Stress is normal. There are many causes of stress: work,
family, decisions, the future. Stress affects us mentally,
physically and emotionally. It can be caused by a major life event,
such as illness, death of a loved one, new baby, work change
(promotion or loss), moving, marriage or divorce. Or it can be
caused by the constant, cumulative impact of small stresses that
Think about this:
Hold a glass of water in your hand.
Now, if you hold it for a minute - no problem.
If you hold it for an hour - your arm will begin to hurt.
If you hold it for an entire day, you'll probably have to go to the
You see, it isn't the weight of the
glass of water that causes the problem. It's how long you hold it.
It's the same way with stress. The longer you hold on to stress,
the more of a burden it becomes and the more it affects your
So learn to put down your burdens and
rest before taking them up again. Leave your burdens at the end of
the day. Don't bring them home.
A good way to learn to do that is to
write it down. Take a piece of paper, or a notebook, and write down
EVERYTHING that you have to remember, everything you have to do, to
say, etc. Our conscious mind is constructed so that once the
thoughts are on paper, the mind can relax, knowing it does not have
to spend time, energy and resources on those thoughts anymore. Try
this - it really works!
The next day, when you're refreshed,
you have a new perspective and you feel stronger and more able to
deal with the issues.
Stress can affect us negatively, or
positively. Good stress pushes us to accomplish tasks, improve
ourselves and react well when in danger. However, bad stress puts
us at risk of harming our relationships, our jobs and our
Our bodies are designed,
pre-programmed if you wish, with a set of automatic responses to
deal with stress. This system is very effective for the short term
"fight or flight" responses we need when faced with an immediate
danger. The problem is that our bodies deal with all types of
stress in the same way. Experiencing stress for long periods of
time (such as with lower level daily stresses) will activate this
system, but it doesn't get the chance to "turn off". The body's
"pre-programmed" response to stress has been called the
"Generalized Stress Response" and includes:
(From the Basic Certification Training Program: Participant's
Manual, Copyright 1999 by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
Increased blood pressure
Increased metabolism (e.g., faster heartbeat, faster respiration)
Decrease in protein synthesis, intestinal movement (digestion), immune and allergic response
Increased cholesterol and fatty acids in blood for energy production systems
Localized inflammation (redness,
swelling, heat and pain)
Faster blood clotting
Increased production of blood sugar for energy
Increased stomach acids
How does your body accomplish this? By releasing stress hormones.
One of the stress hormones is adrenalin. It is pumped into your
blood, allowing your body to respond quickly. Another, and more
dangerous hormone, is called cortisol. It arrives a little later
and it gives us extra strength in a way that can harm the body.
Cortisol actually taxes the body.
Humans have the ability to be stressed
through their thoughts alone. Remembering past stressful
situations, thinking about present problems or worrying about
future events can cause us to become stressed. The subconscious
does not distinguish between "real" stress and "imagined" ones. It
reacts either way.
While each person is different and has
different events and issues that cause stress, there are some
issues that almost universally affect people. You want to
understand and take steps to learn to cope with these
Feeling out of control
Feeling without direction
Committing yourself to more than you
Change, especially changes you didn't
There are many different signs and
symptoms that can indicate when someone is having difficulty coping
with the amount of stress they are experiencing:
(from CCOHS - Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and
grinding teeth, clenched jaws, chest pain, shortness of breath,
pounding heart, high blood pressure, muscle aches, indigestion,
constipation or diarrhea, increased perspiration, fatigue,
insomnia, frequent illness.
anxiety, irritability, sadness, defensiveness, anger, mood swings,
hypersensitivity, apathy, depression, slowed thinking or racing
thoughts, feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, or of being
overeating or loss of appetite, impatience, quickness to argue,
procrastination, increased use of alcohol or drugs, increased
smoking, withdrawal or isolation from others, neglect of
responsibility, poor job performance, poor personal hygiene, change
in close family relationships.
Normally these signs or symptoms do
not happen all at once, and each person has their own unique
What affects your ability to
How much control you believe you have over these events
and their outcomes. When people feel dis-empowered, their stress
levels go up. It is important to find an area within the stressful
situation that you can control - and do something about it. Take
control - however small or large. It is important to begin to feel
that you have some control over what is happening. Think out of the
box - be creative. And remember - if nothing else, you always have
control over how you choose to react.
How can you do that?
What can you do about stress? Learn relaxation techniques
like the Relaxation Exercises you can download from this website,
Meditation or Self-Hypnosis.
Get one of our great Self-Hypnosis CDs for Stress Reduction at our Online Store.
What is Self-Hypnosis?
