Stress: Know Your Enemy

stress-pencil-cropped300We all have stress in our lives. No matter what level of stress our individual lives contain, to each of us, the feelings are the same. In order to deal with and reduce the effects of stress on your mind and body, it’s best to start with a full understanding of the problem. Here are some important things to know about stress:

1. Positive language

If you find yourself repeating “I’m so stressed!” all day long, you should stop to think about the power of this negative speech on your mind. The things we tell ourselves about ourselves form the truths we believe about our situations. With stress, as with many other things, what we tell ourselves matters a lot, both psychologically and physically. Notice how you describe your situations and think about how you could word them differently, perhaps in a more positive way.

2. Ground zero

Often we spread the negativity that we find in our surroundings, without being completely aware of the fact. The truth is that we live in a very connected world and must be responsible for the energy that we put out into the universe. Are you adding positive thinking or negativity to the atmosphere around you? Pay attention from now on.

3. Rainbow of stress

There are several kinds of fat in food, not all of it bad for you. In fact, certain kinds of fats are quite healthy for the body. And so with stress – not all kinds of stress are created equal. The worst kind of stress is ongoing, toxic stress. There is also a kind of stress that motivates us and energizes us. This is the kind of stress to be found during split-second, emotional reactions: amazing performances on stage, first kisses, etc. We must learn to differentiate.

4. Optimists rule

An optimist is a person who is subject to stress and difficulties but continues to use positive language and thinking. They do not, as many assume, deny the truth of stress or delude themselves. Hardship can be an important first step toward evolution and growth.

5. Safe stress

You can build your own best defenses against toxic stress. Above all, be selective about the places people and situations you expose yourself to. This could include time away from your smartphone or obnoxious people. You can change your perception of tough situations and start changing your body’s response to stress through focused attention, exercise, meditation and the like.

6. Change of view

We must see stress as a path to growth. Taking a new perspective on life’s challenges will cause awful situations to look more like a long race, from the viewpoint of a runner. Discomfort and stress can be the motivator toward significant change for the better. It should also be viewed as a warning. Stress is the message that a certain situation, person or thing might be having a negative effect on our lives and should perhaps be reconsidered.

7. Stress technique

While we cannot eliminate stress from our lives completely, we can certainly learn to deal with it in the best way possible. Research shows that short spurts of stress in our lives can bring us benefits if we treat them appropriately. Ideally, our lives would be cycles of good stress and no stress periods.

8. It’s not you

At other times, you should be careful not to blame yourself for stress which truly is not your own creation. There will always be outside sources of stress that we cannot control.