out on others around you, so both you and they can become the victim of your stress. 

Stress can lead to weight gain and it can lower your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds and viruses.

Stress initiates that 'fight-or-flight' response which will trigger the release of adrenaline and increases the cortisol level in our body, causing inflammation in the body.

This can make us retain fat, repeated stressful responses to specific situations cause neural associations in the brain, this can lead to you automatically responding to certain stressors.

When this happens, because your brain does not turn off the messages and feedback that are being sent to it through your senses, your subconscious mind and your body, the stress and fear responses will happen automatically beyond your conscious control, which can lead to many health related issues.

We have already covered some of the negative effects of stress and most people know it is bad for you.

But it is not a good idea to focus on all the negative effects of stress, as that can make you worry more which can result in even more stress, and negativity is not always the best motivator.

It is far better to focus on all of the positive benefits that you will get from reducing your stress, like

  • You will feel better 
  • You will sleep better 
  • You will experience better health 
  • You will look healthier, radiant and younger 
  • You will feel at ease and balanced 
  • You will feel better emotionally 
  • You will sleep better
  • You will feel refreshed and energized 
  • You will do things easier and effortless 
  • Things will work out better for you 
  • Your creativity will shine through 
  • You will handle life better 
  • Improve thinking abilities, memory, concentration and behavior 
  • You will become better at problem solving

Coping with stress

There are literally thousands of people researching each day, "How to cope with stress"

However, coping with stress is a bad phrase and it suggest that you should find ways to put up with it.

You don't have to cope with stress, and a better term would be, to learn how to reduce it and manage it, because the key is not to cope with stress, what you should be aiming for is not to get stressed in the first place.

Because once you have become highly stressed and you have already allowed the momentum to gather, then it is too late.

It is estimated that it can take up to 36 hours for your body to get rid of the stress hormones, in this period you will be more prone to more stressful reactions, which will mean more adrenaline and the stress hormone cortisol will be released into your body, which can form a self perpetuating never ending cycle.

We all have the ability to cope and handle all situations better, our natural state should be, calm and balanced.

The anti-dote to stress is relaxed, many people choose not to relax, but relaxation is a fundamental and necessary process which the body and mind requires.

Therefore, relaxation is not a luxury thing that you treat yourself to every now and again, it is essential to help keep you healthy, both physically and mentally, as well as helping you to cope with life's challenges and ups and downs.

The funny thing about being relaxed and balanced both physically and emotionally are, you will have less worries, problems and trouble with stress.

When you're feeling relaxed, you will feel more in control, happier and things will work out better for you, and all those trivial things that used to cause you stress, will no longer bother you and most of your problems will melt away or pale into insignificance.

The human need to rush, meet deadlines and get things done, causes endless overwhelm and stress, the thing is, the more you rush, the harder you try and the faster you attempt to go, the less you get done or you will not do things at your peak performance best.

We perform much better when we are relaxed and in the zone, this is where all your true powers and potential can be accessed. 

In most cases, you will go faster and you will be more efficient, when you take some of the pressure off yourself, you chill out and you work and perform naturally, because very often, slower means faster and smarter because when you're working intuitively without any pressure you will function better.

Many people do not know how to manage their stress, so they often resort to bad habits like alcohol, smoking and even substance abuse. 

However, all of the above are actually stimulants, they might give you very brief short term relief, but they will not help to reduce your stress or solve your worries or problems, in fact they will make your stress worse, not to mention they are bad for your health.

The first step to reducing your stress is to be aware and mindful too what is causing it, because once you pinpoint its root source, you can work on fixing the root source.

Exercise will help burn off all that excess energy, but it is still important to nip it in the bud before it has a chance to gain momentum.

If you're feeling tense or you suffer with stiff muscles, then this can make you feel irritated and more prone to stress, as well as cause you aches and pains.

The things that can cause muscle tension and stiffness are bad postural habits, slouching and sitting and standing too straight, stiff and ridged  or overextending your spine. 

The video below will help you to get out of tense and painful postures

Less worry less stress

One of the biggest contributors to chronic ongoing stress is worrying all the time, the good thing is, you have the choice and option how you want to think about and perceive any situation.

