When you think of ‘stress management’, what comes to mind?
Do you picture a bathtub filled with warm water covered in bubbles? Do you see yourself getting a massage? A mani/pedi? Do you think about a girls’/men’s night out? A walk in nature? Do you picture a couch with your name on it and a Netflix binge?
Do you picture people sitting on pillows, crossed-legged, eyes closed? Do you hear chanting of “Om”?
Or when you think of ‘stress management’, do you then think something like: “That’s not for me”, “I don’t need that”, “I’m not stressed”, or “Only weak people get stressed”?
While there is nothing wrong with bubblebaths, massages, and the like, stress management is less about the “what” you’re doing and more about the “how” you’re doing it. For example, if you’re sitting in your bubblebath, laying on a massage table, or walking through trees while feeling guilty (for spending money, wasting time, being non-productive, etc), then what you’re doing is not actually stress management.
The guilt (or any other negative/depleting emotion or attitude that you experience while doing these activities) creates disharmony in your physiology - the way your systems inside of you function - that drains your energy, decreases your resilience, and impairs your thinking.
Kinda counterproductive to stress management, wouldn’t you agree?
So, try to pay attention to the “how” you’re doing something - or the “state” you are in when you engage in any activity, especially if you are doing it for “stress management”.
And while there is nothing wrong with sitting cross-legged on pillows and/or chanting “Om”, stress management doesn’t necessarily mean only being “zenned out” and/or having low energy. You can manage stress by having high energy. For example, if you are experiencing passion, courage, a sense of accomplishment, sense of adventure, or excitement, you are having high energy but you are not stressed. Being “zenned out” is not the only ‘cure’ for stress; you can have high energy and be on the move and still be managing stress.
Now, who should learn how to manage stress? You.
Everyone, including you, experiences stress. You just may not be aware of it.
Stress is disharmony inside of you that results from experiencing negative/depleting emotions. Even if you are unaware of experiencing a negative emotion, such as anxiety, anger, resentment, fear, and sadness, the disharmony happens. Stress happens. This disharmony leads to diminished mental performance such as poor memory, foggy thinking, and poor decision-making. It also leads to disrupted sleep, drained energy, and a lack of ability to self-regulate your behaviour, thoughts, and feelings - meaning, you’ll say things you don’t mean and do things you regret.
Long term, stress leads to health issues, accelerated aging, and even brain cell death. Not cool.
So, if you experience negative emotions (if you are human, then you do) then you experience stress… and you will benefit from learning skills to manage it.
After learning these skills, when you think of “stress management”, you’ll picture you enjoying life as you take on and embrace life’s challenges. You’ll see your challenges, that once looked like mountains, shrink to molehills. You’ll picture yourself flow from one task to the next without feeling overwhelmed. You’ll picture yourself being calm and composed even as there’s chaos in your house or at work. You’ll feel a confidence in your ability to handle whatever life throws at you.
Are you ready to learn these stress management skills?
Here’s to conquering stress.
The Stress Experts
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