A stressor: anything you think of, and feel to be annoying, bothersome, frightening, “bad” for you. It becomes stress when you don’t dismiss it after a couple of minutes and move on.
Your body’s reaction to a stressor is meant as a life-saving protection. It works that way throughout the animal kingdom, allowing the animal to survive an attack. You’ve heard of Fight or Flight?
That’s what your body prepares to do in reaction to a stressor. All functions in your body that are not related to making you run faster, make your heart pump faster, your brain focused on escape, etc. are slowed down significantly, because they are unnecessary right now. But if you don’t turn off your reaction to the stressor, your body’s reaction continues! That’s what can cause serious chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and even overweight!
The problem is for humans, we rarely need the fight or flight response. But our reactions to common day annoying occurrences become like serial stressors, such as :
- waiting in line,
- missing meals because you’re too busy to eat,
- relationship problems,
- financial difficulties,
- making a public announcement,
- listening to the news, worrying
Remember, these stressors are things, YOU have judged in your mind, to be stressors. In fact, very often your REACTION to the stressor (the stress reaction) becomes worse than the original stressor could ever be!
Let it go! Examine what things bother you, and ask your heart: Is there a better way to look at this? What changes can you make in your attitude and behavior that would downgrade your reaction to a potential stressor.
Victor Frankl, whose entire family was murdered by the Nazis, while he was a moved into horrendous concentration camps in Germany during World War 2, found that searching for meaning in the life you have, was the thing that helped people to survive these horrors.
Yes, you can get sick and even die from your reaction to stress!
I hope that you never have such a horrible challenge as Frankl. But your everyday annoyances add up, unless you learn to view them with a different mindset. And if you are relieving stress, that means you have already allowed it to bother you. It’s time to start re-evaluating what is truly a stressor, and learn how to turn down the volume so it doesn’t bother you in the first place.
But when something does become stressful, the most immediate solution is: take a few slow breaths (through your nose only…), extending your exhale to make it longer than the inhale. It’s like a sigh of relief. Then focus on Gratitude. It is the antidote to stress.
My programs help you to vanquish stress, and deal more effectively with the truly difficult aspect in your life that may be making you sick and miserable. Discover how much better you can feel. Health and happiness is not just the absence of illness: It’s learning how to live a joyful life that you notice daily!