How Does Stress Really Affect Us?

Pat Garner

As a follow up from my last month’s post on stress hormones, I wanted to share some ways to manage stress. I’ll share ways I personally manage stress.

Stress effects everything in our body, from not digesting and assimilating nutrients, to having our adrenals being “shot”. Our systems will work in a harmonious way if we can only be in a calm state. Yeah, right…’easier said than done’. If I had a dime for every time I heard someone say that I would be wealthy. Just with that one negative statement we believe what we think. If the belief we hold is it’s hard to let go of stress then it will…plain and simple.

Changing the way we think isn’t hard, but it’s a shift for sure. Our subconscious is always working against us bringing to the foreground the beliefs we have. To quote my mentor Jack Canfield, “You only have control over three things in your life-the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take.” If we think we’re stressed, then guess what? We are.  How simple is that? Imagine the opposite. We’re not stressed…voila you’re not. Learn more from Jack Canfield’s book The Success Principles.

My day starts with 2 simple practices; meditation and releasing. Meditation is whatever you make it. It can be in prayer, using a mantra, following your breath, or just sitting quietly for a few mins. Being able to clear your mind of thoughts as you’re in a quiet state is very calming to the central nervous system. You can meditate anytime, but for me first thing in the morning is my preference since my monkey mind is the quietest.

My second process is releasing and letting go. I’ve been practicing a process called The Sedona Method for a few years. The author of The Sedona Method, Hale Dwoskin was one of the teachers in the movie, The Secret.  It’s a simple process of releasing and letting go of negative or painful thoughts. We tend to look backwards to the past or anticipate the future while ignoring the present moment. All our pain and suffering are held in stories from the past or new stories we create about some future event we have no control over.

I also practice yoga. I’ve been practicing for a little over a year and this has really helped with lowering my overall stress while improving my flexibility and strength. Movement is so important to our health and vitality. Yoga is good for all ages and fitness levels. I recently earned my yoga teacher certification and look forward to teaching.

One last thought to lower stress is to avoid the daily serving of news, especially before bed. No matter what your political viewpoint is you can be served up your favorite party. What we watch on TV or read on the internet can have a very strong charge for us and creates unwanted and subconscious stress. I’ve pretty much gone on a no media diet for the last few years and I can always count on my husband to fill me in on what I’m missing.

So close your eyes, get quiet focusing on your breath, while letting go of unwanted feelings all in a comfortable seated position. Namaste.



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