(All you need to do is turn on your radio or television to start feeling the negative effects of stress…)
It can rapidly feel like mindfulness based stress reduction is just an elusive dream and we are powerless.
I’m here to remind you it doesn’t have to be that way!
Stress Management is YOUR Choice
We all can make choices about our response to any situation.
It’s just that sometimes we forget that how we react to the world around us really is our CHOICE!
And the recent frightening turns in our world provide just the right timing to remind you to practice what you know….it’s OK to acknowledge that this increasing stress we have all felt is a perfectly understandable response to fear.
The fact is that the part of our brain that registers fear and runs our survival response is tuned into YOUR mind and YOUR responses to any situation.
If you think of the part of your brain that runs your body has the mind and needs of a small child, it becomes easier to understand and deal with stress.
What’s needed in stressful times is reassurance and confirmation…..confirmation that you have power which is delivered with the sound of your own inner voice and calming phrase, and reassurance that AT THIS MOMENT “I am safe”.
This is what is at the core of what your self is in need of.
The human mind has a vivid imagination.
And the conscious mind imagines and anticipates….whereas the emotional and physical response is “real time” and follows what the conscious mind is thinking….. and believes that our thoughts represent what is happening RIGHT NOW.
Do you see how letting your mind run wild can increase your stress levels? Remember the phrase: WHAT YOU THINK IS WHAT YOU GET?
The Many Causes of Stress
It’s all around us… SO
Every time you see a reminder or hear more about terrorism or brutality.
Or you feel the stress in your body or emotions
Or feel you are giving up socializing due to stress.
Remind yourself that it is the many stressful thoughts that we think or imagine each day that tell our SELF that we are at risk!
But remember that you have a choice.
Recognize that when you are truly living in JUST this moment…you ARE safe.
Yes, unless you are actually IN THIS MOMENT in danger, you ARE safe.
Mindfulness-based stress management is all about helping you recognize the difference between actual danger and perceived danger.
That small and conscious decision is the first step in guiding your body, mind and emotions into a healthier place…
Stress Reduction Techniques Improve the Quality of Life
Many years ago I worked in a hospital providing biofeedback training and was asked to work with a man who was dying of a breathing disease and had only days to live.
He and his family asked if there was something that could help him so that he and they could embrace the hours he had left.
I was honored to be asked help him and we did work together.
He learned that when he was stressed his breathing became more difficult.
I helped him learn to calm his self and keep his breathing manageable.
The biofeedback training he learned helped him to feel safe until he was no longer actually able to breathe…by staying in each moment.
He and his family enjoyed more quality time together than anyone expected.
It changed me as well.
I have recalled his courage and skills many times over the years.
I am reminded again during these stressful times and want to share his story with you as well:
If he can do it we can too!
Living in the moment is a way to engage in a deeper relationship with ourselves and what really IS happening, by not letting our fear or imagination take hold.
Choose today to:
- Speak in a comforting way
- Give guidance and reassurance to your self
- Let your muscles release
- Ask for that warming flow throughout your body
It’s your choice!
Take care of your self ….your self needs you.
Want to learn more about stress reduction?
Take the first step!
Click here for my Special Report: Biofeedback Training- Discover the Power of Your Mind to Control Your Body
Author: Jinny Joy LaRock, RN, BCB Sr. Fellow