Stress is the physical expression of the “flight or fight” mechanism in our body. A threatening situation will trigger this response and prepare us to confront or flee the possible danger. There are two types of stress. Acute stress and chronic stress. Acute stress prepares us for the flight or fight response and is generally short term. Chronic stress is long term and is the main cause of stress-related health problems. Examples include, trouble with your job, financial issues, marital problems, issues with kids, caring for a loved one that requires a lot of attention, emotional/ personal issues, etc.
We all know that stress isn’t good for our health. It leads to decreased immune function, heart disease, high blood pressure, emotional issues, loss of sleep, weight gain, lack of energy and digestive issues just to name a few. With the demands today in our society for men and women, stress is on the rise. Because of this, yoga and meditation, are becoming more popular. Articles flood the news and social media with the benefits of such and this is needed now, more than ever.
We’ve all been taught that stress is bad for us and so many of us are searching for ways to rid the body of chronic stress. But, stress is inevitable. Life happens. You can’t avoid it. But, what if we changed the way we view stress? What if I told you, that if we view stress as a positive, we can physiologically change the way our body responds to stress? If you change the way you view stress, it can actually help you! Emerging science on stress mindsets proves it is possible to change our attitude on stress.
Allow me to give you an example. A study was done by Harvard on two groups of people put in a stressful situation. The first group of people were told that when their bodies are in the stress response, it was a positive thing. Their bodies were being energized to meet this challange. When they felt their heart pounding its a good thing! that means their bodies were preparing them for action. When they felt their breathing increase, thats okay.Their bodies are getting more oxygen! The second group of people were put through a stressful situation and were told nothing. The group that was told that the stress response that they were about to experience was a good thing, showed less physiological response in the body! The group that was told nothing, and just had the stressful experience showed the normal stress-related physiological response in the body. This is the response that leads to stress – releated health issues.
This study was an “AHA MOMENT” for me. If we can change the way we view ourselves, others, and create a peace inside that reduces stress, through many different techniques, it makes perfect sense to change the way we view how we stress. We can stop stressing about being stressed! Coaches, Counselors, Phycologists, are constantly trying to remove the stress response for their clients and while this is a very healthy thing and can change health drastically, we cannot take the stress away from someone’s life completely. But we CAN CHANGE our mind about stress. We all know that being positive has great benefits to overall health. So I invite you to be more positive about stress.
If you say to yourself the next time you are stressed that this is your body rising to the challange, your body will actually believe you. Your stress response becomes healthier physically and emotionally! In a way, we are embracing stress instead of fighting it. Some ways you can change your mind about stress include: 1) View the body’s response to stress as helpful, not debilitating. 2) View the stress response as a way you can learn and grow from it. 3) View stress in a way that everyone goes through it, and you are not alone. So no matter what life stressors you have, practice embracing it. Change your mind about stress and change your life.
LOts of LOve,