Stress can be described as a person’s response to an internal or environmental stressor, condition, or stimulus. While this material focuses more on the negative effects of stress, stress can be seen as either a negative or positive condition that can influence a person’s mental and physical well-being. Stress can be provoked by real life dangerous situations, or as a reaction to a perceived threat that does not necessarily become reality.
- For instance, if you are driving down the highway and notice that an approaching vehicle has crossed the double yellow line and is heading towards you, your body’s reaction to danger might be to cut the wheel to the right to avoid a collision.
- Perhaps you are camping and see a bear charging at your family’s picnic table, so you react by quickly escorting everyone into a locked vehicle to avoid being mauled. This type of stress is unavoidable and necessary if your body is going to act in an appropriate, timely manner to flee or avoid danger.
On the other hand, there are situations that incite an avoidable, unnecessary stressful reaction in the mind and body. Feelings of worry, fear, and anxiety can raise stress levels unnecessarily.
- For example, the end of the semester is approaching, finals and final papers are due, and you need a B to pass the class. Worrying about the final only clouds your thinking and makes it harder to get that B you needed to pass the class. Instead, prepare the best you can and proceed with confidence. Anxiety and worry just cloud your thinking anyway, decreasing your chances for a better grade.
- Perhaps the economy isn’t doing well and you’re afraid of losing your job. There is absolutely no sense in draining valuable nutrients from your body, initiating an inflammatory response and dampening your mood worrying about the economy just because there is a slight chance of losing your job. If and when the situation presents itself, deal with it then! Try to be grateful for what you DO have and be as present as possible instead of worrying about what may or may not happen in the future.
Dr. Robert L. Leahy author of The Worry Cure: Seven Steps to Stop Worry from Stopping You, made reference to an astounding study that proves how needless the majority of worrying really is.
The participants in the study, or worriers, wrote down all the things they worried about over the course of two weeks to try to foresee what would happen. An astonishing 85% of what the subjects worried about never came to fruition! In fact, the consequences were mostly positive as opposed to the negative outcomes the participants anticipated. Out of the remaining 15% that did occur, 79% of subjects found that they could handle the negative outcome better than perceived, or that they learned a valuable lesson from the experience. So that means 97% of what you worry about is just not worth getting crazy, blurring your cognition or damaging your health over.
Be present and at ease knowing that EVERYTHING happens for a reason, look for the lessons!!
HOLISTIC STRESS MANAGEMENT
Holistic stress management incorporates all four facets that form a human life: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. When striving towards the elimination and management of life’s stressors all the factors that make up a healthy lifestyle must be considered, including regular and proper cleansing techniques, diet, physical activity, sleeping patterns and consistent quality supplementation. Other critical, essential ways to manage stress through self-awareness include meditation and breathing techniques, positive thought processing and interactions, and a genuine connection with your Higher Power. All these elements must be considered and dealt with collectively. Neglecting any one of these critical human necessities can negatively impact the others, making potential life problems and circumstances much more difficult and sometimes impossible to identify, process and solve.
Holistically, the goal is to attain total wellness without the use of harmful synthetic drugs that will NEVER cure anything. Long term success procures through increased knowledge, while simultaneously incorporating those new found healthy physical-mental-emotional-and-spiritual principles into your daily life. Overtime the new healthier habits become a part of you, while the old self-defeating habits become less desirable and fade away!
Ultimately, to change the way you feel, you must change the way you think. Educating yourself on how to interpret your perceived reality becomes essential if you are looking to obtain a true, healthy sense of self-worth. The way you view a particular situation or event in your life, as you have learned, makes all the difference in how you feel and act toward yourself and others. The goal is to become more fulfilled and at peace in the present moment by becoming more conscious of your thoughts and emotions, instead of just unconsciously reacting to them.
On the road to becoming a more self-accepting, self-aware individual, it becomes equally important that you relate to yourself in a positive manner.
Viewing yourself in a positive light, or self-love happens more consistently when you accept yourself and current situation as it is in the present moment. So even while striving to make changes and advancements to improve your life, you are still able to remain peaceful and content before your goals are reached. It’s MUCH harder to see things positively, motivate yourself to improve, and attract what you really want when you are always beating yourself down!
For example, if you fall off your diet and berate yourself for putting a few pounds back on, you may be willing to accept failure a lot easier as a defense mechanism. This defensive tactic will only set you up for disappointment and continuous failure. When you tell yourself you are worthless and no good, your mind believes it to be true, creating a lot of tension and stress working against you. When you can accept the current situation, have some gratitude in the attitude, and show yourself a little compassion, you can strive to achieve your goals with greater success, minus the unnecessary negative distress and discontentment. Love yourself the way you are now in the spirit self, always perfect, without any flaws!
It is also very important to give yourself props for the small steps along the way that equate to that one big step. Gratitude and recognition attract success, another Universal law. No matter what situation materializes in life – financial distress, a weight issue, depression, or relationship problems, address the matter with compassion and patience.
As you see, all the principles of self-awareness and wholeness need to be applied in concert with one another to eliminate and manage stress. When a negative self-defeating thought enables you to experience feelings of pain and distress, self-compassion kicks in and allows you to respond with acceptance and support, giving you the optimism and confidence to move forward knowing the PERFECT person you truly are regardless of circumstance!
Making use of the numerous personal development resources like this one is extremely helpful in gaining immense insight to formulate strategies for eliminating and managing stress. There are countless books, teachings, websites, therapists, mentors, and spiritual advisers that can teach you how to apply these principles, allowing you to create a mindset focused on fulfillment and joy rather than lack and disappointment!