Here we are at Fundamental #1: Feeeeeling Good. And we’re still in the letting go phase. This time we’re letting go of stress.
Let’s face it – most of us would have a pretty low Stress Management IQ. I mean it’s not exactly on the school curriculum is it? Imagine if it was. Imagine if school lessons were full of really important lessons to learn instead of the dates of battles and formulas that would freak out the bravest of us.
1st lesson Stress Management. 2nd lesson Emotional Intelligence. 3rd lesson Building Self-Esteem and How to Love Yourself. I should definitely be in charge of school programming.
Ok – so our Stress Management IQs are pretty low. What that means is that our Stress Management skills are not where they could be either. And managing stress is one of the best things we can do for our health and for our happiness. Did you know that 25% of your happiness is dependent on how well you manage your stress? That’s a lot of your happiness that could be easily improved by a few stress management skills.
And happier people are usually healthier, wealthier (yes – they make more money), and just generally way better off than not so happy people. Who wouldn’t want that!
Sorry – sidetracked. Back to Stress Management.
Stress, mostly long term stress, can be the cause of all sorts of terrible illnesses and diseases. When we get stressed our bodies release a whole series of stress related hormones. This is all part of the fight or flight response. I could tell you more about it here but this is all covered in my Stress Management course that I’ll tell you about later.
The fight or flight response gears us up to ……you guessed it…..run or battle whatever is stressing us. Not very helpful when it’s your mortgage. How on earth do you battle that? Anyway, there is nothing subtle about this release of hormones. It’s SLAM, CRASH, BASH. Pump me up, give me loads of strength and I’ll deal with the fall out later. This system was designed to get us away from sabre-tooth tigers NOT from the ongoing mortgage payments.
Slam, crash, bash is all well and good when our stress has a definite end. But the mortgage doesn’t stop once we’ve made this month’s payment and there is still a LOT of traffic jams on the way to work and the kids are still demanding. When we stay in the stress response for a long time we have these not so subtle hormones slam, crash, bashing around our bodies and wreaking havoc.
Imagine an elephant in your garden. One trip through might squash a few flowers but if it’s there permanently you’ve got compacted soil slowly turning to a dust bowl that may never be capable of growing anything again. The elephant is the stress response and that’s the damage happens to our bodies when we don’t learn to deal with our stress.
I can’t imagine anyone wanting that. I know I definitely don’t want to be a dust bowl.
Thankfully science – my guru – has found a gazillion ways that work to help us deal with our stress. It’s great that there’s gazillions cos not everything will work for everyone. If you’re an Adrenalin Junkie – a great recipe for chronic stress – you’re not likely to be patient enough to meditate for long enough to gain the benefits. You might have special stress management needs. If you’re super-intoverted then managing stress through social support and interaction probably won’t be your thing. You need a different stress management technique altogether. So managing stress is also about knowing who you are and what you need and when you need it.
I could really talk about Stress Management for ages and ages and ages – after all I did say there were gazillions of ways to manage stress. But I’m going to leave that to my Stress Management Course. Keep an eye out for when it’s available online. Because I know YOU don’t want to be a dust bowl either 🙂