Secrets to Reducing Stress
As a sufferer of PTSD, I understand how important it is to get stress under control. I researched many ways of reducing stress and we all know about diet, exercise, meditation, and in some cases. Drugs. I agree that a healthy diet, regular exercise and time to quiet the mind is very necessary for reducing stress. However, this article is to give you a more in-depth view of how you can eliminate much of the anxiety you have in your life today.
The below have been the most effective means of controlling my stress, allowing me to have a happier and more productive lifestyle.
Fear stresses the body more than any other emotion. The body reacts to fear for its ability to survive; NOT thrive. By living with a fearful mind, you can put the body into a “fight or flight” state. The body will begin to use adrenaline, causing your heart rate and breathing to increase. In this state the body cannot digest food properly, rest peacefully, or respond adequately to daily tasks. Sadly, many spend 100% of their time battling with their own fear. I call this “mindful fear”.
Mindful fears can only be released when you realize that it is not happening to you right now. Fear is simply our perception of a person or thing. Only the mind can produce fear. For example, when you feel a fearful thought, ask yourself if what you are thinking is really true, or is it simply a fear you are projecting? The body knows no difference between what is imagined and what is real. Once you realize that what you fear is NOT real, your body will relax knowing that it is again safe.
Playing pretend was part of every childhood, whether you were pretending to be an astronaut, cowboy, Wonder Woman or simply a mommy with her family, you were creating a happy reality by your thoughts. Imagine yourself and your life exactly how you would like it to be. Post photos of places and things in nearby places that remind you or represent that which you wish to achieve. Anytime you are feeling stressed, give yourself a few minutes to pretend that you have everything you want in life. Just by doing this you reverse the stress to a more positive, productive motion. It allows you to let go of the stress, putting your mind in a place that it is happy and relaxed.
Close your eyes for a moment or two and imagine the perfect outcome of any situation. By allowing your mind to visualize the most positive outcome, you are now allowing your mind to be open to other thoughts and ideas that are validated and created upon that thought.
We forget that there are so many things in life that we have to be grateful for. Anytime you are feeling stressed, you can turn your attention to the things in your life today (NOW) that you are grateful for. In an effort to always be getting somewhere or something, we often overlook all that we have successfully achieved along the way. By being grateful for that which we have, we allow more to come.
Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, has done much of the research on gratitude and has publicized “Gratitude is associated with higher levels of good cholesterol (HDL), lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), and lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, both at rest and in the face of stress. It also has been linked with higher levels of heart rate variability, a marker of cardiac coherence, or a state of harmony in the nervous system and heart rate that is equated with less stress and mental clarity.”
Start a list of the things you are grateful for and add to that list daily.
Studies have proven that managers who say “thank you” to their employees find them to be more motivated and productive. Saying “thank you” works both for the giver and the receiver. Every time you say you thank someone, you reduce your own stress just by acknowledging a small act of gratefulness, not to mention, you will also have a better relationship with the person you thanked, and they too will have a better day.
The more love and appreciation we send to others, the more we feel it within ourselves. Practice smiling and seeing the world and all in it being in harmony with you. It will smile back at you.