10 steps to reduce stress in your life

Stress can exacerbate pain, cause depression, obesity, digestive disorders, autoimmune diseases, heart disease and even contribute to the advancement of Alzheimer’s and cancer.

Stress can exacerbate pain, cause depression, obesity, digestive disorders, autoimmune diseases, heart disease and even contribute to the advancement of Alzheimer’s and cancer.

by John Koeberer  — 

There is no doubt that stress kills. Many health professionals and medical analyses validate the strong negative impact stress can have on your health and general well-being, as well as your longevity. It is the chronic, day-in and day-out stress that is the problem.

Stress can exacerbate pain, cause depression, obesity, digestive disorders, autoimmune diseases, heart disease and even contribute to the advancement of Alzheimer’s and cancer. Hard evidence indicates that uncontrolled stress takes a major detrimental toll in so many areas affecting health — physical, mental and emotional. There is good reason to learn how to control it.

Stress is the result of receiving some sort of threat to your well-being, causing your body to react by secreting cortisol and adrenaline, which increases your heartbeat, blood pressure, strength, stamina and general alertness. That threat can come from many sources, but it usually is job- or relationship-based. Other sources can be problems with your children, health or finances, along with your own unrealistic expectations.

Your muscles become tight, your senses are heightened and you are ready for flight or fight. These reactions were learned many centuries ago for survival reasons. We all know that prolonged stress is bad stuff; the important thing is learning how to deal with it effectively. Here are 10 steps to help.

  1. Accept the fact that few escape stress. Do not think you are immune and not subject to its negative consequences. Know thy enemy. Educate yourself more fully on just how stress can manifest itself.
  2. Know for certain that you can beat stress. This is key, as it is this inner knowing — not just believing — that will make you successful in your head-to-head encounters with stress. Go on the Internet to review all the positive stories of those who have successfully dealt with stress and come out on the other side with productive and happy lives. Much knowledge and wisdom can be gleaned from what others have experienced in similar situations as yours and how they successfully dealt with them.
  3. Get comfortable with your own physical, emotional and mental self-maintenance regimens. Know that a good diet and a strong exercise program, combined with a positive self-image and some inaugural low-key spiritual practices, can prepare you to deal successfully with stress. Just the knowledge that your mind, body and soul are in sound shape is a huge deterrent to stress getting a foothold.
  4. Adopt the attitude that “as one door closes, another one always opens.” Know that all things happen for a reason and that something better is just around the corner. When you start “knowing” this, you will see so many examples magically start to appear in your life.
  5. Bring humor into your life. Documentation abounds on the positive impact of humor. Watch funny movies, explore humor on the Internet and learn to laugh things off. When you laugh, your body secretes endorphins — positive mood enhancers.
  6. Adopt more positive friends and discard those who are continually negative. Negative people have an immense impact — avoid them. Cheer up your living environment by bringing more cheerful, optimistic and friendly people into your life. Turn the lights up, take time to smell the flowers and treat yourself on a regular basis to some chocolate, a splurge dinner or relaxing vacation. It is important to have something to look forward to that makes you smile.
  7. Bring more sunshine into your life, literally. Vitamin D3 is good for positive physical, mental and emotional enhancement. Get out from under the umbrella and enjoy the warmth for short periods.
  8. Adopt the thought that “this too shall pass.” We all can recollect so many instances in our life that we thought at the time were real deal killers, only to turn out to be small anthills in our life journeys.
  9. Eliminate the need to be “right.” Needing to be right is so important for so many of us that we destroy relationships, careers and eventually ourselves in its pursuit. Dr. Wayne Dyer has a great way to diffuse situations in which you find yourself needing to be right. He suggests simply saying to the opposing party, “You are right about that.” Then let it go.
  10. Most importantly, imagine yourself living a life without stress. Deeply internalize what that life might look like and feel the emotions that accompany that life. Begin to live your life as if it were already in place and surrounding you. Adopt some time each day for contemplative moments to remember to do all the above exercises, but especially this one.

Someday in the future, health experts will look back at how we are living our lives and realize just how deadly stress was to our 21st century society.

 

John Koeberer is co-founder, CEO and president of The California Parks Co., a company serving the hospitality needs of visitors to state and national parks. Greenlightfuture.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 32, Number 4, August/September 2013.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Web Analytics