We do ourselves a disservice when we ignore indications that our mind and/or body are experiencing stress. Addressing stress is critical to both physical and mental health in both the short-term and the long-term.
Chronic stress negatively impacts our immune system, our relationships, our success in academics, career, and sports, and we now know it can lead to genetic changes that cause worse outcomes for our children and grandchildren.
Why do we ignore stress?
Mostly because we think we have no choice. We think stress is part of life. We do a lot of different things and all of them are potential stressors. Culturally we have been taught that being able to handle a lot of stress means we are strong. We take pride in our ability to be like the Energizer bunny and just keep going when we are under a mountain of stress.
Do you know how your mind and body communicate to you that you’re stressed?
Here are some of the ways:
Consider these questions.
Is your body wise?
Does your body let you know when you should eat?
Does your body tell you when you are thirsty?
Does your body tell you when you need to eliminate waste?
Does your body tell you when you need to sleep?
What do you do when your body communicates that you are hungry, tired, thirsty, or need to eliminate waste? Do you ignore the signs? Of course not.
Well, you might ignore a few of them, briefly, but as soon as you are able you usually satisfy the needs your body communicates to you for food, water, sleep, or a visit to the bathroom.
Why do we treat stress as if our body isn’t communicating something important to us?
Why do we ignore the signs?
Why do we allow stress to make us sick before we listen?
Why do we allow stress to damage our relationships, perhaps even relationships we’ve vowed to maintain before we listen?
Your body is wise
It knows what you need to keep it healthy. Stop ignoring it when it tells you that your mind and body are experiencing stress. It’s not hard to reduce stress when you know how.
There is exciting news
Until recently, stress management without a therapist typically meant using a dose-dependent strategy. What does that mean? It means that you have to do the thing over and over again each time you’re stressed. Taking a pill for a headache is dose-dependent. The pill you take today doesn’t help the headache you get next week.
Dose-dependent stress management strategies are a lot like palliative care in that they don’t attempt to change the cause of the problem, they just treat symptoms.
Now there are strategies anyone can learn that move way beyond palliative stress management. We call them Advanced and Transformative Stress Management Strategies.
Advanced Stress Management Strategies are quick, proactive strategies that reduce the amount of stress you’re experiencing so you can bring your best self to solving the problem(s) that created the stress in the first place. Stress reduces your cognitive abilities so it is important to reduce the amount of stress you’re experiencing so you can find great solutions for stressors in your life. They are also great for improving relationships.
Transformational Stress Management Strategies lead to changes in your automatic thought processes that make you feel more empowered and confident. Feeling empowered and confident reduces the amount of stress anyone experiences. Think about doing something you feel confident you can do and compare it with how you feel about doing something you aren’t confident you can do. You’ll immediately realize that confidence reduces stress.
Situations do not cause stress. Our perception of situations causes stress. When we feel more confident we experience less stress. For example, many people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of death. I love speaking from the stage. The difference isn’t that I am better than anyone else. The difference is that I feel confident on the stage and they don’t so just the thought of having to do it causes them high levels of stress.
When you know you have skills that allow you to reduce your level of stress, you feel more confident about being able to meet the challenges of your day and your life.
Are You Ready for a Better Life?
Life is better when you feel confident. Life is better when you’re less stressed.
For the first time, many of the advances in stress reduction research made in recent years are being made available to the public. In a book written for real people (as opposed to scientists who are real people but tend to speak a different language), strategies that will help you reduce stress and feel more confident every day of your life will be available in September.
The combination of knowledge and skills provided in the book is all you need to make your life more of what you’ve always wanted it to be. You can pre-order now on Amazon.