Progressively relaxing your body so that your mind can
focus. Regain your sense of control, confidence and calm.
You can learn to de-activate your negative reactions to stressful
situations and you can learn how to relax.
Check out the CDs "Let Your Stress Go" and "Learn To Be Stress-Free" in our Online Store. Get your copy today!
For Help, Contact Us NOW: 1-212-889-5362
You CAN learn to de-stress and regain your sense
of control, empowerment, confidence and calm.
We can help. Contact us today.
Here are some thoughts to help deal with the burdens of life:
(Laughter is the best antidote to stress!)
From The Global Light Network website
Submitted by Christan Hummel
Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
Always read stuff that will make you
look good if you die in the middle of it.
Drive carefully. It's not only cars
that can be recalled by their maker.
If you can't be kind, at least have
the decency to be vague.
If you lend someone $20 and never see
that person again, it was probably worth it.
It may be that your sole purpose in
life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
Never buy a car you can't
Never put both feet in your mouth at
the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand
Helpful Tips for Stress
Excerpted from Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA)
Additions by Susan Gayle of New Behavior Institute
Accept that there are events
you cannot control.
Put things in perspective. Think about your situation. Is it really
as bad as you think?
Do your BEST instead of trying
to be PERFECT.
Perfection isn't possible, so be proud of however close you
Take a time out.
Do yoga. Meditate. Learn to hypnotize yourself or learn other
relaxation technniques. Listen to a Hypnosis CD or AudioCassette
(Great ones on sale in our store - just click on "store" to order)
Get a massage. Listen to music.
When stress hits, take a deep
breath and count to 10 or Repeat a Relaxing Phrase to help calm
Stepping back from the problem lets you clear your head. Call a
friend, take a brisk walk, or drink some soothing tea. A calming
phrase to repeat might be, "I am calm and relaxed and in control of
Be assertive instead of
"Assert" your feelings, opinions or beliefs, instead of becoming
angry, defensive or passive.
Try to keep a Positive
Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. What you concentrate
on intensifies. So shift your focus away from the stressful
thoughts or fears and towards the solutions, or any thought that
helps you to feel better.
A good laugh goes a long
Use and welcome humor (see the above fun thoughts).
Whether you dance, jog, walk or bike... a major benefit of regular
exercise is that it releases mood-enhancing chemicals.
Being active in your community gives you a break from your everyday
stress and creates a support network.
Don't keep the weight of the
world on your shoulders!
Let others know you're feeling overwhelmed and tell them how they
Try to eat a well-balanced diet and not skip meals. Keep healthy,
energy-boosting snacks handy.
Catch those Zzzzzz's.
When stressed, your body needs rest and sleep.
We can help you incorporate all of
these life-enhancing, life-saving behaviors. We are here to help
you. Don't do it alone - you have a partner in us. Start improving
your life and your health now. It's easy and enjoyable. In-person
and Phone Sessions available.
Contact Us at: 1-212-889-5362
Seven Days to Less Stress
Excerpted from Self Magazine, Cristina Tudino, and the Anxiety
Disorders Association of America (ADAA)
A week without stress?
It is possible - and you don't have to quit your job, turn
off your answering machine or even go on vacation. Take the
opportunity to try one of these relaxers every day, for a week,
whenever you feel your shoulders creeping up around your ears. The
result? Instant ahhh.
WRITE IT DOWN
Scribbling about what's troubling you can make you feel better. Try
writing continuously for 15 minutes.
Repeat several times this
JUST BREATHE It's
easy, but it works! Inhale for four counts, slowly ticking off the
numbers in your head.
Then exhale, counting backward slowly for
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Tuning in to your stress can help you respond to it. Close your eyes and notice where you're
feeling tension. Is your jaw tight? Are your fists clenched? Concentrate on the trouble spots and think
GET REPETITIVE Doing
simple movements again and again - like rollling your shoulders or
flexing your toes -
will distract you and lull you into a calmer
FIND A MANTRA Focus
on a word, phrase or sound you feel neutral about, like peace.
Repeat each time you exhale
for 10 minutes to banish stressful
PICTURE THIS Vividly
imagine a soothing object or scene, including sounds, images and
The more pleasant your picture, the more your tension will
STAY IN THE MOMENT
Wake up five minutes early and lie in bed, letting yourself feel
your head on the pillow,
and listen to the sounds of the morning
around you. By learning to focus on where you are - wherever you
you'll be able to squash your worries about what's around the
For not just a week, but a lifetime of feeling in control, empowered and more relaxed,
to contact your own inner resources and take charge of your life, we're here waiting
for your call or email.
Let us help you to Empower Yourself.
Contact us TODAY at: 1-212-889-5362
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