Chronic Stress is devastating
Chronic stress adversely affects the function of your immune, neuroendocrine, cardiovascular and nervous systems, and worsens central obesity and insulin resistance. It increases heart disease, heart attacks, high blood pressure, risk of Alzheimer’s dementia, and your chances of catching a cold.
It affects you at your DNA level via epigenetic effects.
Ask better questions. Take control of your brain’s “background noise.”
Is it worth it to become agitated about that simple nuisance?
Am I going to let THAT inconsiderate person ruin MY day?
If someone cuts me off in their car, should I let them adversely affect my health, or should I laugh it off?
Don’t sweat the small stuff (and it’s all small stuff)! (This is a book, too!)
People or circumstances don’t make us angry; our own thoughts and reactions to them might. We cannot always control what happens to us, but we can control our interpretation of what happens to us. No one can stress you out without your consent.
“Decontaminate your space”
Choose carefully the people you spend time with.
General health and wellness
General health and wellness affects your ability to handle stress and think well.
- Exercise daily
- Spine and body stretches several times a day (YouTube.com/DrScottFuller)
- Eat clean
- Breathe (see Deep Breathing later in this article)
- Wellness chiropractic care
- Eliminate sugar and processed food and snacks
- Take supplements (good quality fish oil, B vitamins and other antioxidants, vitamin D, probiotic, multivitamin)
- Drink enough (but not too much) water
- Take vacations for “re-creation”
Utilize healthy classes and programs
- Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Meditation classes, CDs, DVDs, martial arts (BillericaDojo.com), hobbies
- DrWeil.com SpontaneousHappiness.com (book and audiobook)
- Earl Nightingale “Lead the Field” program, Nightingale.com-“Attitude, Gratitude, Expectant” on the bathroom mirror
- Deepak Chopra, Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Seth Godin
- Jeff Olson “The Slight Edge” For teens: SuccessFoundation.org
- Success.com, search for “5 Tips to Radically Reduce Stress”
- Dr Daniel Amen amenclinics.net Book: “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life”
- Youth Sports: Positive Coaching Alliance Positivecoach.org
Develop your own mantras.
Attitude- the magic word
I won’t let other people’s poor attitude infect me
Smother others with kindness
When you feel stress coming on, visualize yourself at a place you love to be
Relax 3 minutes-slow quiet rhythmic breaths
Beans in your pocket! Reminders to do exercises, breathing, imagining your wonderful place.
Treat every person you come in contact with as the most important person on earth
Take a media holiday
Watch less TV-take a media holiday. Exercise and read more instead. Go outside.
“We become what we think about”
Deep breathing for stress relief and better concentration; the 4-7-8 method (Andrew Weil)
- Breathe in slowly through your nose for a count of 4 and let your belly expand
- Hold the breath for a count of 7
- Let your breath out slowly through your mouth with pursed lips and making a “whoosh” sound.
Repeat 4 times to start. Use this technique at any moment you feel stressed, or to refocus
Another breathing/meditation technique is to relax for 3 minutes, and focus on slow quiet rhythmic breaths.
Positive Psychology Techniques (Andrew Weil)
- Three Good Things exercise. Write down each day for a week, three things that are going well and the reasons why. Reread and revisit this list, and add to it as you see fit.
- Using Signature Strengths exercise. Identify your personal strengths by taking a simple test, and use your top strength in a new, different way daily for a week (or longer). Take simple tests here: www.AuthenticHappiness.sas.upenn.edu (Martin Seligman)
- Gratitude exercise. Write down and recite letters of gratitude to persons who have been kind to you.
Meditation and Mindfulness Resources
- YouTube can get you started. www.how-to-meditate.org
- Jack Kornfeld: www.jackkornfield.com “Meditation for Beginners” on SoundsTrue.com or Amazon
- Sharon Salzberg: www.sharonsalzberg.com
- Joseph Goldstein: search www.dharma.org for products
- Jon Kabat-Zinn: Books: Full Catastrophe Living and Wherever You Go There You Are; www.mindfulnesscds.com
- Insight Meditation Society: www.dharma.org www.insightmeditationcenter.org
- Susan Piver-meditation resources: www.susanpiver.com
- Mayo Clinic (fitness section) www.mayoclinic.com/health/fitness/MY00396
- Positive Psychology Center www.ppc.sas.upenn.edu
- Laughter Yoga International www.laughteryoga.org
So you think you are having a bad day? Need Inspiration and Perspective?