Short Circuit Stress

You have probably heard of stories of amazing strength under very stressful situations.

When confronted with a stressful situation your body activates the stress response – and stress hormones such as adrenaline are released into your body.

This prepares your body for fight or flight.

The stress response has served an important purpose for our ancestors – those who were able to escape the saber-toothed tiger to live another day can probably thank the stress response and the kick of adrenaline.

However, many of the pressures that we face today don’t really require the effects of the fight or flight response to help us survive the stressful event.

It would be silly, even absurd to fight or flee from financial stress, work stress or a busy schedule – some of today’s more modern stressors.

But these stressors can occur on a daily basis, leaving our stress response turned on.

This may mean that we may be suffering from chronic stress – which can lead to increased risk of stress related illnesses.

What can you do in the face of this unrelenting stress?

The good news is that there is a lot that you can do.

Diet, exercise, adequate support and environmental planning are some of the strategies that you can use to beat stress.

Relaxation techniques can also help you to counter the effects of stress and give your body the chance to rest and recuperate.

Many people consider watching TV or browsing the Internet as a means to relax. However, these do not turn on the relaxation response.

The relaxation response physiologically counters the stress response – providing a way that you can recover from the effects of stress.

There are many relaxation techniques, such as meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, breathing exercises, imagery, and autogenic training that you can use to provide stress relief.

These relaxation strategies have been shown to short-circuit the stress response and using your body’s natural mechanism to bring you back to a state of homeostasis.

However relaxation techniques are a skill. Like other skill, whether it is playing tennis or learning to drive, skills require practice to master.

Don’t put off relaxation skills until you are stressed to your eyeballs. Find out what works for you today and practice and master your relaxation skills daily.

I have found in my practice that some people love meditation while others can’t seem to get the hang of it and prefer guided imagery or another relaxation strategy.

What is important is that you find what works for you in your particular situation.

Find out what works for you and take control of stress today!