Self-Importance Of Stress

“I’m so stressed out!” This is the current mantra of today and it is getting all the attention it is demanding. There is an interesting aspect of stress that few dare to admit. It is the self importance of being stressed out. The danger is that stress is a self-fulfilling state of being, the more we claim stress as part of our being the more it lingers in our body and potentially creates long lasting havoc. 

When people use stress as a status symbol that relays to the world they are busier, more successful and more important than anyone else, it provides a temporary euphoria that they enjoy... at first. This is all accomplished in the sub-conscious of the mind. Those who are experiencing this stress in their body are not aware that they have bought into the lie that stress = success. When there is an overload this is when those affected by stress call “uncle” and want to get rid of the now unwelcome guest. 

Naming every event as stressful has become the new habit of mind.The more power we give to stress, the greater the weight of stress hangs on to our mind and body. Stress is curvilinear and needs to be understood as something that is manageable and controllable. Let's say a person has zero - 25% stress in their life, they are often bored and unmotivated. Then there are those with 75-100% stress in their life and they are frustrated and anxious, but there is a sweet spot of stress that is energizing, motivating, and comforting somewhere around 40-60 % level. Knowing and understanding where that sweet spot of stress lies is the work of stress management. 

The ability to recognize the right amount of stress leads to greater productivity and positive results can be helpful for those who tend to label every experience as stressful. When your brain labels everything as a stressor your body begins to believe it and react with headaches, digestive issues, insomnia etc. Changing the habit of mind to label everything as an experience allows a person to be in the moment, and react more conscientiously. The heart rate regulates, breathing is deeper, thinking becomes clearer. 

Dr. David Olsen of Life Innovations says, “Stress begins or ends up in a relationship”. So, appreciating and managing stress is key to healthy relationships. Here are six ways to counteract the seductive mantra of the stressed out life.

1. Delete the phrase “I’m so stressed out” from your vocabulary. What you say effects your brain and body, pay attention to the words and phrases you use and refrain from speaking stress into existence. 

2. Learn how to breathe away the feelings in your body that you once labeled as stress.Three deep inhales and exhales with your eyes closed will transform your thoughts, bring more oxygen to your brain and allow you to think more clearly. 

3. Practice the art of mindfulness. Throughout the day pay focused attention on the sensations you are experiencing in the moment. At least 10 times in a day focus on what you are hearing, feeling, seeing, experience the sound of the road, feeling of water as you wash your hands, the changing fall colors. 

4. Hyperventilate five times a week! In other words Exercise! Physical activity will deactivate the power of stress in your life!

5. Look for the gift and opportunity in everything that you encounter in a day without a label of good or bad. Judgment often gets in the way of discovering possibilities. 

6. Help others see the futility of harboring stress in their body. Helping others helps you. Get control of stress before stress controls you!

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Stressful events happen, stress filled days can be a reality, if you learn to manage and dedicate yourself to changing the habit of mind from stressed out to stress controlled you will experience more power and freedom in your life and your relationships.