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STRESS MANAGEMENT

Stress Management


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 add up.

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 hospital!

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 body.

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 health.

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 of Ontario):

    Increased blood pressure
    Increased metabolism (e.g., faster heartbeat, faster respiration)
    Decrease in protein synthesis, intestinal movement (digestion), immune and allergic response systems
    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 stresses:

    Feeling out of control
    Feeling without direction
    Guilt
    Committing yourself to more than you can handle
    Change, especially changes you didn't choose
    Uncertainty
    High expectations

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 Safety)

Physical: headaches, 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.

Psychosocial: anxiety, irritability, sadness, defensiveness, anger, mood swings, hypersensitivity, apathy, depression, slowed thinking or racing thoughts, feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, or of being trapped.

Behavioral: 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 mix.

What affects your ability to cope?
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

 
SNF@NewBehaviorInstitute.com
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 push.
    Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.


Helpful Tips for Stress Management

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 get.

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 yourself down.
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 myself."

Be assertive instead of agressive.
"Assert" your feelings, opinions or beliefs, instead of becoming angry, defensive or passive.

Try to keep a Positive Attitude.
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 way.
Use and welcome humor (see the above fun thoughts).

Keep Moving!
Whether you dance, jog, walk or bike... a major benefit of regular exercise is that it releases mood-enhancing chemicals.

Get Involved.
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 can help.

Eat Well.
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

 
SNF@NewBehaviorInstitute.com

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 week.

    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 four. Repeat.

    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 about releasing.

    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 state.

    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 thoughts.

    PICTURE THIS Vividly imagine a soothing object or scene, including sounds, images and aromas.
       The more pleasant your picture, the more your tension will dissipate.

    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 are -
       you'll be able to squash your worries about what's around the corner.

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

SNF@NewBehaviorInstitute.com

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Meditation Information

RelaxationExercises

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New Behavior Institute
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New York, NY 10016
Phone: 1-212-889-5362
SNF@NewBehaviorInstitute.com
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