Stress has been around forever. What’s unique today is the convergence of problems on a world scale – technology, global warming, terrorism all working together to bring us to a boiling point. We need to raise to our highest human potential and come together to solve the problems at hand – we are living in an age of fear. Fear is broadcast into the media – fear sells and we can opt not to buy into it. We need to be strong and address the challenges, to stay centered and take the time to deal with the problems at hand.
For maximum health benefits stress needs to be short-term and only mildly stimulating, and with a positive result at the end. Things like racing around to get the house in order before friends come over or meeting a last-minute deadline, for example, or even running for (and catching!) a bus. The good news is that once you can identify good stress from bad you can begin to approach tasks with energy instead of dread. The next time your boss tells you that she wants to see that report finished and on her desk in 45 minutes, don't panic; just think of the potential life-enhancing benefits to your long-term health and embrace the challenge with a smile instead.
Learn to reframe the situation in a positive light. Stop worrying; focus on what you can control.
Human intelligence has given us the awareness of illness and mortality – something not recognized by other forms of life. Awareness of our mortality lead to fundamental worries and anxieties. Stressful thoughts lead to secretion of stress related norepinephrine which impedes our evolutionary derived natural healing capacities. These thoughts are often just in our minds and are not a reality.
Programs are available that can counterbalance the effects of stress
This exercise helps us to identify the areas in our lives where we have highest and lowest satisfaction. Areas of low satistaction can become stressful.
Take ideas from areas that are working and apply them to areas of low satisfaction.
If we have energy drainers we will feel more stressed. Learn the benefits of identifying the energy drainers in your life so you can take small steps to eliminate them. Environment plays a big role is stress reduction – electromagnetic pollution from computers, and other things contributing to a toxic environment. Television has been referred to as the “plug-in drug and as human kryptonite. It’s a tool to deliver the message of a lifestyle that most people can’t afford or shouldn’t have. TV is terribly addictive – what we really need is to take more time to explore our inner selves and come to terms with the issues and problems we have so we can be better equipped to deal more effectively with stress. We can also maintain a better balance with our loved ones, friends and community because we are all connected as one big family.
The big payoff comes from having a multidimensional approach. Important to lead by example – leaders are role models and can learn to demonstrate strong healthy boundaries. Leaders do not want a stress-free environment as it wouldn’t be very motivating – yet balance is crucial and it is the leaders who need to model. The importance of bringing people together is one of the most important steps in reducing stress. Isolation has devastating effects. Story telling, shared lunch time, walking buddies, family activities, wellness team Relate study of monkeys – some were isolated and some abused – those who were isolated were most distressed and developed more disorders and illnesses.
Relaxations classes = yoga Stress reduction classes = a comprehensive program that FEI can offer teaching meditation, movement, thought changing, lifestyle habits
Live more on purpose
Meditation cleanses the mind – its like getting rid of unwanted emails – its calms the body and the mind. Meditation decreases norepinephrin and increases nitric oxide thus decreasing heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension and inducing other healthful benefits Meditation rebalances the brain – not only slowing the brain waves but also experiencing whole-brain integration. When we feel agitated the brain is making a lot of beta wave patterns causing heightened awareness and/or agitation. One hemisphere is working harder than the other causing an imbalance in brain function. Left and right hemispheres may be out of sync. Trying to mange your time more efficiently can actually exacerbate the problem. Meditating addresses the problem at its source as it alters your brain waves by increasing alpha waves.
Monitor reactions with thoughts – objective – don’t get attached to your thoughts Know that all things are impermanent.