If you ask your grandfather about stress, he will have a lot to tell you. He will tell you that during his times stress was not that rampant. The world was evolving, times were slow and steady. People mattered a lot. There was time then to socialise, meet friends and relatives and travel. Life was compartmentalised. Work and home. These zones would rarely cross each other. People enjoyed their journeys while getting to their destination. Lifespan was longer. People then lived up life and celebrated often. There was just a landline where the phone rang less often.
Yes, times have changed so much. We live in a world where we have much to do. Stress has become a way of life for us across the world. Expectations and wants have skyrocketed. Plus the digital world has made everything ‘here and now’. If you ask your Doctor what is stress, he will have a lot to tell you. Stress is an auto response to what you think is a threat. Hormones and chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol immediately trigger a ‘fight or flight’ response in a human being. It drives you from normal state to a danger zone state. Your heartbeat rate immediately shoots up, your immune system becomes less effective, your muscles get tense, ready to fight. If you live in a chronic stress state it creates, anxiety, irritability, depression and even makes it difficult for you to get proper sleep.
It is unlikely that we will ever live in a stress free world. To reduce its long term physical and mental health issues, we need to become stress resistant. Is this possible? Develop a ‘Stress Resistant Mindset’. Remember, mindsets can be very powerful and positive results can be sudden and transformative. Here are some fundamentals to develop this new mindset.
Control how you react to stress
Think back at a recent crisis which hit you personally. What happened? Were you in control of yourself? Were you able to prioritise and think logically? Its never the anticipated or unanticipated situations that derail us. Its how you react to these situations. It’s the same with stress and how you react to stress. You could hyperventilate or be cool and examine your options. There are two kinds of stress. Positive and negative stress. Positive stress is actually good for you. It’s the negative stress that takes you from your comfort zone to your danger zone. This very danger zone is highly inflammable. Learn to control your reaction to stress and instead look at solutions. This small change in your attitude can do wonders.
Learn the art and science of stress management
Stress management comprises of physical and mental corrective measures to reduce your stress. But first you have to accept reality. Today’s world is volatile and uncertain. Human culture has changed very fast. Once you accept stress is the new reality of this world we live in, half your battle is over. The art of stress management is developing a natural ability to stand tall in stressful situations and wade through. The science of stress management is managing your reactions and therefore minimising the damage to your mind and body. Stress management includes preparing yourself by being healthy and fit. Practicing Yoga and meditation also helps. Even learning the art of ‘Happiness’.
Stress tolerance is not Stress resistance
‘Stress tolerance’ is learning to live with stress whereas ‘Stress resistance’ is almost developing an immunity to stress. If you are stress tolerant, you will have the tendency to live with stress while facing its onslaught and various health negatives. Every time we face stress it only makes us stronger. Our brain has this amazing ability to adapt and change, so if you condition your brain to respond to stress as a learning opportunity rather than fear, your own response to stress will transform. With practice, soon you will develop a ‘Stress Resistant Mindset’.
“Stress is not what happens to us. It’s our response TO what happens. And RESPONSE is something we can choose.” Maureen Killoran
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