Stress. What is it exactly and why is it so dangerous? I see far too many clients walking, scratch that, crawling through my door these days as a result of stress. They don’t recognize that stress is the culprit but I sure do. I can see it from a mile away: exhaustion, poor health, weight gain, emotional upheaval, etc.
Studies now prove that stress is correlated to over 90% of all illnesses. That statistic alone should be enough to catch our attention and hold it, at least long enough to read this article and see what’s up. The problem with the word stress is that it is vague and used to describe a myriad of different symptoms or problems: mental stress, emotional stress and physical stress, environmental stress. Where does one even begin?…
As a mental specialist, I empower my clients when teaching them about the forms of stress that are in their control. I start by declaring that stress is their fault. Sound a little crazy to you? Only when we are responsible for the problems in our lives do we become response-able. And in this case, most forms of mental stress actually are our fault. Mental stress is an internal reaction to external events. Therefore, it is our perception of stress that we can learn to control and thus change.
When looking at the various forms of stress, I like to focus on the entry points to change which are internal and mostly under our control. As you know from previous posts, I practice Neuro-Linguistic Programming, which is the science behind how the mind and body communicate to one another. NLP focuses a lot on your state, a combination of your mental, emotional and physical states, which combine to create your experience of reality and health.
Your mind sends messages to your body through your emotional state, stress being one of them. As the messenger between the mind and the body, it is the emotions job to alert the body when the brain perceives danger or a threat to its wellbeing. Therefore, when the brain senses something to be out of its control it alerts the alarm emotion called stress to send the body into fight or flight mode. While this can save our lives in the short term (increased adrenalin and strength to literally fight or flight), it can kill us in the long term (burning out our adrenals which play a huge roll in our health and wellbeing).
Join me the rest of this month as we take a closer look at stress, its effects and what to do about it. For now, I will ask all of you to spend the next few minutes reflecting on your current state of health and reality and see if you can pick up any clues as to where stress may be overstaying its welcome (long term stress). Make a list of all the ways stress is costing you: at home, at work, in your relationships, in your health. I will be back soon with some top-knotch tips, tricks and strategies getting in control of your stress!
Until next time, make every performance count!