Stress Management

 

What is Stress ?

 

Stress is a modern term that simply means you are experiencing an abnormal amount of pressure. A certain amount of pressure is essential to help you meet life’s challenges, release your creativity and fuel your continued personal growth. Once pressure falls outside the range with which you feel comfortable, however, it can lead to the unpleasant physical and emotional symptoms associated with distress.

 

Different people are comfortable with different amounts of pressure, and how you cope varies from person to person and even from time to time. One day you may feel totally calm and laid back, able to cope with everything thrown your way, while on another occasion the slightest extra pressure will overwhelm you, turning you into a crumbling, tearful wreck. Something’s you may even feel stressed because of insufficient pressure to drive your life forward. Being stuck in a boring rut with little stimulation can be just as frustrating and unpleasant as being loaded with too many tasks and not enough time. In some experiments performed in the 1950’s, researchers put volunteers in a totally stress-free environment with no external stimulation of any kind. Within a short while some started to experience hallucinations and most felt disoriented unsure of where they were and when. After three days no amount of financial inducement could persuade the volunteers to continue staying in the totally stress free, unstimulating environment.

 

Most musicians recognize that they perform better after feeling nervous before a concert starts, and Olympic athletes and professional actors normally need the presence of a live, interactive audience to achieve their full potential. When controlled, stress generates feelings of change, excitement and motivation. When uncontrolled, however, it produces extreme physical and emotional discomfort, bizarre behavior, serious disease ultimately premature death. It has been said that finding the right balance is like adjusting the strings of a musical instrument too loose and the tune will be ruined too right and strings will break. Just right, and the instrument will sling with a unique and lovely harmony that fills your mind, body and soul.

 

 

Why we feel stressed?

 

Pressure is so important for survival that your body is programmed to produce a stress response known as the flight or flight reaction. It is this reaction due mainly to the affects of adrenaline that produces most of the physical and emotional feelings you experience when distressed. If your body did not produce adrenaline, feelings of stress would not occur, but as you would also respond appropriately to the tasks and dangers of everyday life, you would not last long in the corporate and urban jungles of modern existence.

 

Adrenaline (also known as epinephrine) is produced by the adrenal glands, of which there are two one above each kidney. The outer region (cortex) of these small, triangular glands produce hormones that affect the metabolism while their inner parts known as the medulla form part of the body’s sympathetic nervous system. This branch of nervous system is designed to act as the body’s first line of the defense during the times of stress.

 

When you are confronted with a stressful situation that may require increased physical activity, nerve signals from the brain trigger the release of adrenaline from adrenal medulla directly into your blood stream. As a result, stress increases blood levels of adrenaline by as much as a thousandfold within just a one minute.

 

Adrenaline then produces an instant response in different parts of the body, so your whole system goes on to red alert.

 

  • Your pulse rate, blood pressure and the force of contraction of your heart increase so more blood can be pumped to your muscles and brain.
  • Your circulation diverts blood away from the intestines towards your brain (for quick thinking), skeletal muscles (for exercise) and skin (for rapid cooling on exertion). Reduced blood flow in the intestines can cause feelings of ‘butterflies’, while extra blood in the skin can make you flush with fear.
  • Your sweat glands are switched on, ready to cool your body during sudden exercise you literally sweat with fear.
  • Your muscles tense ready for action you stiffen and tremble with fear and your voice becomes high pitched and shaky.
  • Your breathing rate goes up and your airways widen to bring extra oxygen into your body you may breach in suddenly and deeply, described as catching your breath.
  • Your sugar levels increase as the body’s store s are raised to provide instant energy for extra power, strength and speed.
  • Your pupils dilate to improve your field of vision your eyes can literally widen with fear.
  • Your bowels empty(nervous diarrhea) to make you lighter for running under severe stress, you may even be sick, too.
  • Chemicals are released into your blood that make it clot more easily, and cause damaged blood vessels to constrict to reduce bleeding from wounds.
  • In males, the stress reaction also draws the testicles up towards the abdomen, for safe keeping.

 

These affects of adrenaline prepare the for running away or combat when you are under threat of pressure. This is the first stage of the stress reaction known as the flight-or-fight response in which energy is mobilized with the body. In ancient times, this helped the caveman survive in hostile surroundings, by giving him extra speed, power and energy to run away from predators such as sabre-toothed tigers or hunters from neighboring settlements. The affects of stress hormones would then be used up in vigorous exercise during fighting or fleeing which would soon neutralize the stress response and bring the body systems back into normal balance. This is the second stage of the stress reaction, in which energy is consumed. Nowadays, the need to fight or flee rarely occurs so the affects of stress build up to make you jittery, taut and trembling inside. This build up of stress then develops into the third stage of the stress reaction the potentially harmful stage in which energy is drained from the body.

 

Exercise itself will also trigger the flight-or-fight reaction as an appropriate response to prepare your body for intense activity a response which will naturally power down as exercise comes to an end and other branch of the nervous system known as the para sympathetic nervous system reverses the stress reaction and brings the body back to normal function. As exercise is designed to accompany and neutralize the fight-to-flight response, one of the best stressbusting tactics is to increase your level of activity and burn your tension away when you feel the pressure building up.

