At its best, stress motivates and initiates action, creativity, productivity and resilient health.
At its worst, stress intimidates, stagnates and annihilates all the above, and shuts off access to available knowledge, skills and resources that would be otherwise useful.
If you would rather:
• Maintain balance in the face of stress
• Find your flow and achieve resilience
• Shift into a positive physiological state of the mind and body
• Work with honesty and integrity
• Inspire as a leader
Use stress before it uses you!
When the mind perceives that you are in stress, stress hormones like cortisol and adrenalin (among others) are produced which begin turning off the systems that are not needed during time of fear and stress, when survival of the species is in danger. These include your digestive and reproductive systems, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, musculoskeletal and immune systems. In short, every system of your body is affected. When the problem is solved, the mind perceives that you are safe and out of danger, and the body’s systems revert back to your set point of balance, as the stress response shuts off.
In this type of scenario, the mind perceives stress as manageable, the stress response is short-lived and used to initiate and motivate the necessary actions or change.
Not the case when negative emotions, taking conflict personally, or ongoing worries are involved.
Think about it:
If you are being chased by a lion, it is not a good time to reproduce, forage for food, sleep, relax, socialize, think about doing your taxes, or think at all for that matter?
Your mind does not necessarily distinguish between real or imagined threats, physical, psychological or emotional stress. And if the stress is perceived as unmanageable, the stress system will continue to be active.
The economic collapse is just as much of a lion to your mind as your worries about your children, or anger that you are not being treated with respect. The more you worry, the more the stress system fires, and the result can be a shutting down of the mind and body to work efficiently, creatively and in your best interest. With fear, the human mind falls back onto habitual behavior and rigidity, losing adaptability and flexibility.
Your key is to keep the stress response in better control.
One way to control the stress response is to address the underlying belief that marks stress as unmanageable: Not being enough or having enough resources to handle uncertainty.
By shifting the belief of “being/having enough”, you shift the minds expectation from negative to positive, so that the stress response can be quieted, the body more calm and the mind clearer.
Redirect The Focus from negative emotion and expectancy to positive
The SHIELD® technique can enable you to shift you to make this shift. It is a mnemonic and a visualization.
1. Say to yourself “SHIELD”, and a SHIELD of white or golden light will immediately surround you (As if the sun shines down a warm golden light upon you). This is a SHIELD® of comfort and protection.
2. Then “S”: Stop, slow down, or slide to a halt
3. “H”: Honor what you are feeling or experiencing.
4. “I”: Inhale
5. “E”: and don’t forget to Exhale
• Breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth
• You may choose to close your eyes (not while you are driving!) or keep them open
• Just pay attention to your breath as it enters and leaves.
• By focusing on your breath, you automatically remove your awareness from your negative thoughts, calming the stress response.
6. “L”: Listen: listen to your thoughts, feeling, and sensations. Ask yourself: In what way is this situation reminding me that I am not enough or do not have enough?
7. “D”: Decide: Decide to shift out of the stress response by using the antidote to your problem and repeat silently: “I am enough, I have enough. I have all that I need. Come what may, I have all that I need.”
It may not solve the problem or question at hand, but you might feel better, less emotional, more objective and more open to the possibilities of handling the stress.