In their battle to stop worrying, many people create more worry thoughts and feelings until worrying becomes a habit and the harder they try not to worry, the more they seem to worry.

If you're not careful, and mindful, you can soon get emotionally stuck and bogged down by those endless negative and worrying thoughts.

You have to wise up to your worry thoughts, because as hard as you may try to stop worrying, if you don't shift your attitude and let it go, then you will enter a negative state of resistance. 

The more you resist something, the more emotionally involved you will become with your problem and whenever you add emotion to a problem, then more your mind will keep returning to it.

One of the biggest forms of resisting is, when you give all your attention to what you don't want or what you don't like.

The trouble is, when you resist something, you will make the emotion and stress, stronger and the negative emotion will re-create more worry thoughts and feelings trapping you in a vicious cycle.

Soon you're worrying will become a self perpetuating cycle and a self creating process as well as a well practiced habit that you will carry through with you into each new day.

If you have had a bad day, then you don't want to take all your emotional baggage with you into the next day. 

There are several things that you can do to help eliminate worrying

One of the worse things you can do is to carry on worrying endlessly and spend all your time focusing and becoming fixated on the problem or worry.

Sometimes there may be a genuine concern, and a bit of worrying can help you evaluate a situation so you can plan to avoid making mistakes or help you to avoid potential risks and pitfalls.

However, worrying itself is a pointless waste of time and energy and you will have nothing to gain from worrying and wrestling your problem to the ground.

After a while, worrying can become the normal way of thinking and feeling, so even if you resolve one problem, because you get stuck in the negative and physical state and energy of worry, it is not long before another problem surfaces.

If you have a problem, learn to relax, then search for a solution or answer, then take action to fix your problem.

Once you have done all you can, let the matter or issue go, sometimes you have to accept what is, deal with it and move forwards in a positive direction, and keep focusing on a better future.

Most people cannot stop their worrying thoughts, and the reason for that is, the more you try not to worry the more you will worry.

The smartest thing to do is to catch the negative momentum and stress in the early stages before it goes too far.

The best thing you can do is to be mindful of the worry thoughts, acknowledge them, but do not react or engage in them or the emotion.

In fact do the exact opposite and leave your mind alone to carry on thinking the worry thoughts, and you will find, your mind will soon give up and calm down by itself, because if you show no interests, then your mind will quickly lose interest.

When you get emotionally involved with a problem, that is when the issues will consume you and take over.

Remember, the more emotion you attach to a problem and the more attention you give it, the more significance you will make it, and the more your mind will focus on it.

Reducing your stress

The best way to reduce your stress is to change the way you feel both emotionally and physically, and the way to achieve this on a consist basis is to practice the art of relaxation.

Obviously, preventing yourself from becoming stressed in the first place is the best anti-dote to stress.

The way to achieve this is, to become aware of the things that make you react to stress, so you can stop it before it has a chance to manifest.

If you notice yourself getting stressed, stop and pause for a few minutes, take some slow, deep breaths and allow your muscles to ease and relax.

On the onset of any stress, you can, imagine yourself in a beautiful and relaxing place, engage all your senses, focus on what you can see, hear, smell, taste and feel. 

If you have allowed the stress to gather momentum, go for a long walk in the country if possible and focus and observe nature, as nature is a great way to relax.

Adding flowers, pictures of nature or water features to your workplace can be relaxing because your senses will associate it with nature. 

Essential oils such as the likes of lavender can help to reduce stress and promote a good night's sleep, lavender is well known for its calming and relaxing properties.

Chamomile is also thought to be good for stress and anxiety as is rose, which are both linked to their calming effects.

The ultimate anti-dote to stress is to learn how to relax deeply.

Listening to relaxing classical music, is a great and natural way to lower your stress levels, but the two best ways of reducing stress are meditation and hypnosis.

Hypnosis is particularly good for reducing stress, because first, when used on a regular basis, it will train your mind and body to relax.

The second bonus of hypnosis, not only does hypnosis relax you and reduce your stress, it will also help you solve your problems and end your worries.

Stress Management Training

Reduce Stress And Tension

Meditainment: Meditation That Takes You Places

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