We all like to keep things simple…even how to combat stress!
In our past articles I’ve talked about how your subconscious…that little inner three-year old is running the show when it comes to dealing with stress.
Now you know…what you think or imagine (such as the sound of your voice or the things you picture) are picked up by that inner three-year old.
And that’s who’s controlling your body and emotions.
What Causes Stress?
The goal of stress management (and biofeedback training) is not to crush the inner three-year olds.
After all, it’s that same subconscious that also runs things like your dreams, creativity, memories, intuition and more!
But you do want to develop ways to relieve stress that teach that inner child better techniques to reduce stress.
Stress is all around us!
Think about it…all day long you tune in to the sound of others, whether it’s in a movie, your day-to-day life or even in your imagination.
This constant chatter is also being picked up as signs of stress by your same inner three-year old.
And that’s who’s in charge of sending signals into your body to prepare for battle or relax and stay calm.
This is process of managing stress is happening all day LONG!
- EVERY thought!
- EVERY day!
And today’s busy world is very stressful to your subconscious-and one of the coping mechanisms used by that inner three-year old is to go on hyper-alert!
How to Manage Stress
Fortunately, we have two ways to reduce stress in our lives.
They are very important and they are within your control:
- CHOICE and RESPONSIBILITY
You can use biofeedback training and the relaxation techniques I’ve been showing you to remind your conscious mind to step up during signs of stress to be the hero and the guide.
Remember what we covered in a previous article: How to Manage Stress with a Few Simple Words
The words we think and say to ourselves have an effect on our stress symptoms.
We can’t think whatever we want and think we can get away with it!
Stress Management Techniques
Stress reduction techniques all start with awareness.
Learn to LISTEN IN…feel what the subconscious mind, i.e. that three-year old is experiencing and feeling by tracking your body.
- Do they feel safe or not safe?
- Are they hearing scary sounds around them and inside your own mind?
- Do they see things that trigger that “fight or flight” response?
Or are you there to guide them through techniques that show them how to relax from stress?
You have a CHOICE in how to deal with stress!
You also have the RESPONSIBILITY to reassure and guide your inner three-year old with ways to deal with stress that don’t trigger the negative effects of stress!
You Hold the Power to Manage Stress
So, here we are.
You have learned tools for self-awareness and tools for self-regulation.
(Click here to check out more relaxation techniques.)
You now have the mindset to think of the subconscious as 3 year old as “self.”
This visualization is very powerful.
Biofeedback Techniques-the Ultimate “Selfie”
The part of you that is listening in needs and deserves to feel these things.
When you use your conscious choice to shift attention to body sensation, this is respect.
Consider the choice of a parent of a demanding three year old to be comforting and supportive and forgiving and patient and reassuring…
(I’m sure you can keep going on the fine qualities you know are part of being a “good guy” parent.)
But when you get self-critical, (we all do it!) your body will report back to your conscious mind.
You will feel the need to shift into battle preparation because it sounds like something is wrong.
Now, it’s not that this 3 year old puts your own mind on the enemy list.
It is simply reacting to the sound of the inner voice by saying something is wrong.
In a way, ANYTHING wrong that we drag into our thinking sends the exact same signal.
It can be something is wrong with the weather or the way someone has trimmed a tree…it really doesn’t matter the trigger, the response is the same.
Make the Choice!
When life happens, you can make a different choice!
Instead of letting the subconscious determine your fate…option 2 would be to use your calm voice, have an attitude of acceptance and give up the perfectionist and frustrated mind for the coach we all want…the buddy…the calm and reassuring parent…
It makes sense that self-awareness is part of self-care.
Years ago I was working with a child in my practice.
He was coming for biofeedback training for migraine headaches.
We were working with an area of training using the biofeedback equipment so he could become conscious (i.e. self-aware) of the effect self-regulation had on his body.
He was doing a GREAT job and clearly his body was calming very, very well.
I asked him to share with me how he was getting this response and here’s what he said:
- “I’m talking to myself like I am my best friend”
Isn’t that beautiful?
Well, here’s to you and your efforts to learn.
You are choosing to nurture a relationship with your-self when you learn stress management.
- This is your best friend forever! (A true BFF!)
Until our next article….take good care of yourself.
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