Friday, July 22, 2016

Breaking the Stress Habit

Stress is one of the largest contributing factors to impairment of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health.  The more years that go by, the more communication and convenience inventions that come along, the madder the rush, the faster the pace of life... the more stress insidiously drains away our energy, vitality, attitude, and resiliency.  Stress (and aging) are the two most common reasons people might give themselves and each other for that achy, tired, nervous, blah but "keyed up," sleepless, "dead" feeling from which so many suffer.  But, do you know that as much as that feeling might bother us we're, at the same time, very much addicted to it?  Stress has been so much a part of most people's lives that their bodies have developed a tolerance, nay, even a need, for the adrenaline fix.

Stress creates an automatic body response that keeps us wired up, better than coffee.  It helps us keep pace with fast-paced life.  And, if we actually take a vacation or try to slow down, our bodies push back on us with the word "bored" prominently blinking in red across the inside of our foreheads.  If you're going to remove the destructiveness to your health that stress possesses, you most likely are going to have to break your stress habit.

Dr, Joe Dispenza, author of Break the Habit of Being Yourself and Evolve Your Brain, says that 95 percent of our daily activity is made up of actions and behaviors that we have learned or taught ourselves through emotional repetition to the point that our bodies are running on auto-pilot with barely a thought going in to what we're doing or why.  Michael Brown, author of The Presence Process, talks about how most of the time we react to current circumstances and events from something we started doing long ago, rather than choosing a healthy thoughtful response for today.

Breaking the habit of being stressed requires re-engaging one's brain, being conscious of the present moment, gaining awareness of how automatically we react without thinking, and eliminating or replacing those reactions with thoughtful present-moment intention.  When we start doing this we'll run into much the same dynamics as one would with any addiction.  There will be denial, resistance, withdrawal, relapse, and struggle to maintain the change.  Determination and perseverance must become cherished characteristics that we hold close and seek as much support as we can for holding on to them as we can.

Wellness coaching can help this process, as well as developing appropriate support systems and effecting lifestyle changes that reduce the triggers to stressing.  I'm available to help you engage in this life growth toward better health.  You can make an appointment, or contact me.  I'm open to skyping or trying to do work over the phone if you're not local.    


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