 

 

How to overcome Stress?

 

The nature of content of mind determines how and what organs of the body will receive and the kind of response that will be made. Constructive thoughts directed to the accomplishment of a goal or strongly held objectives stimulate and integrate all body processes. Thinking, incited by situations of fear, doubt, anxiety and frustration has a debilitating effect upon health and normal well-being.

 

It is recognized by outstanding medical authorities that not less than 75% of all cases of ill health are due to mental and emotional problems.

 

Malignant tumors constitute a threat to health and life for a significant segment of our population. There are some authorities who believe that cancer is the result of a misdirected emotional drive. Certainly we are living in an age of stress.

 

While certain types of stress such as the stress caused by a romantic encounter or the anticipation of a reward can do good to you, stress that begins to produce depression is completely undesirable.

 

If you are a lady, you may experience stress as a product of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Current estimates show that out of 33 to 50 percent patients of America, women between the age of 18 and 45 years experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS). This amounts to ten to fifteen million women. The emotional symptoms include confusion, temporary memory loss, and mood swings from euphoria to despair. Here again, proper nutrition can be of great help and the addition of B complex Vitamins ease the symptoms. When dieting programs are followed along with hypnotherapy, PMS can be greatly reduced, if not eliminated entirely.

 

The four words, calmness, composure, control and confidence are repeated to the patient as frequently as possible so that these qualities become a conditional response to the problems, which the instructor will subsequently deal.

 

The mental stress is being discussed everywhere and people interpret it in many ways. It can be mitigated by self-hypnotism and Yoga (yogasana's). In the present day world the human being is in a way subjected to many aspects of stress because of financial issues, social problems, family burdens, etc.

 

A housewife, while she is preparing the children to school, gets disturbed when the calling bell rings. The barking of the dog in the house, the quarrels of the children among themselves, the unexpected absence of the servant etc, add to her troubles and she is subjected to a great deal of mental stress.

 

Stress is even greater for office going people. The work burden in the office, the boredom which the employees experience in the office hours make them feel exhausted. Which they return to their home the ladies begin their stories or woes. Expecting such a situation, the husbands glance through the newspaper just to avoid the annoyance on the home front, while music emanating from the radio reaches the ears as a back ground lullaby. Dr Edward Charles Worth has recently conducted a survey among the students of Ballers College of Medicine and the findings are as follows:

 

Every year a million people are afflicted with pain in the heart. Thirty million people are subjected to blood pressure. Tumors in the abdomen have been noticed in eight million people. Twelve million people are prone to drinking habit. Millions of people are gulping sleeping tablets to mitigate their diseases and mental worries.

 

But you need not feel perturbed over the statistics if you remember nine golden rules to reduce stress, they are:

 

  1. One should not view that life itself is an issue. Life is something like a play, a game. One can solve all the issues with a smile. If one faces the difficulties with a "smile" on, there will be thrill in it.
  2. Prepare a planned procedure and follow it strictly or else there will be stress on your veins. You have to write it on a paper what all you have to do during that day and divide it under three headings:

     

    1. Very very important
    2. Very important
    3. General

     

    If you follow as per the headings, keeping in view the time available, you can spend all the time in a happy way without fussing and fretting.
  3. Unfortunately those who belong to physically retarded or handicapped segment, feel they have failed in their lives. Entertaining such ideas is utterly a mistake. Hellen Keller was blind, deaf and dumb. Those impediments never kept her indoors. With self-confidence she conducted research and became a renowned scientist.
  4. Don't show aversion or resentment to others who occupy high places in life. What is required is simple living and high thinking, higher goals to achieve in your life. Limit your wants and live happily with members of your family with contentment.
  5. Don't burden yourself with the problems of others on compassionate grounds. If You could not solve their problems as promised you have to bear the burnt of it. your stress will be greater than ever before, as you have to attend to your own errands.
  6. You have to improve your mental composure. Those who are jealous of your capability or those who criticize you for no fault of yours pity their outbursts and look at them compassionately. It gives you a lot of mental satisfaction and improves your image in the eyes of the public.
  7. Try to complete the work on hand punctually before you begin another work. Pending completion of the earlier one, and to concentrate on the second work may lead to stress.
  8. Lead a contented life. Greed leads you nowhere. We can have many examples from the pages of history to quote. The lives of Napoleon I (Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1881), the French Emperor; Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), the Nazi dictator of Germany during 1933-1945, are some such examples. You know much about Hitler. He was greedy and had no contentment in his life time. He had no mental peace. He could not sit at one place even for just ten minutes. Finally he committed suicide.
  9. The last but not least is making a compromise with the prevailing circumstances. If we persist in our deals, we have to face defeat and dismay.

 

These are the nine excellent rules one may like to know and to practice them.

 

Such persons can also approach a hypnotist and seek guidance.

 

One must be brave, bold and face any situation with courage and fortitude.