Saturday, January 25, 2014

On Handling Stress

We can thank Canadian doctor, Hans Selye, for making us so aware of the meaning of stress. He is often called the Father of Stress Research because of his studies into the psycho physiological responses of the body to anything external to itself. These are necessary responses, of course, for without them we would essentially be dead at some level. However Dr. Selye made a distinction between what he termed normal stress and distress, the negative response to stimuli that was often too frequent and too demanding. No news here, but what has become important over time is how we have learned to manage distress.

Pay attention to what is going on within us...

In order to live healthy lives we really have no choice but to pay attention to what is going on within us when it comes to responding to the demands of our lives. Are we, in other words, simply handling daily stress…or are we struggling to wade through constant distress? If you’ve ever seen pictures of adrenal glands made enormous because of the constant pumping of adrenaline into the body systems, you would know that the “fight-or-flight” mechanisms that come forth to protect us are now working overtime. Often it’s fight or flight as a regular, systematic response.

Life cannot help us with this...

Life cannot help us with this. We know it will continue to put up things and situations to which we must pay attention, so it will be up to us to “de-stress” ourselves. People who are aware of the sanctity of their inner lives understand this and will be highly alert to when they are going into “high rev,” which often ends in systems’ overloads. What are the questions to ask here, such as: Is this trip necessary? Am I cramming four things into a space for three? Or three things in a space for two? Must I constantly be occupied with something “gainful” all the time? What about some good “being” time for myself?

Health and wellbeing are way more important...

Yes, what about this? Maybe my health and wellbeing are way more important than the things of my life. We are at the beginning of a new year. Maybe there are things we could do differently.

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