Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Some Ideas on Dealing with Stress

The Australian SBS TV news a week or so ago had a short item about some recent research that had been done into reducing stress. We each tend to have habitual responses to certain stress triggers (almost like mini program along the lines of "IF blah THEN respond this way"). Such stress leads to changes in our mental and physical well being (ironically its usually we that suffers the adrenal overload and subsequent mind-body response, not the target of our anger or frustration). IF we can catch ourselves as soon as we start reacting to something we can ask ourselves three questions:
  • is it important
  • is my response level appropriate
  • can I change anything.
If the answer is "no" to any of these questions then its time to reflect and consider if its really worth getting stressed about.

I should have remembered all this when my credit card wouldn't work at the supermarket at the weekend and I ended up waiting in the ten deep queue at the service desk to get another go at paying.  Was it important? - well a nuisance but not big in the scheme of things - credit cards do these things.  Was my response level appropriate - no, because I got frustrated waiting in the queue and that only got me feeling off for the rest of the day.  Could I change anything? - no because there were only so many staff and thats not their fault, its the corporations and it was probably a bank or scanning error - none of which I could stop from happening again.

So when the subconscious program takes over and you don't catch yourself in time with those three questions what do you do to regain equilibrium? I watched a relaxation/self-hypnosis video on Youtube which contained an interesting thought - trance is a rhythm that you can learn.  That got me thinking that health and happiness must have its own rhythm too.  So then I visualized/mentally remembered how I felt when I felt right with the world and focused on that.  It took a few goes to keep bringing myself to focus on that rather than what had annoyed me but after a few goes it started to take root.  So for me it does seem that wellness/happiness does have its own rhythm and if you can remember how that feels and visualize it your body-mind will respond in reasonably short-time.

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