Are You Making It Worse?

By on January 22, 2015

Do you know what stresses you out?

Know anyone that stresses over the slightest thing?

It could be a co-worker or a neighbor or even a dear friend — they allow, in your opinion, the simplest inconvenience like a paper jam, a spilled drink, or even a slow lane at the checkout line to annoy the heck out of them.

They get huffy, puffy, and blue in the face then complain about it for hours.

You wonder why the tiniest of infractions bothers them. It’s so obvious that the bad attitude disrupts their productivity, upsets their appetite, and ruins the mood for everyone.

But what about you? Do you have anything that to you is a big deal, but in reality, it’s really just a molehill?

You see, in an emergency situation, like swerving to avoid an accident or running away from a rabid animal, our stress response is super helpful. It propels us into action so that we can save ourselves from impending danger.

But the interesting thing is that our bodies can’t tell the difference between a life-threatening stressful event and a non-life threatening event.

What is a non-life threatening stressful event? The stuff that bothers you, but isn’t going to kill you.

Being stuck in traffic. Getting into a heated argument with a colleague. Playing referee between your kids. Losing your wallet and worrying whether your credit cards have been stolen.

When we hold ourselves in a wound up, pent up, stressed out state, our bodies believe we are being attacked and therefore respond just as if we were. Our ‘flight or fight’ response is triggered and we go into defense mode.

Being locked in this defensive rigidity causes us to slowly break down. Ever feel sick and tired after days or weeks or months of being stressed to the max?

Today, take notice of what takes you there. How often do you sit with the stress?

And where does the stress land? In your shoulders? Your mid-back? Your stomach?

Perhaps you wrinkle up your forehead in consternation? That’s your body’s response to the stress — it tightens up and winds up. See if you can sit with that awareness and consciously unwind and let go.

Feeling more relaxed already!

Stress Release Tip

When you notice those tensed up shoulders, a stiff neck, or stomach knotted from stress, remember that it’s only your disappointment of an unwanted outcome that is bothering you. It’s not life-threatening. With that awareness, you can breathe, let go and relax.

Mindful Moment

How many little things stress you out? Make a list. Write down every tiny thing that bothers you throughout the day. Now, pick out the things that are super important and needs your attention. For the rest, decide that it’s not significant enough for you to bother. Then crumple up that list and throw it away — imagining the stress being tossed out with it.

Quote From Dana

“If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”
– Abraham Maslow

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