Stress Reduction and Stress Relief: Prevention-Get back into control!
Why just manage your stress when you can reduce it !?
In this article you are going to discover some core fundamentals to help you prevent and reduce your stress!
Stress messes up your sleep. It promotes weight gain (belly fat). It inhibits your ability to lose weight. It zaps and reduces your energy. It negatively impacts your relationships. It takes the joy and juice out of life. You feel like the world is on top of you and you're being crushed. You may have that sinking feeling. And chronic stress shortens your life span! These are all excellent reasons why you need to get your stress under control. However, why would you want to live like that? You have a choice!
More simply put, if you want to relax and feel better, if you want to get rid of that stressed out, overwhelmed anxious feeling – where you feel like you can not accept or deal with things anymore, you must get your stress under control . If you want to have more control of your life, have peace of mind, be more confident, sleep better, and lose weight. If you want better, closer more fulfilling relationships, if you just want to feel better, and to have more fun and joy in your life, you must get your stress under control! You deserve better. You deserve to have a life with more fun and joy. We all do!
Where did you learn how to manage or reduce your stress? Your parents? In school? The workplace? On the “fly” as needed? We may have learned inappropriate ways “survival techniques”, that are non-supportive such as getting angry, yelling, hitting, retract and keep it inside, substance abuse, binge eating etc. We need to learn some new, healthier techniques and strategies, which are more supportive and give you fast relief and control!
Confucius said … “Life is really quite simple but we go about trying to make it more complicated than it is”. Remember, keeping it simple is smart! Let's keep it simple and let's be smart about this.
Perception and Response
There are two aspects of stress you need to understand. One. Stress is what happens in your body, not the outside situation. The stress response is what happens inside you based on your interpretation or your response to the situation or circumstances. Your perception is reality! Learning to control your perception will be vital to managing your stress.
Two. The stress response to the situation is neither good nor bad in and of itself. It depends on the situation or circumstances. For example stress is good when it protects us in a dangerous situation or when it takes us from doing dumb things!
You should also understand the circle of control (imagine a bull's eye target with three circles on it). The outer circle is where many spend too much time. This is the area of concern. This area contains things we can not control or influence. Traffic, weather or wars as examples. There is no point worrying about things you can not control. The area of influence is the area where we can have some sort of influence but we are not really in control. Example, the work environment, family life, other people actions or feelings etc.
The area of control is what we should strive for. In this area we can control and guide what happens in our life. We can control what we eat, think, how we talk, how we move, who we choose to interact with, how we react to a situation, our work habits, study habits, etc. Please understand, this is where peace of mind and confidence come from and where stress, worry and anxiety leave us.
Build your foundation. Balance your physiology
An upside down triangle diagram shows how most live their life in terms of stress reduction. They spend too much running around putting out fires, out of control and on edge. This is the top part of the triangle. Some have learned basic techniques of stress management or stress reduction by altering their perception. They feel a bit more in control. This is the middle section. And finally, a few focus on balancing their physiology, which is the most vital and paramount aspect for reducing stress. This is the base of the triangle.
What do you notice about this upside down triangle way of living? Does it look unbalanced? Like it could easily fall over and crash? Well it can! Please do not live your life like this. It's unhealthy and it's no fun! I can share with you some simple and fundamental shifts that I know will greatly help you.
A better, more supportive and healthy way to live is where you focus on your foundation. Imagine a normal triangle. The core fundamental pillar of stress reduction is balancing and controlling your physiology- your base. I believe this is absolutely vital and necessary and most miss it completely. They do not teach this in school or the work place. This aspect you have lots of control over. This puts you in a proactive state, which makes you feel good and builds confidence as well as gives you peace of mind. I call this the stress reduction foundation model.
Balancing your physiology sets the “tone” for all other aspects of stress reduction. It's the base for the other aspects of stress reduction. It's the foundation! It includes regular and proper amounts of sleep and exercise, blood sugar and insulin control, reducing toxicity etc. Get this right and the other areas come much easier and acute stress is not nearly as stressful or traumatic. It's No big deal! You will enjoy life more. If you miss this component you will have excess stress, be very unbalanced and prone to “crashing”.
Changing your perception is also a proactive step that puts you in control and is important for the whole stress reduction process. This will help bring more peace of mind, happiness and joy to your life. Stress management and stress reduction techniques are learnable skills we all need to learn and master!
And finally, dealing with acute stress or stressful situations. This is the “putting out fires” or the “treatment” phase. This is a reactive stage. We do not have much control over when these events happen so we need to learn new strategies and techniques for “managing” them when they do happen.
As a summary, stress reduction and prevention is really as simple as 1 … 2 … 3!
- Build a strong solid foundation – “Balance your physiology”.
- Learn new ways to enhance your perception and regain control
- And only when necessary apply the “treatment” the acute stress management techniques you will learn.
Can you now understand why mastering acute stress reduction techniques are vital for you to feel better and in control? However, they are only a small part of a larger strategy of learning how to reduce your stress and prevention. You have to learn how to change your perception (prevention) and building a strong, solid foundation by balancing your physiology!
I have to ask you a question, what would happen if you learned some new strategies? How would your life improve? What would happen if you really mastered and learned how to handle your acute stress? How would that change your outlook on the world? If you could master even one or two of these techniques “in how many ways would your life improve?
And finally, please be aware, stress reduction is also about having more joy, fun and happiness. It's about focusing more on the things that you really value and give you more meaning, purpose and direction to your life. It's about living with passion and having fulfillment!
In future articles you will explore in more detail with practical real life examples how to deal with acute stress situations, how to enhance your perception and how to build a strong stable foundation so you have fast relief from acute stress and life long happiness and joy. This will help you move from the reactive to the proactive stages where you are in control. We will also examine workplace stress reduction, relationship stress reduction, financial stress reduction and much, much more.
I'm Robert Ridpath. I hope this article served you well and allows you to live a happier, healthier life.