Imagine driving down a clear highway, sun beating down on you, not a cloud in the sky, nor a worry in the world, enjoying the day, heading to your destination.
Then, all of a sudden, out of the blue, there is a barricade ahead with a sign saying to take an alternate route. You are starting to feel a bit flustered now, a bit panicked due to this inconvenience. You then appear to get back on track again only to find yourself facing a second road blockage, getting low on gas, running late to your destination and upon rushing to the next gas station you accidentally hit a deer!
You start to ask yourself how did such a perfect day go so terribly wrong? That is what we call “stress”. Road blockages that we stumble across in our daily lives.
Stress begins with a life situation that knocks you, gently or abruptly, out of balance. You are nudged or shoved into a disequilibrium and need to right yourself. This life situation could be any change that you need to adapt to suddenly or over a period of time. Anything that throws our normal lives off balance brings on a stressful feeling to those affected by this imbalance.
On any given day, we are faced with 5-30 stressors to deal with. If we learn to best deal with these coming our way, we can find better balance in our lives which in turn leads to overall improved health and wellness.
Stressors are perceived by the mind and then translated by the brain. The brain, in turn, instructs the rest of the body how to adjust to the stressors which reacts unfavorably through the stomach, skin, lungs and liver. As humans we usually resort to the fight or flight response which increases the heart rate, affects the respiratory system and increases our cholesterol levels. The great thing is we might not be able to stop stress from coming our way at all times, however we can definitely minimize the stressors when they actually hit as opposed to making them appear larger than life.
Stress levels are all in how we perceive situations. If we see a situation as a threat, we perceive it negatively and feel out of control. If we see it as just a minor temporary inconvenience, we can quickly deal with it and move on to a clearer perception of the situation really at hand. More often than not, stressful situations can be dealt with quickly.
For more significant stressors, we need to write down our goals to best work through to a positive outcome and to help gain control over that situation before it controls us. When overwhelmed, try writing down everything troubling you in your life and then try to deal with one item at a time. Ask yourself why this is stressful to you and what you can do to minimize this stressor or completely eliminate it from your life.
It is very empowering to let go of stressors and feel freed of this toxic build-up. The more free you feel from stress, the more free you will be to feel joy in life. The choice is yours. By becoming less stressed, you create a smoother life journey. Enjoy the ride!
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