What is stress? This is a quick simplistic explanation of what stress is and how it affects us.
Stress is not bad in itself, but rather how you respond to it that makes is bad for your health. The innate stress response has a purpose. Short-term physical stress promotes survival, however, long-term or chronic psychological stress promotes premature death. You need to identify psychological stressors in your life and learn to change your response.
If you experience prolonged or chronic psychological stress, this causes high levels of inflammation in your body. This in turn compromises your immune system and negatively affects all aspects of health and performance. The stress-response, what is happening internally is what causes problems.
Stress, to a large degree, depends on our interpretation or response to an event or stressor, rather than the event or stressor itself.
Stress is a state. A mind-body state. In this lesson, we will look at different ways of changing your state. By managing your state, you can mange your response to a stressor.
External triggers cause us to respond in automatic ways. They influence us without knowing it. You can change how you respond and in that way change your experience. It is very empowering to realize that you are in this position and you do not have to be negatively affected by everything happening around you. You can also deliberately setup your own triggers, causing a response that you choose.
This exercise will enable you to choose a gesture or trigger that is in your control that you can use at will to move you to a positive state. A gesture can be physical, like squeezing your right earlobe, it could be visual, like imagining a picture of a rainbow or it can be auditory, like imagining the sound of a waterfall. Use what works for you. The idea is to link the gesture to a positive or resourceful feeling.
If you are dwelling in the past or future, this can cause stress. Being present in your current situation will help you reduce mental stress.
This exercise will help you to get anchored in the present moment. Just becoming aware of your immediate surroundings will prevent mental stress.
You can choose your state and how you respond to events happening around you. You do not have to be like a marionette whose strings are being pulled by external forces. You can choose how you think and feel.
How does stress make you feel? This exercise will allow you to understand the freedom of choice. A choice in how you feel and respond towards stress and the effect it has on you.
Negative emotions are part of life. Acknowledging and accepting negative emotions that you experience with stress is very important in reducing unwanted side effects.
This exercise will help you identify, control and accept negative emotions that can lead to internal conflict and problems for you. Negative emotions often serve a purpose and you need to allow yourself to experience it. If not, it can create internal conflict.