Effective Stress Management Is Key
Shift your focus from paralyzing anxiety, overwhelm and worry to endless power and energy
Learn about stress response & how to influence it
Learn how the Stress response works
There is a section of our brains known as the amygdala. It is involved with the experiencing of emotions. It is also the BIG RED BUTTON. Whenever our brain feels a type of threat or detects fear, the amygdala releases chemicals which sends the body into fight or flight. This means that the body physically prepares itself to fight the threat or escape from it. Due to the survival mechanism of our brains, amygdala constantly scans our environment for threats and presses the red button in case there is one. But what is a threat and how real are these threats? Are these threats made up? Is there an old false belief behind the 'threat'? Is it a pattern or is it an association to just one single event? Let's find out what is really behind the threats that is making our amygdala hit the red button. Keep in mind that the brain is here to protect us and it does not always know the difference between a real experience and an imaginary one.
Automated thinking patterns
Stress responses are often carried out automatically and within milliseconds. This can be a great functionality because if there was to be a real threat we can be on alert immediately. The problem is that most of the time there are not real threats and the stress responses still respond within milliseconds. And the more we respond the faster we get the stress chemicals in the future. Why do we respond even if we consciously know that the situation is not a threat to our lives? The answer is that we may have had bad experiences in the past which lead our amygdala to perceive it as threat and we reacted by activating the fight or flight nervous system. That specific situation has been saved as a new threat file in the brain and it will always be used when a similar situation happens. It becomes a hardwired pattern in the brain. As the brain does not know the difference between a real threat and a fictive one, the pattern kicks in all the time and becomes stronger. Learn how to break such a pattern and how to build a new one; it requires consistent practice but it can be done.
Living under continuous releases of stress hormones can lead to addiction
Addiction in general is very common. People can get addicted to drugs, alcohol, gaming, sugar and other well-known behaviors. But addiction is just the body asking for specific chemicals out of an emotional hit. The more we experience that emotion the more the body get used to the chemicals and an addiction is formed. If the emotion is no longer felt because the situation has improved, the body starts to tease the mind to produce thoughts which create the emotion and consequently the chemicals are released again. The same thing happens with stress, we live under continuous stress hormones like cortisol and we become addicted to it. A small test if you are already addicted to cortisol, observe your free days and note if you start to get upset for things you usually don't do. There is an explanation for this behavior. If you are having continuous stress response during your workdays, your body gets fed almost all the time with stress chemicals and it becomes used to it. During your weekend
and vacations you have less stress responses and your body misses the chemicals and sends signals to the brain to do something about it. Thoughts are produced in order to create the emotion and release the needed chemicals to satisfy the body.
All stress is not bad! Change the perception
Stress is typically viewed as being bad. We know it can drain our energy and even harm our system. So we attempt to avoid stress on all costs. But all stress does not equal bad stress, there is positive stress too. The positive stress fuels you with energy and gives you the push to achieve your goals. The key is to reframe the situation and to apply another perception to the stress sources. Since stress response is almost always initiated in the subconscious mind, changing the perception requires practice and patience. Reframing and changing the perception requires different strategies and tool whereas some tools are short term and others long term. But most importantly, it requires consistency and commitment
Powerful techniques to reduce stress response during your daily life
The need for practical tools and strategies to manage stress response is bigger than ever. There is a long-term approach which requires us to understand and re-program the subconscious mind and there are short term tools that can be used when the stress response starts to raise. Here are examples of very effective tools to manage stress response: Breathing and calming down the circuits. Taking slow and deep breaths like 5-4-8: inhale for 5 seconds, hold for 4, exhale for 8. EFT, emotional freedom technique, also known as tapping. Thinking about what is stressing you out while simultaneously tapping along specific meridian endpoints on your body. NLP techniques- Swish Pattern. Imagine the bad image and feel the emotions of a memory, create a new target or goal picture, imagine the new emotions and details and then *swissshhhh* the new one using your mind's eye. This is changing the emotional associations to an experience by creating a new feeling or emotion and putting it over the bad feeling until the old feeling is gone.
Stress is not only created in the brain, it is also created in the gut.
Depression, according to traditional psychology, is created due less serotonin in the brain.Well why do we have less serotonin in the brain and what do we do about it? The first treatment is often prescription drugs such as antidepressants, which according to studies, slows down the uptake of the hormone serotonin in the brain and therefore leaves the brain prolonged better mood. Good, but these medications have tons of other side effect and creates even more stress. Is that our only option and is it even a solution? There is one major key that needs to be understood, serotonin is created in the gut. If the food we eat on an ongoing basis is junk such as gluten, processed foods, and sugars, we won't get enough serotonin and this can also cause damage to the gut. We must heal the gut to heal our minds. The gut and the brain are in constant communication. If we do not create enough serotonin, the gut signals to the brain "you have to do something" and in turn your brain might tell you that you crave sugar. Sugars release short-term dopamine and it may feel good but it does not last long. In addition to eating healthier foods, it is important that we move our body an a daily basis. Even if it's just a walk. Slowly lower or eliminate sugar and gluten intake, move your body outside and heal your gut to also have a healthy mind.
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