The nervous system doesn't differentiate between a threat to your ego and a threat to your body. My six point plan helps you to overcome stress.
Stress is caused by your body preparing to face a physical threat – and then doing nothing. When we get wound up our bodies prepare to hit something or to run away – that’s how our ancestors stayed alive before we built towns with walls and weapons to defend ourselves.
Of course, nowadays, most of the problems and treats we face are psychological. We worry about exams, or money or what someone might say but our bodies still react physically. The body releases adrenaline into the bloodstream, digestion is halted, and blood is concentrated in the major muscles because the nervous system doesn’t differentiate between a threat to your ego and a threat to your body. My six point plan helps you to overcome stress and keep calm.
My Six Point Plan to Control Stress
1. Breathe out deeply 3 times. If you feel yourself getting stressed, breathe out, all the way to the bottom of your lungs, then let go. The in breath happens automatically as your diaphragm pulls in more air. As you breathe all the way out you move your breathing from short, shallow breathing at the top of you lungs which is associated with stress, to deep long natural breaths from your diaphragm which sends a powerful signal to your body to calm down.
2. Be kind to yourself. A major cause of stress is internal dialogue – the way we talk to ourselves when we are thinking things through. Remember what sort of voice you used the last time you were stressed. Change the tone of the voice. If it was harsh, make it friendly, if it was high-pitched make it lower, if it was fast, slow it down. Change it as many ways you want until it is kinder. You may still have to think things through, but you don’t have to be rude or abusive to yourself!
3. Make one positive change to your environment every day. Research has shown that the more people express themselves in their surroundings the more relaxed they become – so every day do something, no matter how small to make your environment nicer. It could by picking a bunch of flowers for the kitchen or bringing a picture in to work, it doesn’t matter. Just everyday do something to make your environment nicer for you.
4. Exercise every day. Stress has a large physical component – and one of the very best ways to relax is to use up that physical energy. Just twenty minutes in the gym or even a brisk walk for 15 minutes in the fresh air will help your body relax. It’s so simple it’s easy to forget, but exercise really is one of the best ways to get your mind and body balanced.
5. Reframe your situation. Our reactions are caused by how we interpret the world – nothing in itself is stressful, only the way we see it. If you see a person, a situation or an event as threatening, your body will register stress. So whenever something stresses, you see it in your mind’s eye. Then drain out the color, make the picture black and white – then imagine it shrinking, spinning away from you and disappearing. Any time you feel threatened do that again and then create a picture, in big, bold color, of you dealing calmly and brilliantly with the situation.
6. Twice a day take a power nap. Your body has a natural tendency to relax every 90 minutes. You’ll recognize these times by a sweet soft feeling in your muscles, your eyes want to close and it’s difficult to concentrate. It doesn’t matter if you ignore most of these times but it is very good for you to hitch a ride on them twice a day for 5 minutes or so. You wake up feeling refreshed and relaxed and you perform better. What’s more, while you rested, your body’s immune and healing system used the time to optimize your health.
Twice a day when you are feeling a bit drowsy, take a power nap for just 5 minutes or so and you’ll feel great and stay healthy.
I hope you find these tips helpful. Write me and let me know how they work for you.
Til next time… blessings…